President Obama continued to hammer away at Republicans to stop obstructing his jobs bill after Senate Republicans, along with three conservative Democrats, prevented any traction on the portion that would have provided states $35 billion to hire or retain teachers and emergency responders.
The Thursday vote to stop floor debate came as no surprise. Democrats and President Obama had expected the bill to fail and likely chose the teachers and first responders spending portion because they knew Republicans would vote against it in lockstep and the move would play into the Democratic message of Republicans obstructing job creation. Just last week, Republicans, along with three Democrats, voted down the entire jobs package when it was offered as a whole.A little more than an hour after the late-night vote, Obama issued a sharply worded statement saying he is undeterred by the Senate’s inaction.
“For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again. That’s unacceptable,” he said. “We must do what’s right for the country and pass the common-sense proposals in the American Jobs Act.”
Every Senate Republican, he said, voted to block a bill that would help middle-class families and keep hundreds of thousands of firefighters on the job, police officers on the streets, and teachers in the classroom.
“Those Americans deserve an explanation as to why they don’t deserve those jobs – and every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now,” he continued.
With Senate Democrats controlling the Senate and the President’s jobs package popular with the public, senior White House officials have said they plan to keep offering sections of the President’s jobs bill over and over again in the next year to control the narrative on the economy and continue to paint Republicans as obstructionists.
The strategy also will saddle Republicans with the mantel of protecting tax cuts for millionaires because Democrats argue that wealthier Americans should help pay for his jobs package.
“So the choice is clear. Our fight isn’t over,” he said. “We will keep working with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, and give Republicans another chance to put country before party and help us put the American people back to work.”