BREAKING NEWS: In a sudden shift – and with only a few more days left in Washington before the election – Senate Democrats just announced that they will finally consider some of the 43 jobs bills passed by House Republicans. “It was a mistake to block these pro-growth bills for so long,” said one Democratic leader.
Wouldn’t that be great news? Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, it’s too good to be true. Senate Democrats are still saying “no” to dozens of good, common-sense jobs bills. They’re not even proposing their own ideas; they’re just focused on politics, wasting time on a quixotic constitutional amendment they know is going nowhere, a bill that inadvertently highlights their own hypocrisy, and legislation that will actually hurt jobs:
- The constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) would weaken Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech and put the fox in charge of the chicken coop by “allow[ing] Congress to regulate the flow of political cash.” Democrats would love to control what Americans are allowed say about them, which is why the same politicians behind this constitutional amendment urged the IRS to target conservative groups in 2012. The investigation into that is still ongoing, but Senate Democrats still focused this week on Sen. Udall’s measure, which is, according to Politico, “meant to support Democratic talking points on the Koch brothers.” We all know that’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s favorite topic.
- Everyone in both parties supports equal pay for equal work, so it’s a shame to see Senate Democrats pushing election-year legislation specifically designed to mislead Americans. Senate Democrats view this as a game: “An email circulated to Democratic communications aides … points to a strategy of either criticizing Republicans for voting yes to limit debate [on the bill] … or for voting no and blocking a debate,” reported Roll Call this week. This kind of cynical ploy landed Democrats in hot water earlier this year, when The Washington Post exposed the White House’s hypocrisy on this issue two days in a row and CNN mocked it as “a textbook case ... of do as I say, not as I do.”
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded earlier this year that Senate Democrats’ legislation to raise the minimum wage would cost the economy up to one million jobs, with a median estimate of 500,000 jobs lost. President Obama’s pick to head the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, agreed. The CBO report also said that people who need work the most “would be jobless— either because they lost a job or because they could not find a job — as a result of the increase in the minimum wage.”
Growing more jobs and increasing opportunity for all Americans is a better idea. That’s what House Republicans have been focused on nonstop: the people’s priorities.