The Associated Press is reporting that Republicans in the Senate Thursday dealt President Barack Obama the third in a string of defeats on his stimulus-style jobs agenda, blocking a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines.
Supporters of the failed measure said it would have created tens of thousands of construction jobs and lifted the still-struggling economy. But Republicans unanimously opposed it for its tax surcharge on the wealthy and spending totals they said were too high.
The 51-49 vote fell well short of the 60 votes required under Senate procedures to start work on the bill. Every Republican opposed the president, as did Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and former Democrat Joe Lieberman (I-Conn), who still aligns with the party.
Obama's loss was anything but a surprise, but the White House and its Democratic allies continue to press popular ideas from Obama's poll-tested jobs package in what Republicans say is nothing more than a bare-knuckle attempt to gain a political edge by invoking the mantra of jobs but doing little to seek compromise.
"The truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges," said Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that."
"Their goal is to do everything they can to drag down this economy, to do anything they can to focus attention negatively on the president of the United States in hopes that he can get my job, perhaps, and that President Obama will be defeated,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. "So let's not talk about campaign speeches here on the Senate floor. Let's talk about reality."
The Senate GOP must really think that the American people are stupid. Any thinking person can see that the GOP will not pass anything unless it benefits the wealthy. Unemployed, underemployed and strapped Republicans must clearly know by now that the people they elected have no interest in their needs.
We get it: Anything that President Obama proposes that will improve the economy or job situation will be blocked; anything that will benefit the wealthy will be passed. The GOP might want to remember that the unemployed will actually have time to vote in 2012.
Read more at News One.
In other news: Occupy Movement: The Fire This Time.