Congress Looks to Take Obama’s Jobs Plan A La Carte

Congress Looks to Take Obama’s Jobs Plan A La Carte

The jobs bill will not pass in its entirety in the House, and probably not in the Senate either.

President Obama’s jobs plan, the American Jobs Act, has been pushed by the White House and supporters to be passed by congress in its entirety. What most knew, politicians and pundits alike, was that the bill could not possibly pass the Republican controlled House without being dismantled like a car in a scrapyard. When asked by Reuters if the bill, attempted as a package, would be dead on the House floor, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor replied a definitive, “Yes.”

Cantor explains the resistance as, "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.” An interesting observation, coming as it has from one of the chief stone-wallers within the House Republican leadership. Obama responded by saying, "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.” The bill has polled well among Democrats and Independents, some parts even scoring high marks with many Republicans. Of particular bipartisan consensus is the provision for raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting corporate loopholes and subsidies, which has been strongly opposed by a number of Republican and even Democratic lawmakers.

One piece of the bill that may pass a House and Senate vote a la carte is a provision in which government contractors collect all of their owed money up front, rather than having to withhold 3% for taxes. Additionally, the payroll tax cut is “on the table”, according to Cantor. The tax cut would be a simple extra $1000 to $1500 in Americans pockets this tax year.

The House is not Obama’s only obstacle in getting his bill passed. The Senate, which is held by a slimmer majority of Democrats, will likely need some bipartisan support in order to pass. It’s not looking likely as the vast majority of the Senate Republicans, as well as some moderate Democratic senators, have vocally opposed some of the tax increases in the bill.

While lawmakers continue to posture and politick around the many pieces in Obama’s proposed legislation, American workers and the American economy continue to languish in 9.1% unemployment and a barely breathing national growth rate. Unfortunately these fights are taking place in a swing election year, and both parties are lining up along ideologies and special interests to position themselves for November 2012’s election.