Remember when Obama insisted he would veto any attempts to split up his bill? Just kidding!
President Barack Obama’s job-creation package effectively fell to pieces on Monday as a top Republican lawmaker said the House of Representatives will only pass portions of the $447 billion measure.
As Obama continued to press lawmakers for a vote on his signature legislation, Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, said that was not going to happen.
Asked if the bill as a complete package was dead, Cantor said: “Yes.”
The bill appeared to be in trouble in the Democratic-controlled Senate as well, where aides from both parties said it will likely fail when it comes up for a vote later this month.
Monday’s developments made plain what many analysts have believed for weeks — that Washington is too divided to take any significant steps to lower the 9.1 percent unemployment rate before the 2012 congressional and presidential elections.
“At this point I think that Washington has become so dysfunctional that we’ve got to start focusing on the incremental progress we can make,” Cantor said. “Both sides want to do the big, bold things — the problem is they look vastly different.”
Obama said he would be willing to consider a piecemeal approach on the legislation, which could be central to his re-election prospects. Polls show that jobs and the economy are voters’ top concern and that many Americans have lost confidence in Obama’s economic leadership.
“If there are aspects of the bill that they (Republicans) don’t like, they should tell us what it is they are not willing to go for, they should tell us what it is they are prepared to see move forward,” Obama told reporters.