Enacting three new free trade deals is one of the few job-creating proposals President Obama has put forward so far, and he’s been chastising congress for not passing the agreements during almost every stop on his Midwest jobs tour. But there are still many people who don’t realize the president hasn’t actually sent the agreements to congress to be passed. Including, apparently, Obama’s own press secretary Josh Earnest.
Here’s an exchange between Earnest and a reporter last week, via the briefing posted on the White House website:
Q: I already tweeted that you sound like Jay and Robert with your comment about not making economic predictions. (Laughter.) I just — why does the White House keep telling Congress to move on the free trade bills if they haven’t even — if you guys haven’t even sent them over?
MR. EARNEST: I don’t — have we not sent them over?
MR. EARNEST: Well, I know that there have been — (laughter) —
MR. EARNEST: There you go. (Laughter.) I withdraw my “nice” comment. (Laughter.)
Funny! Though maybe not so much for the members of Congress Obama has been attacking for not passing the deals “right now.” Today, during his speech in Iowa, Obama called on the public to “send a message” to congress, demanding that they “get into the game” and move forward on proposals like the trade agreements. But it’s Obama who’s been sitting on the sidelines throughout the debate, and has yet to offer a serious jobs plan.
During today’s Iowa speech, Obama’s “new” proposals were just as vague as some of his previous ones: he called for expanding broadband internet access, creating a “rural council” to come up with job ideas, increasing loans to small businesses, and finding ways to recruit doctors and nurses for local hospitals. Not only were there no details on how he would move forward on these proposals, they’re also not extensive enough to make a dent in solving the jobs crisis.