As President Obama sends his $447 billion jobs legislation to Capitol Hill today and calls on Congress to immediately pass his bill, Republicans are dismissing the president’s “all or nothing” approach, and insist that the measure be a product of both parties’ proposals.
“I do not think that the president’s all or nothing approach is something that is constructive. We have good ideas and he has some ideas that we think are good. We can bring these together,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said at a briefing with reporters this afternoon. “For the President to sit here and say pass my bill, all or nothing, it is just not the way things are done anywhere, much less in Washington.”
Earlier Monday, House Speaker John Boehner requested that the CBO score Obama’s “American Jobs Act” legislation immediately, but flatly rejected the 155-page legislation on its own, emphasizing that Republicans have “a different vision for what is needed” and suggests the GOP will move forward on “alternative measures that may more effectively support private-sector job creation” to combine into a final legislative vehicle that incorporates only some of the president’s proposals.
“It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties and help put Americans back to work,” Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote in a statement. “In the meantime, the House will continue its work to remove government barriers to private-sector job creation, and we will continue to call on our colleagues in the Democratic-led Senate to take action on the numerous job creation bills passed by the House that await consideration in their chamber.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the president “has done his part” and urged Congress to “take up and pass this legislation without further delay.”
“Our nation’s families, workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, police officers, firefighters and veterans must not and cannot wait any longer; they cannot afford political gamesmanship,” Pelosi, D-Calif., stated. “Democrats are prepared to act now on the American Jobs Act, which is fully paid for. Republicans must join us to address the American people’s top priority: job creation.”
This afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Chair director Jack Lew outlined $467 billion in savings to pay for the American Jobs Act through a series of tax policy changes.
Cantor said he hoped that Obama does not suggest that Congress pay for his proposals with “a massive tax increase at the end of 2012 on job creators that we’re actually counting on to reduce unemployment” and said the GOP was also opposed to new stimulus spending.
“Over half, I think, of the total dollar amount [of the president's legislation] is so-called stimulus spending,” Cantor said. “We’ve been there, done that. The country cannot afford more spending like the stimulus bill. It didn’t produce the promised results and we can do better.”