GOP pushes back on jobs bill, Dems worry about 'cherry picking'
September 13th, 2011
06:14 PM ET
11 years ago

GOP pushes back on jobs bill, Dems worry about 'cherry picking'

Washington (CNN) - Congressional Republicans Tuesday dismissed the President Obama's proposal to offset the costs of his jobs bill through tax increases on higher income workers, but signaled they still want to work with the president to get at least some pieces of his economic plan through Congress.

"When you look at what we saw in the president's pay-fors yesterday, we see permanent tax increases put into effect in order to pay for temporary spending. I just don't think that's really going to help our economy the way it could," House Speaker John Boehner said.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, "We're happy to look at his recommendations that we heard the other night." But he also said, "The pay-fors have been around the track before and there is bipartisan opposition to every one of them. I doubt that's going to work."

Republicans repeated their message, which started immediately after Obama's plan was released, that it's time to focus on the areas in the president's plan they support, such as tax credits for businesses, assistance for the unemployed, and measures boosting international trade.

"My sense is we need to work very hard and try and peel off the things that we can actually agree on," Cantor said at a jobs forum Tuesday. "Lets get some wins on board together and then we'll just have to agree to disagree on some of the things that will have to be decided I think around the public debates surrounding the next election."

But Democrats worried that picking apart the jobs package and moving only the tax credits and unemployment assistance provisions they supported would shortchange efforts to boost the struggling economy.

"I think Cantor's statement about 'we'll take what we want or give you only what we want,' I don't think that's acceptable to us and it's certainly not acceptable to the American people," liberal Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva said.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut, predicted that if Republicans "cherry pick" only the pieces of the plan they like Congress would "find ourselves in the same kind of morass that we have in the past."

Democrats argued that the new spending on schools, roadways and airports the President wants, but the GOP is opposing, removes a centerpiece of the proposal that they believe will generate jobs.

"Every nation in the world that is our competitor is investing in infrastructure. The Republicans are suggesting disinvestment in infrastructure, cut infrastructure investment." House Democratic Whip Hoyer said. "We know that they support tax cuts, but if that's the only thing that they will support it's not going to get us to where we need to be."

The talk in recent days of bipartisan cooperation seemed to fade as wrangling over the scope of the bill and ways to pay for it moved front and center. President Obama traveled to Boehner's home state of Ohio to ratchet up pressure on Congress to pass his proposal.

But asked if he could still work with the President, given the major differences over how to pay for his jobs plan, Boehner told reporters, "Hope springs eternal."

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid formally introduced the president's legislation. He later told reporters the Senate would "do some heavy work on jobs" as soon as it finished pressing bills related to FEMA, the FAA and highway construction.

Filed under: Congress • Jobs
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. nigel

    time to quit playing politics (republicans) and start doing something for the american people. pass the job bill whith every part intact

    September 13, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. LegendRx

    It's time America, It is time to throw out the dirty water . . . Yes the republican leadership need to be dismantled and charged with high treason. They are a bad stain in the fabric of this once great country. How long can we standby and watch them weaken the arms that is responsible for holding America up. We send our children off to war, to fight, to scarifies their vary lives and they, the republican leadership can't and won't ask the wealthiest of the rich to pay more in taxes to help sustain this failing economy. Wake Up America . . . Throw the dirty water that is the right obstructionist traders. Period.

    September 13, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. cindy

    Of course....the party of no had no intention of passing this bill and will do anything to keep President Obama a one term president even if it hurts the American people. Not surprised. OBAMA-BIDEN 2012

    September 13, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Steve Jackson

    Boehner and the GOP are school yard bullies If they do not get there way 200% they cry and hold there breath and won't let others have anything GET BOEHNER AND THE GOP OUT OF OFFICE SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN GET BACK TO WORK AND THIS COUNTRY CAN BE FREE

    September 13, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. dnick47

    For once I agree with this Speaker; but not for his reasons. The Free Trade Republicans have done too much damage for too long: there is no work there guys. Now we could creat some job by repairing the infrastructure that the Republicans have let go to hell; but without raising taxes on the rich it would only fuel inflation. We need statesmen with vision: we do not have even one.

