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article imageObama's $447 billion jobs bill blocked by congressional Democrats

By Michael Krebs     Oct 5, 2011 in Politics
At a speech delivered in Texas, President Obama accused congressional Republicans of standing in the way of his $447 billion jobs bill, but the measure has actually been held up by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other congressional Democrats.
President Obama, speaking in Mesquite, Texas on Tuesday, accused congressional Republicans of failing to act on the $447 billion jobs bill presented by the White House.
"What's the problem? Do they not have the time? They just had a week off. Is it inconvenient?" Obama said, according to an Associated Press report.
The Obama campaign went further, sending out an email to the president's supporters that urged them to take action against Republican legislators.
"President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already," Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager wrote, as The Weekly Standard reported. "Though it's been nearly a month since he laid out this plan, House Republicans haven't acted to pass it. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won't even put the jobs package up for a vote -- ever. It's not clear which part of the bill they now object to: building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work. They're willing to block the American Jobs Act -- and they think you won't do anything about it. But here's something you can do: Find Republican members of Congress on Twitter, call them out, and demand they pass this bill."
However it appears that the Obama administration got its wires crossed, as the White House jobs bill is being blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a host of congressional Democrats who fear that President Obama's tax increases on households earning $250,000 or more and on oil and gas companies would have very negative impact for their home state constituents. Congressional Democrats from New York and New Jersey, where a $250,000 household income is considered "middle class," opposed the Obama jobs bill, and further opposition was expressed by congressional Democrats from states like Louisiana and West Virginia where oil and gas companies employ a large voting public.
Senator Reid scrambled on Tuesday to alter the bill to target a tax surcharge on millionaires, believing the current bill from the White House would fail to pass both the Senate and the House. There also appeared to be Democratic disagreement on the bill's overall price tag.
"There's the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly was $447 billion," Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, according to the Associated Press.
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