Get Your Act Together, President Says – But Just Whom Is He Talking To?

“President Obama used his weekly radio address to urge Congress ‘to get its act together’ and pass his jobs bill.”

President scolds Congress for not acting on his second stimulus:

  • “President Obama used his weekly radio address to urge Congress ‘to get its act together’ and pass his jobs bill. ‘It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets,’ Obama said. ‘And now I want it back. It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law.’” (Andrew Restuccia, “Obama to Congress: Get your act together and pass jobs bill,” The Hill, 10/01/11)

Democrats’ family feud is the holdup:

  • “And even in the Democratic-led Senate, party leaders have shown little urgency about taking up Obama’s ‘American Jobs Act.’ … the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), said the leadership simply lacked the votes to pass it. … Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat … indicated that one problem might be Obama’s suggestions for how to pay for his job-creation ideas. … In the short term, the flat reaction from Capitol Hill seems to show that Obama’s bill will remain a political statement — with little chance of becoming law.” (David A. Fahrenthold & David Nakamura, “Obama Pushes On Jobs Bill While Congress Goes Slow,” Washington Post, 09/30/11)
  • “Yet the Democratic Party doesn't seem united in its support of the bill, adding a layer of complication to Obama's efforts to curb an unemployment rate that threatens to derail his reelection bid. Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), for example, has questioned the president's basic strategy, warning that sweeping legislation may not be palatable to lawmakers of either party.” (Peter Nicholas, “Obama Wants Congress To Act On Jobs Plan This Month,” Los Angeles Times, 10/03/11)
  • Sen. Ben Nelson: “I don't think very much of it … Any kind of revenue enhancement or tax talk has to come, in my opinion, second to the cutting. We have a spending issue, as well as a revenue issue, but we have to solve them separately.” (Kathleen Hennessey, “President Obama Alienating Some Democratic Moderates With Fiscal Stance,” Los Angeles Times, 09/22/11)
  • Even New York's Chuck Schumer, of all unlikely partisans, has objections—notably to Mr. Obama's plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on taxpayers earning more than $200,000 (or $250,000 for married couples): ‘$250,000 makes you really rich in Mississippi, but it doesn't make you rich at all in New York, and there ought to be some kind of scale based on the cost of living on how much you pay.’” (Editorial, “Do-Nothing Democrats?” Wall Street Journal, 09/21/11)
  • Sen. Jon Tester: “not the one I would have written, nor is it the one that will end up passing Congress” (Kathleen Hennessey, “President Obama Alienating Some Democratic Moderates With Fiscal Stance,” Los Angeles Times, 09/22/11)
  • Sen. Jim Webb: “‘Terrible … We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.’” (Manu Raju, “Obama Jobs Bill Picked Apart By Congressional Democrats,” Politico, 09/14/11)
  • “But the bigger news may be how much resistance Mr. Obama's ideas are drawing from the Democrats who control the Senate. Senators from energy-producing states object to targeting oil and gas companies. ‘Just picking out one industry is not acceptable,’ said Alaska's Mark Begich. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu added: ‘That offset is not going to fly, and [Mr. Obama] should know that.’ (Editorial, “Do-Nothing Democrats?” Wall Street Journal, 09/21/11)
  • ‘I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan,’ said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), discussing proposals to slash the debt by $4 trillion by overhauling entitlement programs and raising revenue through tax reforms. ‘That’s better than everything else the president is talking about — combined.’” (Manu Raju, “Obama Jobs Bill Picked Apart By Congressional Democrats,” Politico, 09/14/11)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman: “… Mr. Obama's plan ‘doesn't represent the kind of comprehensive tax reform, entitlement reform and spending reduction that we need to get our country back into balance. And to me, therefore, it doesn't pass the test. And I don't think it can be passed.’” (Editorial, “Do-Nothing Democrats?” Wall Street Journal, 09/21/11)