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April 26, 2015

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Obama hoping smaller jobs bill gets big support


Sam Morris

President Barack Obama takes the stage last year at Orr Middle School in Las Vegas for a “Moving America Forward” rally. Obama is scheduled to make another stop in Las Vegas on Oct. 24.

Updated Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 | 3:47 p.m.

When President Barack Obama visits Las Vegas on Monday, he’ll be speaking to would-be voters about his No. 1 legislative priority: his jobs bill.

It’s a proposal the president has been trying to sell voters since early September, when he laid out his $447 billion plan to invest in infrastructure to Congress. But his message has changed since then.

Obama has taken his message — “Pass this jobs bill.” — to audiences across the country, but in Washington, it’s not faring so well against Republican opposition.

Obama’s jobs bill failed its first test in the Senate this month, when Sen. Harry Reid barely secured a majority — but solely of Democrats — to support a tweaked version of the legislation that paid for the bill by imposing a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires beginning in 2013.

Reid then pledged to take Obama’s plan to Congress in pieces — which Republicans had said they would prefer in the days following the unveiling of the plan.

But that hasn’t gone so well either. This week, Reid tried to get the Senate to pass two of the least controversial portions of the bill: money for teachers and money for first responders, for a total of $35 billion. The vote on this one split 50-50 — not nearly the 60 Reid needed to avoid the threat of a filibuster.

Now, Senate Democrats have come up with a third plan — a reduced version of Obama’s jobs bill that focuses on transportation and infrastructure investment — the backbone of Obama’s proposal and the piece that’s supposed to get the construction workforce back on the job.

The smaller bill comes in at a total of $60 billion: $50 billion for upgrading roads, modernizing the national air-traffic control system and maintaining rail systems, and $10 billion for a national infrastructure bank meant to encourage public-private partnerships for other projects.

The itemized funding may be of particular interest to Nevada: $27 billion would go directly to rebuilding roads and bridges, and $4 billion would go to construct high-speed rail (which is less than 1 percent of the projected cost of a national high-speed rail network), $9 billion would repair transit systems and $5 billion for a competitive grant program.

The measure would be paid for with a 0.7 percent surtax on millionaires, a figure approximately proportional to the surtax Reid proposed to pay for the full Obama jobs plan, reduced to reflect the smaller size of the $60 billion proposal.

So is this reduced package the new jobs bill that Obama will be stumping for?

Obama’s stop in Las Vegas will be the first in a sweep to sell the American Jobs Act — the name of his full-fledged proposal — and his first since Reid and other Senate Democrats refocused their short-term efforts on the smaller legislation.

Obama called the roadblocks to passing his measure, even piecemeal, “unacceptable,” focusing chiefly on Republicans’ objections to the measure. “Our fight isn’t over. 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.”

Monday will be Obama’s first chance to coordinate that new public message when he appears at the Bellagio, according to a Democratic source. Reid had been scheduled to appear with Obama.

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  1. Stupid is as stupid does. Stay in DC with the rest of the buffoons.

  2. The Obama Derangement Syndrome campaign continues....

    But it cannot overshadow the simple fact the Republican Party politicians in power now, though they say they love America, demonstrate clearly they hate people.

    They hate you.

    They hate me.

    Your child needs an education? Don't hire a teacher. Hire prison wardens and build more prisons. In their world, you ain't rich, your kid belongs in jail.

    Your house is on fire? Don't call the fire department. Call a hedge fund manager.

    You have just been the victim of a mugging? Don't call a policeman. Call the President of Wells Fargo Bank.

    THIS is the Republican hell they want us immersed in. They want every single policeman, firefighter and teacher in the United States made out to be the bad guy/gal. As if they are armed robbers or something stupid like that. Money they want sent to the oil companies as subsidies in their eternal quest to suck up to them all the time for campaign funds.

    All of the proposals by President Obama and his administration are all common sense solutions that have taken into consideration logical ways on how to pay for them. These very same proposals would actually be made by a Republican President if he were in office. I guarantee they would receive their full support too. And then they would turn around and hope people forgot what happened before and pound their chests and loudly proclaim why didn't President Obama think of this?