    September 13, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  6. A Kickin` Donkey

    Vote in fillibuster-proof majorities in Congress for the President in 2012 & 2014. Then, if the [D]s don`t UNDO Bush`s 8 years of mess by 2016, FIRE ALL the Democrats.

    For those areas where the President can not be obstructed by a do-nothing Congress, like foreign affairs, Americans have seen substatial progress. OBL dead, Moammar run out of town, Somali pirates dead, combat operations ended in Iraq, troop drawdown in Afghanistan, 100s of drone-killed terrorists.

    If the President didn`t have to do the extra work caused by an Obstinent Republican-led Congress, American citizens realize that the source of stagnation is the political makeup of Congress.

    The problem isn`t in the Oval Office. It is in the Capitol Rotunda.

    September 13, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Candy Taylor

    Here we go again! These congressmen once again are going to stonewall or give us less than needed. Then when
    it fails they will blame Obama. Nothing but politics and to hell with the people. Well let's give them a surprise in 2012! Say to hell with them! Vote em out!

    September 13, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Raising raxes during an already pathetic economy will create a total shutdown of the unput of small businesses that are the only hope of strenghtening the economy and improving the unemployment rate.

    September 13, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need to keep our roads, power systems and computer networks are how things get done here in the US and allow us to compete. If we can't keep this up and inprove it, then we are going to fall behind and become second rate. We can't allow this to happen to this country over a little debt now. It is called investment in the future.

    September 13, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  10. trex

    Cletus jus sayd he be right wit no monieys fer dem peoples on welfair. Cletus jus sayd he be happy wid jus givn dem so juice from da still. Cletus be a teabaga

    September 13, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. Terrbear

    We're all doomed!!!!!!

    September 13, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. TEA PARTY Mike

    The only chance any parts of Obama's plan have of ever getting passed into law is if the few parts that might actually help are cherry picked out and passed on their own, or are incorporated into a different bill. Early polling shows little support for Obama's plan among voters. A new Rasmussen poll shows only 38% of voters support Obama's plan. If that kind of polling holds up there is zero chance of Obama's plan getting passed as a whole piece of legislation. We all know that Obama/Pelosi/Reid don't mind passing bills rejected by a majority of voters into law, just ask all those Democrat Representatives and Senators that lost their jobs in November 2010. But Boehner and the Republicans are on the side of the American people on this. There is zero chance Obama can get the Republicans to pass his 450 billion mistake against their will and the will of a majority of voters. Face it left wing lunatics. Obama has failed. He spent over a trillion with big promises and failed to deliver on those promises. A majority of voters know it and the polls all say so. The first stimulus is a bust with voters. Obamacare is a bust with voters. Three years of trillion dollar plus deficits and more to come is a bust with voters. Obama thinking he has to just give one more speech and people will buy into his failed policies is a bust with voters. Obama's new jobs plan is a bust with voters and thus his plan to paint Republicans as obstructing if they don't support his plan, also a bust. Obama is a bust with voters. It's over.

    September 13, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. NameRC

    What give the right of the GOP; Congress to play with the American people. This statment may be ignored people suffering place your self in these people lives. It will come back it is not just politics.

    September 13, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Dave Chicago

    For the love of God, please Republicans just stop! This "taxes on the rich is off the table" crap is over. The wealth gap is now at historic levels – we have billions begging to be taxed higher. In the "golden era" of the 1950's and 1960s the highest tax rate was over 90%! The 1970's it was around 70%, and now.....40%. The ONLY way to afford REAL change is to tax the rich, preferably by introducing many new tax brackets. Someone making 25 million/year should be taxed much higher than a couple making $250,000.

    September 13, 2011 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. thomas

    Maybe if the GOP would look at the job bill in the same light as going to war .

