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Yes, It Is The Republicans Who Blocked The Jobs Bill

Commentary’s Alana Goodman is upset about the way the recent defeats for the American Jobs Act are being characterized in the media:

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.

Let’s look at the numbers here.

In order to invoke cloture, 60 votes are required. Even if every Democrat had voted with the majority, they would have not been enough to get to the required supermajority. Therefore, the phrase Senate Republicans Block Obama’s Jobs Bill is entirely accurate and the GOP efforts to spin it otherwise are pretty pathetic.

Oppose the bill on substantive grounds if you wish, that’s what a representative democracy is all about, but let’s not lie about reality.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    True. While they can point out Ds that voted against the measures, the Rs have it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  2. WR says:

    When your party is blocking legislation favored by 75% of the public — including a majority of your own party’s members — simply because they don’t want to give the president a victory, then lying about reality is pretty much all you’ve got left.

    Or whining about teleprompters.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  3. Dean says:

    @WR:

    Where do you get ” 75% of the public — including a majority of your own party’s members” favor the president’s jobs bill? I haven’t come across that information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Hey Norm says:

    While the Private Sector has been adding jobs almost monthly…the Public Sector has been shedding jobs since Q1 in ’09. This was a chance to directly help the unemployment situation with a modest amount of specifically targeted $$$. This vote shows the Republican Senate is totally disinterested in economic recovery. Hell…it shows they are disinterested in even governing. The only job they care about is Obama’s…and they are more than willing to sell the country down the river to get it. This was a pathetic display. Republicans should be embarrassed. But given their performance over the last 3 years…I doubt they will be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  5. Dean says:

    Doug,

    Just curious, because I think politics are in play for both parties here, but if 10 Republicans were willing to vote for cloture, do you still believe the Democrats would have had enough votes for passage? I had read (and I don’t recall the source) that there were a few Democratic senators that were going to be in tight races and voting for the jobs bill may have been harmful to their re-election chances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Jay Tea says:

    @Dean: WR got that stat from the same place he pulled the “simply because they don’t want to give the president a victory” rationale — his ass.

    It’s his go-to source for pretty much everything.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  7. Jay Tea says:

    Oh, Doug… the support for Obama’s BS jobs bill was purely partisan (all Democrats), while the opposition was bipartisan (members of both parties, plus an independent). By the magic rules of politics, that means that its defeat was a good thing.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  8. @Jay Tea:

    Two Democrats does not equal “bipartisan.” Regardless of the merits of the bill, and I have serious doubts about it, it’s simply true that the GOP used Senate procedural rules to block the bill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  9. @Dean:

    We’ll never know, of course. But yes there were at least two other Democrats — Manchin and McCaskill — who were rumored to be possible no votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  10. Jacques says:

    @WR: Wow, just curious as to where you got your facts that 75% of the public is in favor of that bill?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Ben says:

    I assume that WR is referring to the “millionaire’s tax” piece, as I do seem to remember that part polling at around 75%

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. PD Shaw says:

    It’s a CNN poll:

    75% favor “Providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  13. mattb says:

    For those asking about WR’s numbers, I believe the 75% came from Gallup and their question about the funds for teachers and other public sector employees:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/149567/americans-favor-jobs-plan-proposals-including-taxing-rich.aspx
    in that pool 56% (a majority of Republicans) backed that measure.

    The results were mirrored in polling by CNN that looked at the popularity of specific proposals within the Jobs bill:
    raw data here – http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/09/13/rel15d.pdf
    Summary via Huff Post blogger: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/14/cnn-poll-jobs-act_n_962502.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  14. cjflyere says:

    @Jay Tea: You are thinking with your ass. Coullon!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. mantis says:

    You are thinking with your ass.

    “Thinking” is a bit of a stretch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  16. anjin-san says:

    The only job they care about is Obama’s

    I think we have a slogan for ’12.

    “Republicans. The only job in America they care about is Obama’s”

    Put that in your pipe & smoke it wingnuts…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  17. Hey Norm says:

    I don’t know about y’all…but I’m waiting for JT to apologize to WR.
    When you accuse someone of pulling something out of their arse…but then it gets backed up by a couple sources…doesn’t it really mean that you were, in fact, talking out of your own arse?
    C’mon JT…be a man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  18. Jay Tea says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It certainly qualifies as “bipartisan” when the one or two are Republicans. Or so we’ve been told.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  19. WR says:

    @Dean: It’s not the bill — it’s the components of the bill 75% wants money for teachers and firefighters, even paid for by taxes on the rich.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/10/17/rel17b.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. alanstorm says:

    In other words, Doug, the Senate R’s get credit for showing a little fiscal backbone and stopping yet another moronic spending bill?

    Sounds good to me.

    Please don’t bleat about how this means that firefighter, police and teachers will be fired. Don’t tell me that none of these states and cities can’t find a layer or 3 of management to cut, things like diversity coordinators and assistant deputy whatevers, or institute pay cuts among staff. The “Give us money or we’ll lay off cops!” routine is something that could only convince a high-schooler.