    Buncha hypocritical lowlifes who only want power and could care less about people. We're just pawns to them.

    Republicans don't know how to govern and lead. They just know how to protest and strong arm people and make them hostages to their stupid continually failing policies that benefit only them and the filthy rich, the filthy richer, the filthy richest.

    I'm so glad people are waking up to their stupid downright criminal political strategies.

  3. I remember all to well that dark day when President Obama told the entire world it was a bad idea to visit Las Vegas. And if that wasn't bad enough, he went on to say it again as if to drive the point home.
    Thanks for all you've done to us Mr. President

  4. Very easy to run a political party that only attacks and finds fault with the other party. That way, Republicans don't have to come up with solutions to anything. Just complaints. Just sit back and pick apart anything, refusing to even get involved to become a part of any type of solution.

    They just sit back and hope President Obama and his entire administration fails. They throw monkey wrenches in the gears.

    They have been doing this for so long that I believe to my soul that if they actually got into power, they wouldn't have the slightest clue on what to do. Because they have excelled at protesting. Republicans are no longer even a shadow of their past history of greatness. They have lost it. They are practically useless. They couldn't even solve a jigsaw puzzle. Even with a head start and somebody showing them how its done.

    It's also very easy to point at polls to show President Obama is dropping in approval rating. But conveniently these polls don't take into account that President Obama isn't running against seven, maybe even eight, possible candidates. Polls don't mean diddly squat right now anyways.

    But since right wingnuts love them when they lean in their favor, I have to point out that one poll that seems to conveniently get overlooked by tea bagheads. Consistently, for at least quite a few months now, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has polled at an approval rating that bounces anywhere from 6 percent to 11 percent. And it doesn't seem to rise at all. Because people have lost faith in their abilities.

    They do nothing! They don't lead. They don't govern. They don't legislate. They just hate. They protest. They make easy money by not lifting a finger to help anybody.

    Point fingers all you want, but the truth is in the pudding for all to see. Republicans do nothing. And when they are confronted with the truth, they run. Witness the speech that Rep. Cantor (R-VA) was supposed to give at a college in Pennsylvania. When it suddenly became open to the public, he did what any loyal brain dead Republican in power does. He cancelled. Ran away. Because Republicans HATE the truth. They run on propaganda, blatant falsities, re-written history, political catch phrases and buzzwords and just outright lies.

    The Republican Party is dead, incapable of doing anything. Somebody dig the grave, get the priest to say a eulogy, then roll them in. Good riddance.

  5. The democratic controlled Senate failed to passed it twice, what's that tell you.

  6. If they would pay for this in cuts I would be all for it. They can't BUDGET why would I vote to give them one more dime. There is plenty to cut.

  7. Colin...Your posts are to long dog. No one is going to read all that.

  8. You people have clue that what Obama is proposing will not create jobs let alone stimulate the economy. If anyone plans on rebuilding America's infrastructure and reduce unemployment, they better be prepared to dump a few trillion or so into the program and then be prepared for all the lawsuits over the regulations and permits the eccoterrorist require. We tried it already, 785 billion wasted on his brainless trolls.

    As it stands, FHWA, DOT, FAA, FRA, OIG, GSA, USACE, DOD, along with States DOT spend in excess of 600 billion annually now and unemployment remains high, dumping another 100 billion will do absolutely nothing except feed their eccoterrorist regulations.

    Take a look at the Desert Xpress, anyone who works in this industry knows that California is another country in its self. California will require that their environmental laws and water quality laws be followed before any construction starts. California eccoterrorist laws at a minimum require 15 years of studies before any construction can start. California liberals will suck a few billion or more from the funding and once construction does start, grab your children then hide your wallets; the cost projections just doubled implementing their regulations and feeding their social programs.

    What we do know is that any jobs bill will include wasting money on liberal social programs enabling the brainless liberal trolls sucking off the system and not work. We simply can't afford to continually throw good money down the toilet bowl knowing that until we remove the liberal agenda and remove regulations, nothing Obama proposes will work.