GOP pushes back on jobs bill, Dems worry about 'cherry picking'
September 13th, 2011
06:14 PM ET
10 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. RINO Bil

    Looks to me like Eric Cantor and the rest of the Republicans would rather protect subsidies for oil companies, tax write-offs for companies that move jobs overseas, and tax breaks for company's with big private jets than create jobs for the average U.S. citizen.

    September 13, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Jake

    the GOP NEEDS the economy to fail, and to NOT RECOVER until they are in office! that is the GOP mentality and it's disgusting! America, get a CLUE!

    September 13, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Bob Bear

    With the increased poverty in America, you can't cut social programs, you must tax those who have money, the rich!

    September 13, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Republicans will support only those items that do not negatively impact the wealthy. They will throw the poor under the bus in a heartbeat. They will let America fail if it means political gain for the GOP. With these "rules" negotiation with these corporate prostitutes is a joke.

    September 13, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. delos

    same old crap different day

    September 13, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. DannyCali

    John Boehner, it not going to help your Republicans the Party of every thing "NO' and " NO" but it will help some of Americans that's their lost their when your President J.W.B was President.

    September 13, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    ""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."

    ONluy if the "super committee" fails to come to an agreement on how to pay for it. Stop lying you jackhole.

    September 13, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Charlie Davis

    America's infrastructure includes the Public Estate: our public lands, parks, campgrounds, trails, etc. It was given to us by previous generations. The time has come to renovate it. That would create jobs.

    September 13, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. cico4

    THE Republicans would drive the USA down the drain....if they had to have a tax to pay for anything...They are against the tax of the richest..cause it gets them votes...Just like GW Bush.. he told us it was our money..and threw the budget out the window...just so he could bounce up and down in the presidential swival chair for 8 long debt filled years..Nothing paid for George...Right? ..Poor ole George he just couldn't help it he had to do it...... just to satisfy his EGO ..What a country?

    September 13, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Name king

    All you folks waiting on repugs promised lower taxes, and deregulation, might start thinking about 2016. Lesson folks we are already saturated with businesses and having a demand crisis. Just walk out your house and go down the road counting businesses as you past them. You'll probably see more store and business than cars. Lesson the repugs say deregulate so they can expand their businesses. How much more competition can the now existing businesses afford especially when their is a demand crisis. Businesses are about to out number the citizen of America, and I'm not even talking about the Internet where you can shop all over the world with a click of a button. We are saturated with businesses, America need demand. The only way this can happen is to allow government rebuild our infrastructure, because no businesses man in their right mind will invest in an over saturated economy with not enough consumers to support the current businesses. This will be suicide. The only way to get demand power is to allow the government to take the first leap because they've got the least to lose. Then corporations will come running because the people have spending money from their jobs.

    September 13, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. maf

    "Hope springs eternal"???? What a maroon! Boehner, McConnell and Cantor, Larry, Curly and Moe! Keep painting yourselves into a corner. A one-dimensional platform of "Cut Spending" is a one-way ticket out of power, and maybe out of a party. The Party of NOTHING. . . nothing to offer, nothing to compromise, nothing for alternatives, nothing but obstruction, nothing but miscommunication, nothing NEW!

    Hope you have your resumes ready, you are going to need them after the 2012 election. It is going to be difficult to find work in the economy you were dead set on ruining! Good Luck!

    September 13, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Ed

    Cherry picking you shouldn't have items in there you know will not pass.

    Obama wants us to give him another blank check since the last one we gave him created so many jobs.

    Get right down Obama does lie and that's a fact.

    Put the Kool Aid down and wake up America before we are to far gone to fix.

    September 13, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. QS

    At this point I'd be content if republicans would simply be honest enough to admit that they have no ideas of their own, and their only goal is to run the economy and country into the ground just long enough to try to gain back control of the government...from there, they intend to dismantle all progress made in this country over the past 100 years or so!

    I hope the rational American people show up on election day!

