Obama Still Pushing Jobs Bill That Was Defeated in Democrat-Controlled Senate

Fred Lucas | November 9, 2011 | 5:52pm EST
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President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama continued to plug his legislation, the American Jobs Act, even though a bipartisan group of senators blocked the bill in the Democrat-controlled Senate several weeks ago.

“Many of you have been engaged in pushing Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. This is the only plan that -- out there -- that independent economists have said would put people to work right now,” Obama said on Wednesday, speaking to the African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

On Oct. 11, the Senate voted 50-49 to kill Obama’s $447-billion jobs package to spend more money on public employees and infrastructure. Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Tester of Montana voted with every Senate Republican to defeat the bill. The Democrats hold a 53-to-47 majority in the Senate.

Democratic Senate leaders attempted to pass a separate bill, for $35 billion, to fund more public employees, but it failed after Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Nelson and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (an independent who caucuses with Democrats) voted to block the jobs measure from coming to a vote.

Dome of U.S. Capitol building. (AP Photo.)

“Now, as you know, so far the Senate has just said no -- not because these are ideas that are partisan; these are ideas that traditionally have been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike,” Obama said on Wednesday. “Their argument for why they’re passing it -- they haven’t passed them so far -- has been that, well, they don’t like how we’re paying for it, because we ask, for example, folks who make more than $1 million dollars a year to pay a little bit more in taxes in order to make sure that our economy is strong.”

Obama again asserted that the bill would “grow the economy by as much as an additional 2 percent of GDP” and “put as many as 1.9 million people back to work.”

Though Obama said his plan would grow the economy by 2 percent, the legislation’s $447 billion price tag is 2.97 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is a total $15.012 trillion, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Further, if law did create 1.9 million jobs, the $447-billion cost would equal $235,263 per job.

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