Guest Submission by Gene Brown
Depending on your choice of news source, you may be under the false impression that the Republicans in Congress are pointedly interfering with the President’s American Jobs Act.
In early September 2011, President Obama forgot or ignored the concept that the Legislative and the Executive branches of our government are separate and equal powers. His administration “announced” that he would be delivering a speech about jobs to a joint session of Congress. Unfortunately, speaking before Congress requires an invitation from the Speaker of the House.
Speaker Boehner could have denied the request. Speaking before a joint session of Congress is historically reserved for the constitutionally mandated State of the Union Address and significant historic events, like declaring war on Japan in World War II. It is not a forum for a reelection speech.
During his 34-minute speech, President Obama used a derivative of the phrase “Pass this bill,” seventeen times. Following that up, every fund raising speech President Obama made for almost the next week reiterated his new catchphrase. In reality, the bill did not exist!
After several days of listening to actual lawmakers reminding the public that a “speech” can’t be debated or acted upon, but that a “bill” was required, President Obama held a press conference in the Rose Garden and unveiled his bill.
For the second time, President Obama showed his ignorance on the Separation of Powers of our Government; Presidents don’t offer legislation, Congressmen and Senators do.
If a President has something he wants passed, he will find an ally in the House of Representatives or the Senate, and that representative will sponsor that legislation. If it is a popular issue, there can be stampede of co-sponsors.
The President’s bill sat in the House of Representatives for nine days awaiting a sponsor. Finally, on September 21, 2011, Representative John Larson (D), from a very safe district in Connecticut, stepped up to sponsor the President’s bill.
According to Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Whip, the bill still has ZERO co-sponsors. So, the chance of this bill moving in the House is unlikely.
In the Senate, the President’s bill found a sponsor, Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, but no co-sponsors. Senator Reid would love for the Senate to pass this bill and paint the Republican majority in the House as obstructionists. Unfortunately, while there are more Democrats than Republicans in the Senate, there are not enough Democrat votes to pass the bill.
In fact, there have been machinations in the Senate that would make a Parliamentarian drool. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has attempted on several occasions to bring the President’s bill to a vote in the Senate. He has been stymied by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Harry Reid!
There are 23 Democrat Senators that are up for reelection in 2012, and they all realize that the President’s bill is merely a rehash of the budget proposal he submitted in May that was trounced 97-0.
The President’s Jobs bill is bad law, politically toxic and without party support, and if your news source didn’t tell you this, what else hasn’t it told you?
That’s my nickelGene Brown