In his weekly radio address President Obama accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of filibustering the recovery and obstructing the progress our the country.
From Political Punch
President Obama accuses the Republican leadership in the Senate is filibustering the nation’s recovery and using “stalling tactics” to try to obstruct the progress of the country.
“Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress,” the president said in his weekly address.
“That has very real consequences,” he warned.
Specifically, President Obama highlighted two areas where Republicans are causing a delay: a filibuster of passing unemployment benefits, and a small business aid bill that has yet to be called for a vote in the Senate.
On the small business aid bill, Obama said the “partisan minority” is using procedural tactics to block an up-or-down vote.
“Consider what that obstruction means for our small businesses — the growth engines that create two of every three new jobs in this country,” Obama said. “A lot of small businesses still have trouble getting the loans and capital they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers.”
The bill, which passed the House last month, would create a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department to boost lending to small businesses. Under the program, community banks – the primary source of credit for small businesses – would receive incentives to use the capital provided by the fund to extend loans to these firms.
A GOP Senate aide says that the president’s description of the small business aid holdup is inaccurate. According to the aide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, moved to that bill a couple weeks ago, but pulled it down to focus on financial regulation. Reid said that the small business bill will be on the floor Monday, but that’s a no-vote day and he already announced he’ll move off of that and back to unemployment insurance on Tuesday.
On the unemployment benefits extension, the president said that three times the Senate has tried to extend temporarily the emergency assistance, and three times, “the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses said ‘no’ to folks looking for work and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.”
Addressing those who claim unemployment insurance discourages people from looking for work, President Obama said, “I haven’t met any Americans who would rather have an unemployment check than a meaningful job that lets you provide for your family.”
And to those who would argue the government should not provide unemployment insurance because it costs money, the president said, they “are wrong.”
“The fact is, most economists agree that extending unemployment insurance is one of the single most cost-effective ways to help jumpstart the economy,” he said. “It puts money into the pockets of folks who not only need it most, but who also are most likely to spend it quickly. That boosts local economies. And that means jobs.”
Every Republican except Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine has opposed the restoration and extension of the jobless benefits through Nov. 30 on the grounds that it would add tens of billions of dollars to the nation’s deficit. One Democrat – Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska – also has opposed the measure.
Nevertheless, the long-term jobless are poised to get the help they’ve been waiting for since the benefits lapsed on June 2 when Carte Goodwin, a new interim senator from West Virginia, will be sworn in, ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reported.
In his weekly address, the president calls on Congress to increase loans to small business and renew unemployment insurance, “because when storms strike Main Street, we don’t play politics with emergency aid. We don’t desert our fellow Americans when they fall on hard times.”
The fact is the Republicans have been unwilling or unable to stop most of Obama’s agenda.
While he has been stymied on issues like climate change and card check, Obama and the Democrats have managed to push through a $787 billion stimulus program that the president himself would guarantee that unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8%, health care reform ( though that was mainly the House’s doing) and now financial reform. And yet he complains that the GOP has been obstructing his agenda?
The fact of the matter is that Obama’s economic plan isn’t working and he needs someone to blame. Unemployment is still stubbornly high, the deficit is at record levels (yes let’s just spend our way out of the recession) and now financial reform is supposed to save the day.
And what about his claim also echoed by Nancy Pelosi that unemployment benefits are one of the best ways to jumpstart the economy? Well if that were the case why do we need 99 weeks worth of benefits? As far as his claim of not having met anyone who would prefer an unemployment check to a job then the president should read the Wall Street Journal artcile from a couple of weeks ago on this subject. In that article the Journal mentioned the case of a recruiting firm in California who had five $60,000 year engineering jobs they needed to fill and were told by unemployed engineers that they contacted that it the job either didn’t pay enough money or that they wanted to be called back when their unemployment benefits ran out.
Sorry Mr. President but there are plenty of people out there who prefer the government dole over a paycheck .
The administration should be creating incentives for business to hire people but has chosen instead to increase regulations and taxes or spend taxpayer money on short term do nothing jobs that in the long run discourages job creation.
The President has said that he expects to be held accountable for the unemployment problem. Well now is the time and rather than blaming his policies he has reverted to the blame Bush or blame the GOP mantra.
If Obama thinks this strategy works then so be it, but his arrogance will surely cost his party dearly in November and then what does he do?
Now comes Veep Joe Biden who said today that the stimulus was too small and that Americans don’t understand how successful the administration has been so far.
From the Politico
Seeming to echo a line of criticism usually voiced by Republicans, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that most Americans and even many experts “don’t even know” what’s inside the White House’s signature legislative accomplishments.
Biden said that lack of understanding was “because of all the advertising done” by opponents of those bills.
Asked by ABC’s “This Week” host Jake Tapper in an interview aired Sunday if the administration “is getting enough credit” for the Wall St. bill, the health care bill, and the economic Recovery Act in light of polls showing the majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, Biden said: “The vast majority of the American people and a lot of people really involved don’t even know what’s inside the packages.”
“People don’t know a lot of what’s going on in The Recovery Act,” Biden said, ”understandably, because this has been so much stuff that has been flowing our way.”
Despite those polls, Biden said, the country is moving in the right direction, saying of Americans who disagree “nor could they or should they” understand that, given the 6.7 million jobs lost in the last six months of the Bush administration and the first six months of the Obama administration.
Pointing to jobs growth in recent months, he added that when the “country is in trouble, all [people] want to know is… that we’re moving in the right direction.”
“But they don’t think that we are, “ Tapper replied.
“No. No, they don’t think now because I don’t think they know the detail of what’s going on,” said Biden, who said “the health care numbers are going up” now “because they’re figuring out that small businesses are going to get a 30 percent tax cut. They didn’t know that because of all the advertising done.“
Detailing what he called “the summer of recovery,” Biden said, “We have two, three times as many highway projects going. We have significant investment in broadband for the first time now. It’s starting to really ramp up [with contracts] in high speed rail, in wind energy.
“This is a hard slog, man,” Biden said. “And it’s counter-intuitive. It’s counter-intuitive to say someone sitting at a kitchen table in Claymont, Del., who lost their jobs — by the way, we saved or created three million jobs and they pick up when we lost three million.”
Biden may need to explain to the president exactly what the administration has accomplished legislatively so he won’t complain about the GOP blocking his agenda.
As for the claim that they wanted a bigger stimulus the administration should be thankful that it wasn’t any larger based on the fact that it didn’t reduce unemployment or make a dent in the recession.
The more they talk the deeper the hole they dig.