Obama pushes on jobs bill while Congress goes slow
President Obama has been touring the country, repeating a message for Congress about his jobs plan: “Pass this bill.” On Tuesday, in Denver, he said it seven times.
On Capitol Hill, the Republican-led House appears unlikely to take up Obama’s bill soon — if ever. Party leaders want to break up his ideas and farm them out to slow-moving committees for consideration.
And even in the Democratic-led Senate, party leaders have shown little urgency about taking up Obama’s “American Jobs Act.” On Thursday, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), said the leadership simply lacked the votes to pass it.
In the House, it has been introduced as a bill by Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.). In the Senate, the bill has been introduced by Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). Neither bill has attracted any co-sponsors.
And, earlier this week, Reid said that the Senate would not take up the bill when it returns from a short recess. Instead, it would first take up a measure to punish China and other nations for currency manipulation. That bill, in keeping with the Democrats’ strategy, is meant to help several individual senators in manufacturing states, where competition from China is blamed for local job losses.