PITTSBURGH – President Obama today made a final public appeal for his jobs bill ahead of tonight’s Senate vote, telling a crowd of union workers that it’s a “moment of truth for the U.S. Senate.”
“In front of them is a bill, a jobs bill, that independent economists have said would grow this economy and put people back to work,” Obama said.
Republicans have vowed to block the bill in the Democrat-controlled Senate because of the package of tax increases included to offset new spending. Some Democrats have signaled they, too, will oppose the bill.
“Today is the day when every American will find out exactly where their senator stands on this jobs bill,” Obama said.
“This is gut-check time. Any senator that votes no should have to look you in the eye and tell you what they’re opposed to,” he said, adding later, “I think they’ll have a hard time explaining why they voted no on this bill, other than that I proposed it.”
Obama rattled off a familiar litany of talking points, stressing the importance of his plan for boosting employment of construction workers, teachers and first responders — objectives he says have received bipartisan support in the past.
He also asserted that his plan would not increase the nation’s debt or deficit because it is financed by raising taxes on wealthier Americans.
“It’s a matter of priorities, it’s a matter of sacrifice,” he said. “The question we have to ask ourselves as a society, as a country, is, would you rather keep taxes exactly as they are for those of us who benefited most from this country — tax breaks that we don’t need and weren’t even asking for — or do we want construction workers and electrical workers to have jobs rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our schools?”