May 30, 2012 2:18 PM GMT
When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) outlined his agenda for the June work period this week, only one item from Obama’s to-do list made the cut — a business tax cut package. That’s the item most likely to win GOP support, given that Democrats at this point plan to follow the lead of House Republicans and simply borrow the money to pay for it.
Reid also mentioned a half a dozen items that aren’t on Obama’s list, although one — preventing the doubling of interest rates on student loans — is a separate White House priority.
Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has championed the tax cut measure, said he hopes they can take it up soon, provided they can find the time to do it.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also released a summer agenda memo Friday and, not surprisingly, the president’s to-do list was nowhere to be found.
Senate Democratic aides tried to minimize any talk of a rift with the White House, suggesting that they will eventually get to the to-do list. And the White House says it’s working to get votes.
In the meantime, several Senators confessed to Roll Call that they don’t know what is on the to-do list anyway, despite several speeches in which Obama has urged his followers to tweet, call, write and email lawmakers urging them to take it up.
“Didn’t we do some things he wanted us to do?” asked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). “[Export-Import] Bank, that doesn’t count? That wasn’t on the to-do list?”
No. The president wanted that, too, but it’s not on the list.
“Do you have a copy of the to-do list?” Landrieu asked.
After a reporter told her what was on the list, she quipped, “We’re adding to that list by doing some great things.”
“I don’t have a copy of it; I’m sure my staff does,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), when asked when the Senate might get to it.
“We’ve got June, July. We’ve got some time. What time frame did he put on that to-do list?”
When told the president said the to-do list could be done “now,” Casey joked, “Now is a very expansive term. It’s not even the summer yet.“