Commentary Magazine


Topic: Do Nothing Congress

Obama Mocks Boehner at Union Event

Last week, President Obama was focused on the student loan extension bill as he pursued the youth vote, and this week he’s back to talking about the transportation bill at a union event. It may be hard to keep up with the president’s ever-changing priorities, which shift depending on which demographic he needs to court at the moment, but one thing remains the same. Obama is still railing against the “Do Nothing Congress”:

Obama’s latest attack on [House Speaker John] Boehner is over construction projects, which the president says have been blocked by Republicans who have refused to take up a long-term highway bill approved in a bipartisan vote by the Senate.

The president said the stalled legislation is keeping millions of workers jobless, and is preventing necessary projects forward across the country, including in Boehner’s own district. …

On Monday, he also sought to portray Boehner as out of touch with the needs of his own district.

“I went to the Speaker’s hometown, stood under a bridge that was crumbling, everybody acknowledges it needs to be rebuilt,” Obama said. “Maybe he doesn’t drive anymore. Maybe he doesn’t notice how messed up it was … they still said no.”

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Last week, President Obama was focused on the student loan extension bill as he pursued the youth vote, and this week he’s back to talking about the transportation bill at a union event. It may be hard to keep up with the president’s ever-changing priorities, which shift depending on which demographic he needs to court at the moment, but one thing remains the same. Obama is still railing against the “Do Nothing Congress”:

Obama’s latest attack on [House Speaker John] Boehner is over construction projects, which the president says have been blocked by Republicans who have refused to take up a long-term highway bill approved in a bipartisan vote by the Senate.

The president said the stalled legislation is keeping millions of workers jobless, and is preventing necessary projects forward across the country, including in Boehner’s own district. …

On Monday, he also sought to portray Boehner as out of touch with the needs of his own district.

“I went to the Speaker’s hometown, stood under a bridge that was crumbling, everybody acknowledges it needs to be rebuilt,” Obama said. “Maybe he doesn’t drive anymore. Maybe he doesn’t notice how messed up it was … they still said no.”

If you really want to get technical about who is blocking what, the House actually has passed a highway bill with bipartisan support, the same one that Obama threatened to veto because it includes a provision that would force him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill is short-term compared to the one passed by the Senate, but both chambers are set to deliberate a compromise. Notice that Obama conveniently ignores these relevant facts.

And speaking of Do Nothing Congress, yesterday marked the three-year anniversary of the last time the Senate Democrats passed a budget. For whatever reason, our obstruction-decrying president didn’t feel the need to mention that holdup.

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