Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then try some more.
President Obama took his latest swing Wednesday at stumping for his massive job-creation proposal that he pitched nearly two months ago, calling on Congress to pass the package's infrastructure measures that would provide more than $50 billion for road and bridge construction and, yet again, blasting Republicans for standing in the way.
"If the Speaker of the House, the Republican leader in the Senate, all the Democrats, all say that this is important to do, why aren’t we doing it? What’s holding us back? Let’s get moving and put America back to work,” Obama said in a morning speech on the banks of the Potomac River, Politico reports.
Senate Republicans effectively killed Obama's full $447-billion jobs package back in mid-October and a few days later, likewise, shot down his first effort to push through a piece of the proposal, $35 billion to forestall layoffs of state and local government workers like teachers and police officers. The infrastructure piece is expected to come up for a vote on the Senate floor later this week.
Republicans have made it clear they aren't fans of Obama's general jobs proposal, which includes a surtax on the wealthy. When he first outlined his plan earlier this year, GOP leaders suggested they'd be open to passing parts of it that they agreed with. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments earlier Wednesday suggest that no such proposals have materialized. Democrats "keep putting bills on the floor they know ahead of time we’ll vote against, instead of trying to solve the problem," the Kentucky Republican said.
With his larger jobs agenda stalled amid the partisan gridlock, Obama has moved to take smaller, executive actions to spur job creation. CNN reports that the latest such effort occurred Wednesday, with Obama ordering the Transportation Department to award more than $525 million in pending road and bridge repair grants by the end of the year and speed up applications for another $110 million in financing for projects next year.