President Obama’s American Jobs Act stalled yesterday in the Senate.
With all Republicans and two Democrats voting no, the bill only received 51 votes, a number far short of the 60 votes needed. Senate Democrats have said they will break up the bill into smaller pieces in an attempt to get the main tenants of the bill passed, and Obama supports this plan. Many have said that a legislative win for the bill was never part of the plan. Instead, it appears that Obama is no longer willing to court a stubborn Congress. Instead, as he said in his speech yesterday, he will instead leave it to lawmakers to decide “whether we should keep teachers out of work or put them back in the classroom” and “whether construction workers should stay idle while our roads and brides are falling apart or whether we should put these men and women back to work rebuilding America.”
Is Obama’s jobs bill a 2012 election tactic to be seen as the candidate who fought for American jobs? Should we expect new jobs for Americans or a continued stalemate in Washington? And, who will this political battle help and hurt in 2012?
Stan Collender, budget expert and partner, Qorvis Communications, a corporate communication consulting firm; has worked on the House and Senate Budget Committees and edited Federal Budget Report, a newsletter that was published for almost two decades.
Sylvia A. Allegretto, Ph.D., economist, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Berkeley
Jacob Hay, spokesperson, Good Jobs LA