A group of six Democratic and one Republican mayor endured the rain outside the White House today to urge lawmakers to pass the president’s $447 billion jobs plan.
”That’s why they call it the American Jobs Act,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters. “They need to take action. They need to do something. It’s not the American Jobs Talk. It’s not the American Jobs Debate. It’s not the American Jobs Jerk Around. It’s the American Jobs Act.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “Eighty-nine percent of the GDP of the nation is in our cities; 94 percent of the new jobs that’ll be created will be created in our cities. And so we think it’s important, at a time here in Washington when those in the Beltway bubble don’t seem to be listening — we think it’s important that we hear from America’s cities about the American Jobs Act, about job number one being the job of creating jobs and careers for people going into the future.”
The seven mayors were particularly supportive of the president’s proposal to fund infrastructure repairs around the country. “The unattended maintenance on our interstate highways and our bridges and our railroads and our water systems and our airports is unimaginable,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, the lone Republican in the group.
While the president threw down the political gauntlet on Monday and vowed to veto any deficit-reduction plan that cuts entitlement programs but does not include tax increases on the wealthy, the mayors insisted that the debate has been political from the start.
“I don’t think it got any more political than it has [been]… The fact is, the idea that people are putting partisanship and party before country resonates with most of the people in California and, I think, most of the people around the country. People want us to work together,” Villaraigosa said.
The mayors met at the White House today with Senior Adviser David Plouffe and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.