The Obama jobs bill suffered a political setback yesterday, a move that confirms the widely shared fear that a partisan divide will hold back economic growth.
The Obama jobs bill was blocked by the Senate yesterday in a vote that confirms the fear shared by most Americans - that Congress and the Obama administration will not work together to reduce the nation’s high unemployment rate.
The bill failed its first major test in the legislature as all Republican and three Democratic senators voted against opening debate on the measure. The resulting 50-to-49 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to take up the Obama jobs bill.
President Obama, who has urged Congress to pass the bill in its entirety, said yesterday that the administration would now attempt to break up the bill and push the components that had the best chances of passing, The New York Times reported today.
Democratic leadership charged Republicans for opposing the Obama jobs bill for political reasons. Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, said continued economic weakness advances the Republican political agenda, according to The Times. “Republicans think that if the economy improves it might help President Obama,” Mr. Reid said. “So they root for the economy to fail and oppose every effort to improve it.”
The blame-throwing continued with the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, accusing the Democrats of designing an unworkable bill in hopes of discrediting Republicans, The Times said. “They’ve designed their own bill to fail – in the hope than anyone who votes against it will look bad,” McConnell said. “This whole exercise is a charade that’s meant to give Democrats a political edge in an election that’s 13 months away.”
As the contentious debate continues and unemployment remains above 9 percent, most Americans are losing faith in the ability of elected officials to create jobs and lead the economic recovery. Only 8 percent of the 1,100 Americans surveyed by Millionaire Corner in September said they believe that Obama administration and Congress will work together to make a workable jobs plan.
Fewer than 22 percent believe the job plan outlined by President Obama will produce the desired results. Meanwhile the suffering continues. Nearly 55 percent of the survey participants have a close friend or family member who is looking for work but unable to find a job. The share rises above 60 percent for Americans with a net worth of less than $100,000. More than 38 percent believe the nation is headed for a double-dip recession, though the concern is shared by more than 46 percent of investors in their 40s.