Senate Minority Leader called Democrats’ bluff on President Barack Obama’s jobs bill today, introducing the bill in full on the Senate floor — only for it to be blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.President Barack Obama has called on Congress to vote on the bill without delay, launching on a nationwide tour to highlight his proposals. But Democrats have had difficulty wrangling a majority for the bill, which has been declared “dead” in the House of Representatives by Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
McConnell, knowing the difficulty Reid is having keeping Democrats on board, sought to gain the political upper-hand, by giving Obama what he wanted — knowing a vote today was certain to fail. But he attached it as an amendment to the Chinese currency manipulation bill that the Obama administration opposes.
Reid said he would bring up the jobs bill later this month — promising a vote in October. “Right away is a relative term,” he said. He added that the only way Obama’s jobs bill wont pass is if Republicans won’t support it; saying the only question for some Democrats are the payfors.
Reid will change some of the new taxes in Obama’s bill to make them more palatable to Democrats before bringing it up for a vote when he is sure it can pass.
UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.:
The White House fired back at McConnell this afternoon, calling his plan to attach Obama’s jobs bill to the Chinese currency bill a “political stunt.”
“All that tells us is it was a very disingenuous attempt to draw attention away from the fact that this president is calling on members of Congress, both houses to act on jobs and the economy,” Carney said. “I would simply point out that this is coming from a senator who has on the record stated that his number one priority as the Republican leader of the Senate is not the economy, not jobs, but to defeat President Obama.”
But when asked whether Reid has indicated that he will call a vote on the jobs bill after the China bill, Carney hesitated and deferred “scheduling” questions to Reid’s office.
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