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Obama dares Republicans to block his coming jobs package

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM
  • 15 Replies

The president, visiting the Midwest, pledges to send Congress a plan in September and challenges Republicans to block it. Not all Democrats are comfortable with his hard-line stance.

  • President Obama, visiting Decorah, Iowa, as part of his Midwest bus tour, hugs a woman who told him it was her birthday.
President Obama, visiting Decorah, Iowa, as part of his Midwest bus tour,… (Jason Reed / Reuters)
August 16, 2011|By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau

After pledging to send a job-creation package to Congress next month and daring Republicans to block it, President Obama offered few specifics Tuesday about the form the plan might take as he stuck to a broad outline of how to improve the economy.

On the second day of Obama's three-day bus tour of the upper Midwest, the president worked off the blueprint he had used the day before, offering proposals such as extending a payroll tax cut, spending money to repair roads and bridges, and ratifying pending trade agreements.


And he continued to hammer away at Republicans in Congress, suggesting they stand in the way of economic growth, even as some Democrats expressed discomfort with what they saw as a potentially divisive stance.

"We could do even more if Congress is willing to get in the game," Obama said to a gathering of small-business owners, community leaders and rural development experts at a small college in Peosta, Iowa.

"There are bipartisan ideas — common-sense ideas — that have traditionally been supported by Democrats and Republicans that will put more money in your pockets, that will put our people to work, that will allow us to deal with the legacy of debt that hangs over our economy," he said.

Republicans pushed back by escalating their criticism of Obama's trip, calling it nothing more than a glorified campaign swing at taxpayer expense.

"This week taxpayers made a donation to the Obama reelection campaign. No matter what the president says, his Midwest bus tour is nothing but a campaign trip," said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. "He's talking about campaigning against Congress and doling out talking points, not policy plans."

Congressional Democrats and former administration officials gave a mixed review of Obama's declaration. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) welcomed the president's feistier tone.

"I heard more of that approach yesterday than I've heard in a while, and I think it's very important," she said in an interview. "He needs to say now, 'I've tried it your way, and now we have to create an aggressive approach to creating jobs.' "

But one Senate Democrat, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the White House, was troubled by the president's gambit.

Voters are tired of the partisan back-and-forth and it would be a mistake for Obama to present Congress with a large-scale, high-stakes jobs bill and challenge them to pass it, the senator said. A more sensible approach would be for Obama to roll out a series of smaller proposals, the senator said, adding that the public "has very little patience for anything that looks like you're beating up on the other side."

Jared Bernstein, a former economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, said it was futile for Obama to try to accommodate Republicans determined to block the White House agenda. "If the president frames his jobs agenda based on what Republicans will accept, I don't think he's going to end up with much," he said. "He has to prescribe what he and his team believes the country needs and fight for it."

White House spokesman Jay Carney wouldn't comment on the shape or the scope of the plan or say whether it would take the form of legislation.


But Carney reiterated the president's threat that if Congress failed to act, Obama would not hesitate to leverage that failure politically.

"If they don't do it," Carney said, "he will take his arguments to the American people."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans were waiting to act on pending trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, but he complained that the White House hadn't sent them to Capitol Hill.

Carney said the administration was working with Senate leaders on an agreement for submitting the treaties for ratification.

Obama didn't spend his entire day in Iowa talking economic policy. He stopped at a high school in Maquoketa and visited a volleyball practice, bought ice cream cones for his aides in DeWitt and shopped at an antique store in LeClaire.

The president will wrap up his tour Wednesday with two town hall events in Illinois before he returns to Washington.








"If we ever learn to convert hypocrisy into energy, the world will finally have a use for Conservatives."



by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Partyof5tlc
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM

This is the main problem with our country right now.  Political division within the system.  Really "dare" the republicans. Come on we are about to be bankrupt as a country, we have some of the highest unemployment rates seen in a very long time, foreclosures galore, people living right here in America in tent cities.  We owe China 11.9 trillion dollars, and Obama is going to dare republicans.  How is he planning on creating more jobs?  How much are those jobs going to pay, minimum wage?  No one can live off of that.  This president is a joke, and I hope we can contain him until our next president is elected! 

