Obama aides hear jobs bill concerns from Senate Democrats
September 15th, 2011
06:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama aides hear jobs bill concerns from Senate Democrats

Washington (CNN) Senate Democrats huddled with top Obama administration officials in the Capitol Thursday to pore through the details of the president’s jobs bill and figure out the best way to pass it through the chamber.

Most senators departing the 90-minute meeting with White House aides Gene Sperling, David Plouffe and others said they support the $447 billion proposal, which is designed to boost employment. However, some expressed concerns about the price tag of the bill and the president’s plan to raise some taxes to cover the costs.

“It was informative and we’re on the same page, we’re on the same team,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a Democratic leader. “People brought up their concerns, which people always have, but it was a great meeting and I think it showed that we’re unified.”

“Not surprisingly, the people who are from oil producing states are not wild about the elimination of the oil subsidy,” as a way to pay for the bill, said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the number two Democrat. “We’re not going to get 100 percent of our caucus but believe me, if it were up to the Democrats to pass the president’s plan, it will pass.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said she won’t vote for the it unless she’s convinced it will help employment in her economically hard-hit state.

“We have the highest unemployment. We have the most people. We have the biggest problems in terms of state and local cuts. So, I need some specificity,” she said.

Senate leaders are still finalizing plans for how and when to put the legislation on the floor. Some people want to move it in one package and force Republicans to try to defeat it. Others prefer to break it up, raising the possibility that at least some of it will become law.

"We’ve had a lot of discussions about what we want to put up,” said Schumer. “There’s the president’s bill and then there are lots of other proposals that senate members have.”

“All of that will be determined,” he added. “There certainly will be a vote on the president’s plan.
Nearly all the Democrats complained that Republicans were dragging out floor fights on FEMA, FAA, and highway funding and preventing the Senate from turning to the jobs legislation.

"There isn’t anybody in the administration who doesn’t understand the importance of moving the jobs bill,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, “The question is can you get it through the muck and mire.”
Schumer promised that once the senate gets back from its recess in October and for the next several months, “we’ll be focused on jobs.”

Filed under: Jobs • President Obama • Senate Democrats
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Senate leaders are still finalizing plans for how and when to put the legislation on the floor. Some people want to move it in one package and force Republicans to try to defeat it.
    This is clearly Obama's preference. This is not about jobs. It never was. It is a political game. Obama's specialty.

    In any event, if they try and move it as one big bill certainly the Republicans will continue listening to their supporters and defeat it. Republicans know how to govern for steady reliable growth and strong growth. It does not include throwing debt at expensive short-term projects and extending unemployment into perpetuity. Maybe Obama will make America wait until the Republican Administration starting in 2013 for any jobs progress. That's what this bill suggests.

    September 15, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Name king

    Hear we go again, dems are terrified to help out America again because of the shellacking the people gave them last election. Hey Iwould be weary too because the repugs seems to have the ability to convince these people that the name theyve had from birth is wrong.

    September 15, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Just pass the bill. Stop playing obstructionists, as republicans already do that so well.

    September 15, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Absolutely Team Obama

    I believe companies are not hiring on purpose to spitefully refuse the fact that we elected a black President. Obama is doing everything he can to make the economy move forward, but I just believe there is some quiet oath among repugs that said layoff, fired, and don't hire any black people until we get Obama out. (something similiar to the tax pledge not to raise taxes) This will surely make him a one term pesident. Well I'm hear to tell you the devil is liar and they're secret devilment will not prevail.

    September 15, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Chuck.

    The speaker of the house needs to STOP talking and do something. In all this time he and the republican party has been an OBSTRUCTIONIST, blocking ever atempt the Democrats have made to make this economy grow. It is the REPUBLICAN PARTY that is responsible for the economic mess the WHOLE WORLD is in now. If they want to honor the spirit of the men and women who have fought and died for justice and freedom in America, they need to take responsibilty for their actions over the past DECADE or more and think about working together with the President and the Democratic party to resolve the job crisis.

    September 15, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Makayla

    I think this is a great idea i hope it works and if it does millions of people around the US will get their jobs back. so lets cross our fingers and hope for the best!!!!

    September 15, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    I would like to remind President Obama and all the Democratic Representatives and Senators that a majority of Americans voted for President Obama's policies in 2008. Getting the American Jobs Act passed in its entirety should be your goal – without compromise.

    I'm tired of Democrats accommodating the Repubs, when that is NOT the will of the American people. It's time to lead this country away from all the failed Republican policies and into a future where the average American has a fighting chance and our country will prosper.

    Democrats and Independents are counting on YOU to get this bill passed. We all know that Republicans will always say No to everything you try to do, will always criticize and slam and hope for your failure. Time to just leave them all by the side of the road where they belong and DO WHAT IS RIGHT for our country.


    September 15, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. d

    Pass it complete do not remove anything...

    September 15, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Blame Will Not Work

    Republicans don't even need oppose this Another Obambi Stimulus.....because all Dems who want to run for office will oppose it themselves....of course all we need do as a nation is listen to Rudy NYC....he has ALL the answers, you know, like where Elvis is, when lil green men will enter our athmosphere,......he figures it all out while standing in the many Welfare lines & while cashing his Government check........ask him!
    This nation's unemployment can be ended overnight by cutting off un employment payments along with Food Stamps & Welfare......it worked when Republicans forced Clinton to do the same.....and guess what? NO one went hungry, NO one died, NO one did without.....what 84 million people did, was they went to......Most Feared Word to Democrats.....WORK!

