Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma told The Daily Caller on Friday that no House Democrat wants to put his or her name behind President Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan, a necessary step before the legislation can be introduced for consideration.
He also claimed the bill would not lower the current 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
“The focus right now from him [Obama] is ‘pass my whole bill, pass my whole bill,’ [and] some of the struggle with that is no Democrat in the House has even taken his bill and filed it yet. So we can’t even pass the bill because no one wants to put their name on it and say, ‘this is my bill’ and file it in the House,” said Lankford in a September 23 interview at the U.S. Capitol.
The White House predicted that Obama’s $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed into law in February 2009, would prevent the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that AARA will ultimately cost taxpayers $821 billion.
TheDC asked Lankford, a member of the Budget, Transportation & Infrastructure, and Oversight & Government Reform committees, if he thought Obama’s newest plan would lower the unemployment rate.
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“I do not and I’ll tell you, I’m very glad we’re talking about it as the President, the House and the Senate. We need to be focused on the economic issues, but if a trillion dollars did not solve the economic issues two years ago, throwing a half a trillion dollars at it now is not going to solve the economic issues. It’s the same stuff. It’s the same type of plan.” (RELATED: Cain doubles down: Obama a ‘liar’)
Obama unveiled his jobs plan in a speech to a joint session of Congress on September 8. The bill consists of an extension of the current payroll tax cut, infrastructure spending, and tax credits to companies that hire workers who have been unemployed for six months or more.
A follow-up to this report can be read here