Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shame on you, Republicans, for blocking Jobs Act!!!


Republican Senators should be ashamed of themselves for blocking President Barack Obama's American Jobs Act. The President has taken relentless criticism for not creating enough jobs. He has been unfairly blamed for the economic downturn while the real culprits on Wall Street get away with causing a Great Recession that caused untold suffering.

Yesterday, forty-six Republicans joined with two Democrats - Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana - to filibuster the $447 billion plan, denying efforts to begin formal debate on the legislation even though a majority of the 100-member Senate had already voted to advance the bill in a 50-49 vote  Support for the American Jobs Act, however, was well short of the 60 votes required to keep it alive.

At about 7 p.m., the vote tally was 50 to 48, giving Republicans more than the 40 votes needed to filibuster the bill. Voting remained open for another few hours to permit one more senator -- Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire -- to return to Washington to cast a vote in favour of the legislation. With Shaheen's vote, President Obama can at least claim a symbolic victory with a simple majority voting in favour of his legislation.  The tally had been 51-48, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, switched his vote to “nay” for technical reasons so that he could force a future revote.

How could Republicans (and two Democrats) do this?  How could they turn down a plan that would put people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans - without adding a dollar to the deficit.  It's unconscionable.  In the state of California alone, The American Jobs Act (according to its website) would save or create 125,400 jobs, including 51,500 jobs building roads, highways, bridges and mass-transit.  It would prevent the  layoffs of California teachers, police and firefighters and it would created thousands of jobs repairing the state's dilapidated schools.

I'm a Canadian, but I'm outraged! Republicans can't have it both ways. They can't criticize Obama for his record on unemployment and then prevent him from acting on the problem by blocking his Jobs Act. It seems as if Republicans would rather have a failing economy and allow millions of jobless people to suffer provided they can blame it on Barack Obama and make him a one-term president. Their goal it to put a Republican in the White House, not to alleviate the pain and poverty of their fellow Americans. Sadly, they value partisanship above all else. 

The American people support Barack Obama's job proposals.  To see what the people think, click this link and check out a September Gallup Poll.

- Joanne

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