    Norm, we WANT the public jobs base to shrink. It needs to shrink more.

    WR, is every issue to be decided by polling? I’ll keep that in mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  21. mantis says:

    Norm, we WANT the public jobs base to shrink.

    Again, all Republicans really want right now is more people out of work, and a worsening economy. That is their goal.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  22. Hey Norm says:

    @ alanstorm…
    then I assume you have no complaints about the economy, because this is what you claim you want…is that correct?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  23. David M says:

    @alanstorm:

    Don’t tell me that none of these states and cities can’t find a layer or 3 of management to cut, things like diversity coordinators and assistant deputy whatevers, or institute pay cuts among staff.

    This seem suspiciously like the mythical “waste, fraud and abuse” we hear so much about, but never ends up materializing.

    Also, the if population of the US increasing, why shouldn’t the public sector at least add jobs to keep up with population growth?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  24. Hey Norm says:

    David M…
    It’s actually even dumber than that. How many Diversity Coordinators are employed by any particular state, and how many Cops, Teachers, and Firefighters?
    In Connecticut we have laid off 5,500 workers or just over 14% of the state work-force. In addition aid to localities was cut by $54 million…which means additional reductions in town jobs. This is the trickle-down so-called Republicans don’t want to talk about.
    David M. is a prime example of why you can’t have a reasonable economics discussion…the so-called conservatives, or libertarians, or whatever they choose to call themselves, base their arguments on fantasies and myths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  25. anjin-san says:

    Please don’t bleat about how this means that firefighter, police and teachers

    So if your house burns down, your car gets stolen and your kid can’t read, you are ok with that?

    Welcome to tea party America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  26. Ben Wolf says:

    @alanstorm: You’re not getting it. If government cuts spending to balance the books and pay off public debt, where do you think that money comes from? I’d really like to hear an answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. WR says:

    @alanstorm: “Norm, we WANT the public jobs base to shrink. It needs to shrink more.

    WR, is every issue to be decided by polling? I’ll keep that in mind. ”

    I’m a little perplexed, Alan. Apparently you believe that the government should be responsive to the desires of the citizens, according to this first line. But then you seem to think that it’s wrong to have these same issues decided by polling, which would determine which policies are favored by a greater percentage of the citizenry.

    So which is it? Should elected officials do what the people want or not?

    Or do you just think they should all do what you want, even if you’re in a tiny minority?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Ben Wolf says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    @alanstorm: You’re not getting it. If government cuts spending to balance the books and pay off public debt, where do you think that money comes from? I’d really like to hear an answer.

    Alanstorm didn’t deign to reply with the answer, so I’ll do it for him: for one to save someone else must spend. This means a government running surpluses (saving) is draining financial assets (dollars) from the private sector. It is operaing in a manner harmful to the private sector’s efforts to create wealth. To advocate balanced budgets when the private sector wants to save is akin to kicking it in the teeth and saying “too bad”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. bains says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Two Democrats does not equal “bipartisan.” Regardless of the merits of the bill, and I have serious doubts about it, it’s simply true that the GOP used Senate procedural rules to block the bill.

    Doug, you make a point in your post about being honest. Yet your comment hides behind a technicality. Two Dems plus Sen Lieberman who caucuses with the Democrats, and used to be a Democrat, and only changed party affiliation because the extreme left tried to foist extremist Ned Lamont upon Connecticut and the nation.

    Your appeal to intellectual honesty seems a bit shallow when you paper over that point.

    As to the point of your post, sure, the GOP blocked the bill – by procedures used by both parties for decades. But the headline you defend could have been as accurately written “President’s partisan jobs bill fails to win bipartisan support.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  30. An Interested Party says:

    Sen Lieberman…only changed party affiliation because the extreme left tried to foist extremist Ned Lamont upon Connecticut and the nation.

    Oh my, so now democratic elections are events where the “extreme left foists extreme candidates upon the rest of us”…it is rather amusing that these words are coming from the same person who is chastising Doug about intellectual honesty…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. bains says:

    Two things…

    First, your disagreement with my opinion corresponds with the first negative review of my comment strongly suggests that the comment rating system that James has installed here is merely a popularity contest . It would behoove both James and Doug to take a closer look at the comments and their ratings….

    …lest this become just another leftie Echo chamber.

    Second, you seem to object to adjectives your side so regularly tosses about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  32. An Interested Party says:

    Second, you seem to object to adjectives your side so regularly tosses about.

    Actually what I object to is your hypocrisy…you have no business lecturing anyone else about intellectual honesty with your characterization of a legitimate democratic election as “extremists foisting extremists” on the rest of us…oh, and telling us that the other side says that kind of thing really isn’t much of a valid defense…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. An Interested Party says:

    …lest you are no better than lefties, that is…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. bains says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Actually what I object to is your hypocrisy…you have no business lecturing anyone else about intellectual honesty

    And you do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. An Interested Party says:

    And you do?

    Well, when I am being intellectually dishonest, do let me know…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0