I don’t want to make too much of this. But something finally dawned on me when I saw the news today that a group of Republican senators were introducing what they called a “real” American jobs bill. Then today Speaker Boehner spoke to President Obama and volubly denied the president’s claim that House Republicans lacked any jobs proposals. And Boehner’s office sent out this email ‘read out’ of the call.
Readout of the Speaker’s call with President Obama
WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, President Obama called Speaker Boehner to congratulate him on passing the three free trade agreements. After they discussed trade, the Speaker brought up the President’s remarks today about “not having yet seen” a GOP plan for job creation, and respectfully challenged the President’s assertion. “I want to make sure you have all the facts,” the Speaker told the President. The Speaker reminded the President that House Republicans put forth a ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators’ in May, and noted that he and other members of the GOP leadership team have spoken with the President and his staff about the plan and referenced it on numerous occasions, in letters and elsewhere.
The Speaker told the President that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so. The President was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found. The Speaker also noted that a number of the President’s ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways & Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month. They also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the Speaker expressed his desire to do something on the issue, but to do it in a fiscally-responsible way.
The conversation lasted approximately 10 minutes.
And remember the deficit super-committee?
We’re going to hear about it again next month as it moves toward what will apparently be deadlock and failure. Somehow though that whole line of argument has shifted into the background.
I don’t suggest that the president’s political fortunes have shifted dramatically. Yet despite the fact that Senate Republicans were able to block a vote on his jobs bill, it seems to have gone with relatively little notice — probably because it’s right there in plain sight — how much the president’s day in and day out push on jobs has simply shifted the national conversation, the focus on what the issue is that requires solving.
I think this is a bigger deal than we realize.