Barack Obama continued his sales blitz across the country Tuesday, touting his jobs plan and scolding Republicans in Congress more than once to “pass this bill.”
There was only one rather embarrassing problem: his $447 billion proposal was blocked in the Senate—by his fellow Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stepped up to stop a vote in the Senate on the president’s measure, which had been requested by an obviously satisfied Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, because both men knew what the president cannot or will not admit— that he does not have enough votes within his own party, let alone from Republicans, to pass the bill he’s been hyping for weeks.
The last-minute move by Reid saved Obama from the immediate embarrassment of losing a battle inside the family, but it highlighted the gulf between Obama and Congressional Democrats, who now operate almost entirely apart from the White House and have, in many cases, decided that supporting their unpopular president today is not worth losing their own jobs next November.
McConnell launched his surprise attack in the afternoon, when it had become clear that a vote on the bill would produce at least a handful of no’s from moderate Democrats, who object to tax increases in the bill, especially on oil companies, and a few liberals who have insisted for months that the president increase at least some taxes on millionaires to begin to close the budget gap and finance jobs measures.
“What I am trying to do here today by requesting this vote on the president’s jobs bill is to honor the request of the president of the United States that we vote on it now,” McConnell said with a smile. “He has been asking us repeatedly over the last few weeks that we vote on it now"...