Despite a campaign-style push this week by President Barack Obama, the Senate on Thursday scuttled pared-back jobs legislation aimed at helping state and local governments avoid layoffs of teachers and firefighters.Indeed, it's a poor acting job.
Obama's three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia — states crucial to his re-election race next year — didn't change any minds among Senate Republicans, who killed Obama's latest jobs measure with delaying tactics just as they killed his broader $447 billion jobs plan last week.
Thursday's $35 billion measure combined $30 billion for state and local governments to hire teachers and other school workers with $5 billion to help pay the salaries of police officers, firefighters and other first responders. The White House says the measure would "support" almost 400,000 education jobs for one year. Republicans call that a temporary "sugar high" for the economy.
Despite the negative vote, Obama and his Democratic allies are acting like they've found a winning issue in repeatedly pressing popular ideas such as infrastructure spending and boosting hiring of police officers and firefighters. The sluggish economy and lower tax revenues have caused many teachers' jobs to be cut over the past several years.
According to the AP-GfK poll, Obama's party has lost the faith of the public on handling the economy. In the new poll, only 38 percent said they trust Democrats to do a better job than Republicans in handling the economy, the first time Democrats have fallen below 40 percent in the poll. Some 43 percent trust the Republicans more.They can campaign on this all they want, but it's not going to pass. The free ride is over.
If he wants to pay for any more of his boondoggles, pay for it from this risky scheme.