    How much did it cost to find those WMDs ?

    September 13, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. J.V.hodgson

    The Republicans are so two faced I cannot believe it is not covered as such in the media. Why:-
    First debt crisis, President not involved enough = if it screws and you are involved = we Repubs win 2012. That backfired.
    Second So Ok he gets involved in Job creation legislation bearing in mind Republican and tea party demands of everything must be paid for and even as some Republicans demanded puts it in writing and legislative format.He does.
    I say enough Republicans!! Your first duty out of respect for the office of President is to either vote on the bill as is completely, it is a comprehensive package or put forward legislative amendments to his bill and vote on that, and pass it to the Senate.
    It is no use cherry picking what you like off line from the Political system as you are doing now.The President has presented a comprehensive bill, you dont like it OK amend it but dont forget your own rules I.e how it is paid for!!
    I dont care if you just vote down Obama's plan period, giving reasons.
    As long as you replace it with similar job creating legislation that follows all the rules you gave or challenged OBama to follow, and gives a better CBO analysis result.
    Bearing in mind as Obama has had to do the task given to The Gang of 12 and The sword of damocles cuts if they fail.
    Why Gang of 12 cannot start with the Bowles Simpson plan and negotiate in more detail the Longer term grand plan defeats me and every other Voter.
    Voter patience for long term solutions is not available at present and we want quick fixes Now and long term plans that can come later we hope. Please remember the last attempt at full scale tax reform lasted two years and largely failed.
    Either party that delays action now on the promise of better in 2 /3 years time or longer loses the election in 2012.
    The current voters do not want pure Republican HOPES or pure Democratic HOPES but ACTION with clear simple give and take from both sides ideologies.

    September 14, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  17. GrandInquisitor

    This is all so funny to watch. obama proposes a FICA payroll tax cut that de-funds Social Security. Then he says it will be paid for by tax increases that Republicans have already stated that they will NOT support. obama then says OK and allows the FICA tax cut with no offset. He essentially destroys Social Security with the dems watching on the sidelines. VERY funny!

    September 14, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. A True Centrist

    I have no problem with the President pushing for an increase in taxes on the rich, but I want to know where he got the $250k/family number. Did he pick that out of a hat? Did he like how it looked like a nice, round number?

    Let me preface this by saying I do not fall into the $250k+ category so I am not biased here. In reality, the US is a big place with diverse economies and standards of living. If you are a family of five living in Kentucky or Alabama and you have a household income of $250k, you probably are rich and are living a very comfortable life. If you started from the ground-up, then good for probably spent a ton of hours working and took risks to advance in your career. If you are a family of five living in NY, San Francisco, Chicago etc. and you have a household income of $250k, then you are certainly getting by comfortably and can pay the bills but are you rich? Probably not. After paying for your home, college, taxes etc., you can put some towards savings but you don't own jets like Obama pretends you do, and you don't have summer homes and you don't have boats etc. like the far left on this board tends to think you do.

    My point: you can't just pick numbers out of a hat. You need to be able to substantiate why you think you can raise taxes on this group of people.

    September 14, 2011 04:02 am at 4:02 am |

    Rethuglicons will never work with this president. It's in their DNA. Sad that they think by continuing to say no to everything they will make this administration look like a failed one. The good news is the majority of americans are not your fathers old rethuglicon hardliners. The best bill to submit for law would be one to demand "truth in politics", when one of these ninnyhammers opens their mouths and spouts off blatant lies like "the first stimilus bill produced zero jobs" they should be delt with in the same way we, the american people, are delt with when we lie on a formal document. Falsely shouting fire in a crouded theater is not tolerated, lieing to the public shouldn't be either.

    September 14, 2011 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  20. Marie MD

    No cherry picking. Take away the ladder and have them fall flat on their padded lobbyist butts!!!
    Is anyone listening to the American public?

    September 14, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. spike

    Obama's bill addresses the real problem in the US economy: corporate jets. Therefore, I back it 100%.

    September 14, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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