More than 90 U.S. House Democrats have officially endorsed the Americans Jobs Act over the past week, following the attacks of several Republicans who claimed President Barack Obama's $447 billion proposal to stimulate the economy and boost job creation who so ludicrous that members of his own party did not offer any obvious support of it.
The legislation was introduced to the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Sept 12, while Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., introduced it to the House on Sept. 21. The measure went without a single additional co-sponsor for over a month, causing some GOP leaders to deride the Obama administration for not being able to obtain more Democratic support.
As of last week, the chief sponsor of the president's bill put the bill in 'by request,' which does not indicate a wholehearted support of the bill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told reporters earlier this month, arguing the bill is not a serious effort to improve the economy. At the end of last week there weren't any Democratic co-sponsors of the President's bill.
The legislation failed in the Senate on Oct 11. The House has not voted on the bill.
Democratic leaders opened the bill to co-sponsors last week during a meeting of the party's weekly caucus, The Hill reports. Party leaders originally resisted additional endorsements to the legislation, according to the source, although it did not expand on the party's reasoning.
The American Jobs Act would cut taxes by about $270 billion, a good deal of which would be the result of a reduction in payroll taxes for workers and businesses. It would also provide $175 billion for schools, roads and other infrastructure projects and allocate funding to help states retain and hire teachers, firefighters and other first responders.
President Obama has vowed to push some of the plan's provisions through in separate legislation. A bill to provide $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep teachers and first responders on the job failed in the Senate in a 50-50 vote. Two Democrats, as well as Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, voted against the measure, even though polls have shown it is one of the most popular aspects of Obama's jobs bill.
Republicans reportedly objected to a provision of the bill that would impose a 0.5 percent surtax on all million-dollar incomes to pay for the aid.
A Sept. 20 Gallup poll found that 75 percent of respondents said they supported additional funding for teachers and first responders, including 89 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans.
Republicans reportedly objected to a provision that would impose a 0.5 percent surtax on all million-dollar incomes to pay for the aid.
This week, the Senate will vote on an infrastructure bill that would help fund $50 billion in transportation and other projects.
The Senate also failed to pass a GOP-backed counter-proposal by cutting taxes for businesses and reducing government regulations.
A September Gallup poll found that 45 percent of Americans supported the American Jobs Act. However, among respondents' who said they were following news of the bill closely, 57 percent said they wanted their congressional representative to vote in favor of the legislation.
When analyzed by political party, 70 percent of Democrats said they supported the bill, compared to 44 percent of Independents and 19 percent of Republicans.