Commentary Magazine


Who Blocked Obama’s Jobs Bill?

Memo to Obama and the media: the Senate is controlled by Democrats. Which is why it’s curious that headlines like “Senate Republicans Block Obama’s Jobs Bill” continue to pop up all over the place.

This phrase first started appearing after the Senate voted against moving forward on Obama’s original jobs plan earlier this month. And it continued to spread today, after the Senate blocked the bill for teacher funding in Obama’s new piecemeal strategy.

Even if every Senate Republican votes against a bill–which they did last night–they still can’t kill it without sufficient bipartisan support. And that’s what they got from several Democrats. But Obama has to be loving the media coverage. The narrative that congressional Republicans are controlling the whole game lends itself perfectly to his campaign strategy. Here was the president’s response to the failed bill:

For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again. That’s unacceptable. We must do what’s right for the country and pass the common-sense proposals in the American Jobs Act. Every Senate Republican voted to block a bill that would help middle-class families and keep hundreds of thousands of firefighters on the job, police officers on the streets, and teachers in the classroom when our kids need them most.

Obama’s political posturing–and many of the media reports–deliberately ignores a key fact. There was no bipartisan support for his bill. But there was bipartisan opposition. If Obama’s goal was to get his legislation passed, he would concentrate on persuading the Democratic holdouts to join his side. But instead he’s focusing on attacking the minority GOP in the Senate, which should tell you all you need to know about his intentions.