So much for caring more about keeping teachers, firefighters and police officers working. The Republicans in the Senate with some help from the usual suspects when it comes to blocking anything that might help everyday Americans -- Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.) -- blocked the passage of a portion of President Obama's jobs bill this Thursday night.
Lawrence O'Donnell showed us some of Vice President Joe Biden's speech from the day before, urging members of the Senate to support the bill -- Supporting middleclass over millionaires:
Vice President Joe Biden eloquently offers Republicans a simple choice: support your local sheriffs or support your local millionaires. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell explains in the Rewrite.
Here's more from The Hill on the vote -- Senate deals second defeat to Obama's 'jobs' plan:
For the second time in two weeks, Senate Republicans voted in a unison to block “jobs” legislation, which the Obama administration and Senate Democratic leaders have made central to their agenda.
The measure, a piece of President Obama’s larger jobs package, failed by a tally of 50 to 50 after several Democrats joined with Republicans to the Senate from moving to the measure.
Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who voted last week to block Obama’s full jobs measure, again sided with Republicans.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also said no, citing concerns about the legislation’s cost effectiveness.
As with last week’s vote, Democrats failed to woo a single Republican vote. The staunchly unified GOP opposition calls into question whether the Democratic strategy has been able to exert the intended pressure on centrist Republicans. [...]
The $35 billion Democratic measure was designed to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters in cash-strapped states. Most of the funding, $30 billion, would have gone to saving teaching jobs and the rest to first responders.
The most controversial element of the bill was a plan to pay for it by raising taxes on income over $1 million by 0.5 percent. Republicans argued that it would put more pressure on small businesses that are already having difficulty maintaining cash flow because of the tight credit market.
Republicans said the latest Democratic jobs measure is a replay of the $787 billion stimulus Congress passed at the beginning of 2009, which they argue had little impact.Senate Democrats say they will bring additional pieces of the president’s jobs bill to the floor. One measure will likely include infrastructure spending; another would extend the payroll tax holiday and extend it to employers; a third would extend unemployment insurance.
Democrats expect to propose the same pay-for — raising taxes on income over $1 million — for each.
And here's more from Greg Sargent on what the blocking of this bill means for the people that these Senators are supposed to be representing, the topic of which, sadly, we now have the answer to -- Will Senators do the right thing on jobs, or will they shaft thousands of their own constituents?:
Let’s be as clear as possible: Any Democratic or Republican senators who vote this week against the $35 billion package of aid to the states are putting the very narrow interests of an infinitessimal few over the interests of many thousands of their own constituents.
This can be documented with actual numbers, as you will see below.
The Senate vote is on whether to send billions to the states to avert teacher layoffs and to facilitate the hiring of more teachers and first resonders — a key provision of Obama’s jobs plan. This would be paid for by a 0.5 percent surtax on millionaires. As of now, it’s unclear how a handful of moderate Senators in both parties will vote, because they have “stimulus spending” and they oppose hiking taxes on the rich.
So here’s a way look at this: How many people would be impacted by this proposal in each state represented by each on-the-fence senator? And how does that compare to the number of constituents in each of those states who would pay that 0.5 percent surtax? And keep in mind, the impact of one teaching job is far vaster and affects far more people than the impact of the surtax on one constituent, which is only paid on income over one million dollars.
As it turns out, in each of those states, the proposal would provide enough funds to create or save thousands of jobs — which would impact the lives of many more thousands of each state’s residents and lift the broader economy. Meanwhile, in most cases the surtax funding it would be paid by one tenth of a percent of each state’s residents. Here’s a breakdown of a few key states: Read on...