Republicans have made it hell to pass both the student loan and transportation bills that has been blocked by either Republicans in the House or Senate. Basically – Democrats in the Senate and President Obama held tight and told the Republicans in the House and Senate … they’re going to eat their lunch politically if the Republicans continued to try to block a jobs bill and another bill that would ensure college students maintain reasonably low interest on their college loans. Needless to say – the Republicans balked.
This is a big, big win.
Reuters explains the good news HERE:
The Democratic president will use the event at the White House with construction workers and college students to highlight his campaign of pressing lawmakers to bolster the fragile U.S. economic recovery. Republicans accuse Obama of election-year posturing.
Congress last week approved a massive job-creating U.S. transportation bill that, under a rare bipartisan deal, will also keep interest rates low for millions of federal student loans and maintain federal flood insurance.
Democrats and Republicans embraced the measure, which will provide $105 billion in transportation spending over the next 27 months intended to create or save about 3 million jobs. Job creation is a key issue ahead of the November 6 congressional and presidential elections.
Obama, faced with public concern over high U.S. unemployment, had urged Congress to approve the transportation bill and take steps to prevent interest rates from doubling on federal college loans for 7.4 million students.
Regarding the student loan bill – as we have written HERE … Republicans in the Senate filibustered to prevent it from passing. In the House – Republicans tried to “pay for” the bill by repealing Obamacare which was obviously dead on arrival. Democrats wanted to pay for the bill by “closing a payroll tax loophole for some wealthier small business executives was also blocked in the Senate” as described by the Washington Post; Republicans blocked that. Unlike tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans – the GOP felt compelled due to moral conviction to make sure that this bill was “paid for”.
Regarding the transportation bill – it’s important that you understand … this bill will create or prevent layoffs for 3 million people. If government hadn’t authorized a bill moving forward – all of the construction work on highways, roads and bridges that have federal contracts that filter down to state contracts would have just shut down. And those employees that work for private companies that bid for that work would have been laid off. Republicans were playing Russian Roulette just one more time with American jobs.
Now – we wrote about the transportation bill HERE … 74 Senators voted in favor for this bill. SEVENTY-FOUR. Nothing gets 74 votes anymore unless it’s voting to make apple pie the official dessert of America … and to say that we all love puppies. So – easy peasy right? Not so much. House Republicans continued to dick around with the bill and would not pass this bill until the Keystone XL Pipeline was passed along with it. Obama said “I’ll veto that”. That wasn’t necessary because with Democrats running the Senate – that was never going to get in the bill in the first place. So – finally … Republicans decided to let the hostage go figuring they were going to lose this one … why get nailed with Murder One on the American economy with so much visibility.
Bottom line – the Republican party tried on two different bills with deadlines to pound their chests like virulent, rabies stricken Gorillas only to find the Democrats calling their bluff and holding firm against yet another hostage situation. This time … the Republicans pussed out. And I’m glad they did; it was good for America. I only wish their love for country exceeded their love for power.
You can read more about how important the transportation bill is and just how god-awful America’s infrastructure is HERE.
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