Senate and House in a Blame Game Over Stalled Jobs Legislation

Nov 3, 2011 5:04pm

With President Obama holding events across the country highlighting Congress’ inability to pass even pieces of his jobs bill, there is a war over words going on right now between Democrats and Republicans, and the  House and the Senate, over who should shoulder the blame.

House and Senate Republicans debuted a new talking point this week, highlighting a “Forgotten 15″ – job creating bills that have passed in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives but that have not been brought up for a vote in the Senate, where Democrats have a majority.

“We’re here today to call on the president to tell [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid to bring these bills to the Senate floor so we can get Americans back to work,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told reporters today. 

Senate and House Republicans listed all 15 bills to illustrate measures intended to create jobs that the House has passed.

“I call on the Senate to start taking up these House bills,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas. “Let us have amendments, let us have debates. Maybe we’ll fail, but maybe we’ll succeed. Maybe we’ll craft bills that can actually pass and do something. The House has moved.”

Reid, D-Nev., has no plans to bring any of the House-passed bills to the Senate floor, and is focusing on the Democrats’ jobs and infrastructure bill instead.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the “Forgotten 15″ House Republican bills are just “ideological priorities dressed up as jobs solution,” that won’t solve the jobs crisis.

“What has the minority leader called for instead?” Schumer asked on the Senate floor. “He’s called for the Senate to take up a hodgepodge of bills sent over by House Republicans that even when taken together don’t do enough to tackle the jobs problem.”

Senate Democrats have been highlighting the inefficiencies of the House, mocking, as President Obama also did this week, the House using its time on legislation reaffirming the “In God We Trust” motto rather than on job creation.

“That extremely powerful Republican caucus they have [has done] nothing to create jobs,” Reid said today. “Can you imagine [that Wednesday] they voted on that, whether we wanted … to underline and underscore, ‘In God we trust’? They spent yesterday debating that issue in the House of Representatives. That didn’t create a single job. There is not a single United States senator that does not trust in God, that I know of.”

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