    September 13, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  14. Ron

    Time for Obama to start saying "NO" to rethugs

    September 13, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. MalcomG

    Is it or is it that the Republicans or only interested in keeping their money in their pockets. I personally don't think that tax increases on the middle class will help the economy, it will just make them more cautious on what they are buying and put us back into a reccesion. spend the money on jobs and education, that is what made this country, and that is what will keep it as number 1.

    September 13, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. Citizen Twain

    Obama's jobs bill is another scam. It will only put money in the pockets of corporations and will do nothing for the American worker. Here's a thought, lower my taxes so I can bring enough money home to live on. If you do have a job in this country they are going to tax you to death.

    September 13, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Sylvia Saint

    America's Democrats, Independents & Moderate Republicans –

    Throw the entire 60 or so Tea Party members out of the House of Representatives in 2012. Throw out any Republican that has been unwilling to compromise with President Obama. That's the ONLY way we are going to move this country forward. Give the President a fillibuster and obstructionist proof Congress in 2012 and 2014.

    Then, if by 2016, the Democrats haven't fixed the 8 years of Bush's mess, throw them out of office. But this divided government stuff doesn't work when one side, and you know which one, refuses to work across the aisle.

    On those things where President Obama doesn't have to work around the Obstructionist Congress, like our foriegn policy and military affairs, we are all pretty well satisfied with his choices, his decisions, and his performance. Bin Laden dead, Moammar chased from power, Iraq war winding down, significant troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan, 100's of al Queda and Taliban terrorists "DRONED".

    If we remove the impediment of the Obstructionist Congress on the economy, Mr. Obama can get things moving there too. It's not too hard to see the cause & effect that the Party of NO is having.

    September 13, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Gregg

    Same old crap.
    Nothing will get done.

    I am totally embarassed to be an American. We tout how "great" our country is and how "great" democracy is and we are running this country into the ground. Our very leaders are screwing us and smiling all the way to the bank.


    September 13, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Jeetu

    This is the same old story being told by the republicans in Congress: no forward thinking and no wideningof their vision. Clearly, these republicans are thinking of the elections which are 14 months away and not about the Americans who are hurting today. These Americans cannot wait for 14 months. Mr. Cantor and the speaker of the speaker of the house have no desire to help the 14 million people who are unemployed and do not have means to live any hope of help.

    On the top of that I just received a call from Congressman Mo Brooks to jpin him live in a TV townhall. What a gimmick? You want to help, do something for the people now who are hurting even if it costs a little more for your rich friends. They can afford it while others can't. Think what would you do if your life depending on those proposals made by the President. For more than 14 million Americans, it does.

    September 13, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Reg

    They can worry all they want but we are done with the open checkbook. Obama has gotten everything he wanted in the $850B stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd- Frank and assorted other bad legislation that has done nothing. He had two years of the blank check without reading legislation and those days are over or as his pastor says, "the chickens have come home to roost".

    September 13, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    PROVEN FACT: Cutting taxes for the rich corporations and individuals DOES NOT result in job creation here in the US (it does result in job creation overseas).

    We cannot cut our way out of this financial mess the Repubs created; we have a real need for infrastructure build and repair; those who can most afford to need to pitch in and pay their fair share.

    President Obama's plan JUST MAKES SENSE.

    September 13, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    If cutting taxes creates jobs here in the US, then why after 10 years of doing just that, we haven't seen job growth (except those created by the Stimulus bill)?

    September 13, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. annette

    here we go again. round two. first the repubs threatened govt shutdown and now they are holding the jobs bill hostage because of tax increases they don't like. what about the people that are struggling? i thought before the obama jobs speech the repubs were ready to meet half way. i guess that was a LIE.

    September 13, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    There is no way, another stimulus package is going to be approved. No way!

    September 13, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Billie

    GOP: "Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts." Cut off America's nose to spite its face. Why, like Dem. Warren Buffett, can't the rich step up and assume more of their fair share of taxation? After all, they got rich in America (except for outsourcing jobs!!!), so why not say thank you via more revenue?

    September 13, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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