If anyone thought President Obama’s jobs bill was going to slide through the Senate before hitting trouble in the House, they were wrong. The Senate Tuesday couldn’t get enough support even for a debate.
With 60 votes needed to open debate, the measure received 50.
From The Hill:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, supported (Harry) Reid’s bid to begin debate on Obama’s jobs package but voiced misgivings over its substance.
“The bottom line here is that I don’t believe the potential in this act for creating jobs justifies adding another $500 billion to our almost $15 trillion national debt,” Lieberman said.
“In fact, I think the most important thing we can do to improve our economy, reduce unemployment [and] create jobs is to bring our national debt under control.”
Lieberman endorsed the deficit-reduction plan crafted by the fiscal commission headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. He said he would vote against Obama’s jobs package as a whole if it came to a yes-or-no vote.
Senior White House officials said Tuesday they would work with Senate Democrats to divide the bill into pieces that would be more likely to pass.
Senator Mark Udall released this statement after the vote:
“President Obama’s proposal included reasonable ideas from both sides of the aisle to get Americans back to work and solidify our economic recovery. And it deserved to be taken seriously. I hoped that my colleagues in the Senate would listen to our constituents and come together to work out our differences. I’m disappointed they dismissed the proposal out of hand without even discussing its merits. We owed it to the American people to give the details in the proposal real reflection and open debate, not an ill-considered death by Senate rules.
“There were parts of the president’s proposal with which I didn’t personally agree, but I voted to consider the bill because our economy needs solutions, not partisan games. My office received an overwhelming number of telephone calls, emails and social media messages asking me to bridge the partisan divide for Coloradans who are struggling to find jobs. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues on any plan that creates jobs and gets our economy back on track.”
Before the vote, Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio said this:
“Republicans campaigned on jobs last year, but we have yet to see any comprehensive plan from the GOP to put Americans back to work. Their inaction has gone on for too long, and today they can finally contribute to the effort to put Americans back to work. Coloradans looking for work can’t wait any longer.”