Aislinn
by Silver Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:47 AM


Quoting Partyof5tlc:

This is the main problem with our country right now.  Political division within the system.  Really "dare" the republicans. Come on we are about to be bankrupt as a country, we have some of the highest unemployment rates seen in a very long time, foreclosures galore, people living right here in America in tent cities.  We owe China 11.9 trillion dollars, and Obama is going to dare republicans.  How is he planning on creating more jobs?  How much are those jobs going to pay, minimum wage?  No one can live off of that.  This president is a joke, and I hope we can contain him until our next president is elected! 

 What? You are not liking the "Hope and Change"? Barry was supposed to be the "Great Uniter". This country has never been as divided as it is, right now. And that is saying a lot since I thought old GW was the ultimate "divider".. Man, was I wrong. :(

candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:49 AM

he also promised to be the most transparent President ever, that is why everything is done behind closed doors and we only find out about it after the fact.

Quoting Aislinn:


Quoting Partyof5tlc:

This is the main problem with our country right now.  Political division within the system.  Really "dare" the republicans. Come on we are about to be bankrupt as a country, we have some of the highest unemployment rates seen in a very long time, foreclosures galore, people living right here in America in tent cities.  We owe China 11.9 trillion dollars, and Obama is going to dare republicans.  How is he planning on creating more jobs?  How much are those jobs going to pay, minimum wage?  No one can live off of that.  This president is a joke, and I hope we can contain him until our next president is elected! 

 What? You are not liking the "Hope and Change"? Barry was supposed to be the "Great Uniter". This country has never been as divided as it is, right now. And that is saying a lot since I thought old GW was the ultimate "divider".. Man, was I wrong. :(


candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:50 AM

actually it would probably be better for the country if he stayed on Martha's Vineyard for about a year or so.

Quoting Partyof5tlc:

This is the main problem with our country right now.  Political division within the system.  Really "dare" the republicans. Come on we are about to be bankrupt as a country, we have some of the highest unemployment rates seen in a very long time, foreclosures galore, people living right here in America in tent cities.  We owe China 11.9 trillion dollars, and Obama is going to dare republicans.  How is he planning on creating more jobs?  How much are those jobs going to pay, minimum wage?  No one can live off of that.  This president is a joke, and I hope we can contain him until our next president is elected! 


Partyof5tlc
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:52 AM

LOL!  You mean Desperation & 4 more years of the SOS!  Me no likie!

Partyof5tlc
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I agree, but let's send him to Harlem or some other place, so he can get a taste of reality!  Martha's Vineyard is to nice!  And no offense to anyone that lives in Harlem.

teddysmom08
by Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM


Quoting Partyof5tlc:

I agree, but let's send him to Harlem or some other place, so he can get a taste of reality!  Martha's Vineyard is to nice!  And no offense to anyone that lives in Harlem.


Send him back to Chicago!

.Bubbles.
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Wait wait wait.  First the man is ridiculed for trying to hard to please everyone.  Showing lack of leadership.  Now he is finally fed up with the bs in congress and he is still the bad guy. Come on!  I am not a die hard Obama supporter but I recongnize a damned if you do damned if you don't situation.  The Republicans have admitted they want the man to fail.  Look at the idiocy that went on when the debt ceiling needed raised.  Even McCain said the Tea Party members were crazy to be behaving the way they were.  If I had a job to do and every time I tried to do it someone was trying to say I was born in another country or they will refuse any proposal I make just to make me look bad I would get pretty fed up too.

BleedinHeartMom
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Just from the replies in this thread show they want america to fail...... maybe they need to find a communist country where they can be stuck with the same joker from birth to death..Theres a lot Obama has done Im not happy with..but what the other side is offering is something you get from an asylum

Quoting .Bubbles.:

Wait wait wait.  First the man is ridiculed for trying to hard to please everyone.  Showing lack of leadership.  Now he is finally fed up with the bs in congress and he is still the bad guy. Come on!  I am not a die hard Obama supporter but I recongnize a damned if you do damned if you don't situation.  The Republicans have admitted they want the man to fail.  Look at the idiocy that went on when the debt ceiling needed raised.  Even McCain said the Tea Party members were crazy to be behaving the way they were.  If I had a job to do and every time I tried to do it someone was trying to say I was born in another country or they will refuse any proposal I make just to make me look bad I would get pretty fed up too.

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Haha_ma
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Good.
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