Republicans continue to be their obstinate, obstructionist selves…
(Reuters) – Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a $60 billion White House proposal to repair crumbling bridges, highways and other transportation systems as President Barack Obama’s job creation agenda hit another obstacle in Congress.
All 47 Senate Republicans, one Democrat and one independent voted against a piece of Obama’s $447 billion stimulus plan that would have helped construction workers — some of the hardest hit after the housing meltdown and economic downturn. The bill needed 60 votes to advance in the 100-seat Senate.
Construction workers face a jobless rate of 13.3 percent, according to the Labor Department, far above the nationwide rate of 9.1 percent.
Obama’s jobs plan is effectively dead in Congress, but Democrats are forcing Republicans to vote on it piece by piece as both sides dig in their heels before 2012 presidential and congressional elections in which the economy is expected to be a defining issue.
“It’s more clear than ever that Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Americans from all ends of the political spectrum,” Obama, who is in France for the G20 summit, said in a statement after the bill was blocked…
The bill, co-sponsored by [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid, would have spent $50 billion to upgrade roads, airports, bridges, rail lines and transit systems. It would have also allocated $10 billion in loan funding to underwrite a financing institution, or infrastructure bank, to help pay for priority projects.
It was the second time Democrats were unable to muster the votes needed to pass a piece of the Obama administration’s jobs package. In October, Republicans rejected a $35 billion plan designed to create or maintain 400,000 jobs for teachers, firefighters and police officers.
We will never know whether anything President Obama wants to do to rescue our economy will work because the Republicans continue to block his every move. After all, they believe it will be to their advantage in next year’s election if the economy stays in the toilet. The joke, I think, will be on them. Americans are getting wise to their games. (You are, aren’t you?)