Republican lawmakers are rejecting President Barack Obama’s $447 billion job-creation plan in its entirety and expressing skepticism about its pieces, creating doubt about whether it can overcome obstacles in Congress.
As Obama tries to rally public support behind tax breaks and spending on schools and bridges, the reaction on Capitol Hill indicates that only a few fragments of the plan may become law — most likely tax cuts to promote consumer demand and hiring. Many Republicans dismiss Obama’s proposal as a warmed- over version of the 2009 stimulus law they opposed.
“I just don’t see much Republican support in the Senate for hardly anything that’s been out there so far, and especially when they put the pay-fors forward,” said John Thune of South Dakota, the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate. “I mean, that’s just a complete non-starter.”
Republicans, who have ideas about how to lower unemployment by limiting regulation and expanding domestic oil production, aren’t ceding ideological or political ground to the administration. Beyond that, the Senate’s Democratic leader isn’t rushing to bring Obama’s proposal to the floor as he focuses on other legislation such as disaster assistance. Also, some rank-and-file Democrats have complained about the tax increases in the bill.