    September 15, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. jack johnson

    now even the democrat Feinstein is trying to hold the country hostage if she doesn't get something for Calif. They ran the jobs away with their emision laws

    September 15, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. TEA PARTY Mike

    So Obama's wonderful plan is even a tough sell for Senate Democrats. Does not matter though. Polls are showing a majority of voters are not buying it. House Republicans are not going to pass Obama's plan, not going to happen. And voters won't blame them for not passing a bill they don't want. There is a good chance a bill will be passed. There is zero chance that it will be the bill Obama sent to Congress.

    September 15, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Obama is trying to make sure that he can get input to make sure that this can pass. He is also trying calm concerns from the Democrats. It is too bad that the House Republicans can't get behind Obama for the good of the country.

    September 15, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    ►“Not surprisingly, the people who are from oil producing states are not wild about the elimination of the oil subsidy,”

    OMG – I cannot believe what I am hearing. If the Democrats belly up and cave in on this issue – they will deserve the HOUSE and the SENATE being ALL Republican in 2012!!!! We have NOTHING in the Senate or the House fighting for us and representing the REAL people of America!!! It's a shame how no matter how hard you try in LIFE – if you are middle class, you get kicked in the teeth from ALL angles!!!! Jeez!!

    September 15, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. Josh

    We need more than a half measure. Spending money on a stimulus plan is never a good idea, but this is bad and getting worse. The first stimulus plan cannot, by any reasonable measure, be said to have created even one job. So, Stim1: zero jobs. Now we're going to spend half as much money to do the same thing? Stim2: half of zero jobs is still zero. Here's an idea:

    Let's go big. A one year moratorium on taxes and fees collected by the federal government. Cost: $2.4 trillion. Now, before the libs panic, that doesn't hurt firefighters and teachers, or anyone else. That's just two and a half trillion dollars that the government doesn't take away from us so it can give it back to us. Skip that step, and just declare a tax holiday for every man, woman, child, and corporation in the country. While we're at it, let all corporations bring profits back free from federal taxes.

    Analysis – $2.4 trillion STAYS IN THE ECONOMY and certainty of no taxation will cause an economic expansion that will pay for this stimulus (StimX) in the year immediately following it, not to mention instantly creating full employment as about $2 trillion offshore dives back into our economy. Imagine! 44 could take credit for a $4.5 trillion dollar stimulus and get re-elected! But he won't do it.

    Clouded by ideology, he is. Blinded by hatred for anyone who has anything or made anything. Covet thy neighbor. Hate those who have what you don't have. Hate them and then take it from them.

    September 15, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. J.V.hodgson

    It would be a big mistake to divide this package up. It is a comprehensive plan that does not work in isolation. Dividing it up will lead to cherry picking what republicans want. I say force if they dare to vote it down and then challeng them to put thie Real AJA on the table not the current two pager lunacy on the House floor.
    That bit of play acting takes a 13 % rating down to 10%
    The AJA is not a funny piece of legislation to ignore and unemployment is not funny so get real please all sides. Fed up of the Republican sideswiping anything Dems put forward and coming up with nothing that works in return.
    I hear an awful lot more people saying give his Legislation a chance rather than oppose it ideologically... and let the Gang of 12 propose longer term tax reform after they have done with debt matters..
    Now thats in the interests of the American people as awhole which is why Republicans will not let it happen harder for them to win in 2012, they believe.

    September 16, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  16. A Democrat in North Carolina

    Democrats are just scared of th Republicans the Repubs are really good at demonizing that it just scares the heck out of democrats. My message to Dems is dont be scared if you do whats right by putting people first you will get re-elected.

    September 16, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  17. A Democrat in North Carolina

    Besides i thought the focus was on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. I thought so , now we see who is on our side Not Congress!

    September 16, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  18. CNN WHERE IS TEXAS MIRACLE RICK PERRY "JOBS PLAN" to turn America into Texas?

    Dear, President Obama. Don't listen to "Chicken Democrats". The public ask you to go big and bold on your "jobs plan" and sell it like he11! It's working people are listening and now just closed the deal. Do what ever it take, even running over "Chicken Democrats" that's in the road. Mr. President just take Medicare off the table also or only agree to negotiate drug prices like the VA. We want a strong Democrats, not weak Republicans lite.

    Speaker Boehner said, I quote "no tax increase from the Super Committee". The S&P downgrade the economy because GOP brinkmanship and the lack of tax increase to offset the deficit. So, what the he11 is slouch mouth Boehner talking about. CNN go check that fool.

    September 16, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  19. Jerry

    Hey good news!!! Democrats are still alive! It's about time some Democrats with "bolas" told this clueless/mindless, lying, full-time campaigner, and pandering president to do the right thing, instead of trying to destroy America. Just like Michelle NObama said once about America, I am starting to, again, feel proud of my Democratic party.

    Now, do we have the "bolas" to be consistent!?

    September 16, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  20. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Lets see if the GOBP cares more about the country than their party. Caring for the greedy and not the needy will make them unelectable.

    September 16, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |