Democrats scramble to save face on President Obama's jobs bill

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    Oct 11, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/186635-democrats-scramble-to-save-face-on-jobs-bill

    Democratic leaders in the Senate are scrambling to avoid defections on President Obama’s jobs package, which appears headed for defeat on Tuesday.

    A lack of Democratic unity on the president’s bill would be embarrassing for the White House, which has been scolding House Republicans for refusing to vote on the measure.

    Obama has been touring the country, aiming to put pressure on the GOP to act. But Senate Democrats have indicated they are feeling some heat. Last week, Democratic leaders revised Obama’s bill, scrapping his proposed offsets. Instead of raising taxes on families making more than $250,000 annually, Senate Democrats lifted that figure to $1 million.
    Despite the changes, the legislation still does not enjoy the support of all 53 senators who caucus with the Democrats. A handful of Democrats are undecided or leaning no on the bill.

    Democrats who will vote no or are leaning no include Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), who all hail from red states and are up for reelection next year.

    Republican and Democratic analysts say it will be politically difficult for Obama to blame the GOP for blocking the bill if more than a few conservative Democrats break ranks.

    “It is important to have the vast majority of your people, because what we are doing here is a political exercise at the moment, since there doesn’t seem to be any chance that the Republican side really wants to do anything,” said Steve Elmendorf, a senior adviser to former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.) for 12 years. “This needs to be a 90 percent vote.”
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    Oct 11, 2011 4:19 PM GMT
    File this one under #ObamaFAIL
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    Oct 11, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    And now for the same story as presented by CNN:

    Obama jobs bill faces likely Senate defeat

    Washington (CNN) -- The Senate is expected to reject President Barack Obama's new jobs plan in a key procedural vote Tuesday, reflecting a cavernous ideological divide over economic growth strategies and helping to set the stage for what is expected to be bitterly contested 2012 campaign.

    Democrats hold a majority of seats in the 100-member chamber, but are believed to lack the 60 votes necessary to move forward with consideration of the bill.

    Among other things, the package includes an extension and expansion of the current payroll tax cut, an extension of jobless benefits to help the unemployed, new tax credits for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed, and additional money to help save and create jobs for teachers and first responders such as firefighters.

    Republicans are vehemently opposed to a provision recently added by Senate Democrats that would pay for the measure through a 5.6% surtax on annual incomes over $1 million. GOP leaders have accused the president of engaging in so-called "class warfare" for political reasons.

    Top Republicans have also said they will prevent a vote from being held on the original version of the measure in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

    Asked last week if he is laying the groundwork to run against a "do-nothing Congress" -- a reprise of President Harry Truman's 1948 campaign -- Obama told reporters: "If Congress does something, then I can't run against a do-nothing Congress."


    A look at Obama's jobs bill

    Obama on the American Jobs Act

    GOP: Course change needed on jobs

    Gene Sperling: Job numbers small comfort But "if Congress does nothing," he added, "I think the American people will run them out of town."

    With the economy remaining shaky and unemployment hovering at over 9%, the economy is likely to be the dominant issue of next year's presidential campaign. Obama has touted the jobs bill in a series of campaign-style speeches across the country over the last couple of weeks.

    "Instead of trying to get compromise, (Obama's) embracing conflict," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    The president is "running around the country campaigning on a bill that he knows won't pass -- he can't even get it out of the Senate right now -- rather than working with us on ideas that we agree on that would actually help create jobs."

    "We want to go with ideas that work," Ryan declared.

    The largest measure in the package is the expanded payroll tax cut, which comes at a projected cost of $265 billion. Employees normally pay 6.2% on their first $106,800 of wages into Social Security, but they are now paying only 4.2%. That break is set to expire at the end of December, and Obama wants to cut the tax in half to 3.1%.

    Republicans previously embraced the cut, but have increasingly questioned its economic merit.

    A second key measure -- estimated to cost roughly $44 billion -- is the extension of emergency jobless benefits to help the long-term unemployed. Lawmakers first expanded benefits to cover 99 weeks in 2009, and have since reauthorized the expansion five times.

    It is the proposed surtax on people earning over $1 million, however, that has emerged as perhaps the most contentious dividing line between the two parties. The provision was added by key Senate Democrats to make Obama's bill more acceptable to his own party.

    Republicans insist the measure would be devastating to smaller companies.

    "Four out of five of these so-called millionaires are small businesses" employing over 300,000 people, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, claimed last week in an interview on Fox Business Network. "Raising taxes in the middle of an economic slowdown is a bad idea."

    McConnell also blasted the bill as a whole, calling it a rehash of Obama's 2009 economic stimulus plan. Democrats insist the plan helped prevent a more serious economic meltdown, while top Republicans have characterized it as a failure that did little beyond adding to the federal government's skyrocketing debt.

    "It reminds me of an old country saying at home that there's no education in the second kick of a mule," McConnell told Fox. "Our view is we've been there, we've done that, we know that doesn't work and we shouldn't do it again."

    The 2009 measure "was a success in terms of job creation," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, insisted later in the week. "It wasn't fully appreciated, but the fact is that it made a big difference."

    The new proposal "is a much smaller package" but "is a good start" and "hopefully it will have an explosive effect" on job creation, she added.


    CNN's Ted Barrett, Jeanne Sahadi, and Martina Stewart contributed to this report.

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    Oct 11, 2011 4:31 PM GMT
    interesting to note the detailss riddler's piece omitted.


    Note how CNN's piece gives as much factual data as it can while riddler's was statements of opinion "supported" by other statements of opinion.

    One is clearly of a journalistic slant, while the other is propagandist (all opinion is by definition propagandist.)


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    Oct 11, 2011 4:34 PM GMT
    CNN is saying the same thing though they appear to be making significantly more charitable as to why Democrats might fail to "pass this bill" - while they refuse to allow similar charity to Republicans which is to say the least curious.

    That being said, it is somewhat ironic what the "nuclear option" was used for and why it wasn't even mentioned.
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    Oct 11, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    Upper_Cdn saidinteresting to note the detailss riddler's piece omitted.


    Note how CNN's piece gives as much factual data as it can while riddler's was statements of opinion "supported" by other statements of opinion.

    One is clearly of a journalistic slant, while the other is propagandist (all opinion is by definition propagandist.)




    Actually no, I posted the first part of the article which is a lot longer than what I posted. As for journalistic slant, you might want to consider reading both before you decide.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Oct 11, 2011 4:49 PM GMT
    Just based on Obama's demanding "YOU MUST PASS THIS BILL" delivery in his original address, and subsequent speeches around the country where "PASS THIS BILL" became a mantra that simply wasn't resonating even with some Democrats, this bill seemed doomed to fail right from the get-go.
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    Oct 11, 2011 4:53 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidJust based on Obama's demanding "YOU MUST PASS THIS BILL" delivery in his original address, and subsequent speeches around the country where "PASS THIS BILL" became a mantra that simply wasn't resonating even with some Democrats, this bill seemed doomed to fail right from the get-go.


    Which of course was even more ironic given that at the time of his excoriating Republicans to "PASS THIS BILL", there wasn't a bill to pass. It's incidents like this that are Rorschach tests for mediabias.
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    Oct 11, 2011 5:03 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Upper_Cdn saidinteresting to note the detailss riddler's piece omitted.


    Note how CNN's piece gives as much factual data as it can while riddler's was statements of opinion "supported" by other statements of opinion.

    One is clearly of a journalistic slant, while the other is propagandist (all opinion is by definition propagandist.)




    Actually no, I posted the first part of the article which is a lot longer than what I posted. As for journalistic slant, you might want to consider reading both before you decide.



    I did kid.

    That particular website you linked is among the ones often referenced on this page (which I visit often)



    http://www.addictinginfo.org/category/right-wing-talking-points/


    icon_lol.gif


    And we all know you only post very selective portions of articles you link, counting on people to not read them for themselves. icon_lol.gif That's why I make it a point never to trust your selective presentation and point out what you conveniently chose to omit.



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    Oct 11, 2011 5:11 PM GMT
    Upper_Cdn saidI did kid.

    That particular website you linked is among the ones often referenced on this page (which I visit often) icon_lol.gif

    And we all know you only post selective portions of articles you link, counting on people to not read them for themselves. icon_lol.gif Thatès why I make it a point never to trust your selective presentation.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/category/right-wing-talking-points/


    "We all know"? You're one of the most partisan people here. I don't really understand why those like you don't have the courage to speak for yourself and feel the need to represent and speak for others.

    My points are merely to widen the discussion points of those like Metta8. I generally encourage people to read the whole thing and that's why I post the link - but you are certainly free to have your own opinion and I will of course defend your right to do so.

    Your attempt at deflecting your ignorance and inability to click on links, while amusing, isn't particularly convincing. icon_lol.gif