For all of President Obama’s insistence that Congress must “pass this bill now,” and Democrats’ assurances that they have the votes necessary to pass it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was in no mood to vote on the president’s jobs-creation bill Tuesday afternoon.
Reid blocked a vote on Obama’s jobs bill after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to add it as an amendment to a bill being heard on the floor. That bill was an effort to put pressure on China to allow its currency to appreciate.
McConnell said earlier that given Obama’s insistence on passing his jobs bill quickly, he wanted to put the Senate on the record.
“Twelve times the president has asked us over the last few weeks to vote on what he calls his jobs bill now,” McConnell said. “I don’t think the president is saying here he wants an extensive debate on it. I think he’s saying he wants a vote on it. And I want to disabuse him of the notion that we’re not willing to vote on it.”
An early vote on the $447 billion jobs bill would have likely ended in embarrassment for the White House. Republicans are sure to oppose it as a whole, and Senate Democrats want to take a closer look at the bill, possibly proposing alternate payment methods.
Reid called the motion a “charade” and “ridiculous on its face,” adding the Senate will have a full debate on the jobs bill later. Reid has indicated that the president’s jobs bill will be brought before the Senate sometime this month.
Almost simultaneously, the Obama campaign sent supporters an e-mail titled “They won’t even vote it.”
“President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already,” the e-mail read. “Though it’s been nearly a month since Obama laid out this plan, House Republicans haven’t acted to pass it.”