In six speeches during the course of seven days, President Obama has hammered home his call for Congress to act on his $447 billion jobs plan, saying some version of the phrase “pass this bill” more than 100 times.
The president repeated the rallying cry 18 times in his speech to Congress, another 18 times at his stop in Richmond, Va., 12 times in his Rose Garden address, 18 times in Columbus, Ohio., 24 times in Raleigh, N.C., and 12 times at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala in Washington, D.C., for a grand total of (drum roll, please) 102.
But are Congress and the American people getting the message?
Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to oppose the president’s plan to pay for his $447 billion bill through a series of tax increases. House Speaker John Boehner will unveil today an alternative path to create jobs, focusing on tax reform by broadening the base of the tax structure without raising taxes.
Despite Obama’s multi-state sales pitch, Americans remain skeptical that the president’s plan can create jobs as promised. The latest Bloomberg poll found that a majority of Americans, 51 percent, do not believe Obama’s jobs bill will lower the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
Asked about the numbers Wednesday, the White House had a glass-half-full approach. “We are not done with pressing Congress and reaching out to the American people about the need to take this action and to take it now,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday. “There is no higher priority than the need to grow the economy and create jobs. We are confident that members of Congress have been hearing that from their constituents. And the president will continue to urge Americans everywhere he goes to let their voices be heard in Washington, with their representatives, about the urgent need to take action.”
The president’s attempts to rally public momentum to “pass this bill” are also falling flat. Obama has repeatedly called on Americans to call, tweet, fax and even carrier pigeon a message to Congress, but in-boxes on Capitol Hill have yet to overflow with messages from constituents urging them to act.