Congressional Republicans sent a strong signal Thursday night they are not willing to support most of President Obama’s $447 billion plan that Democrats hope will create new jobs for some of the 14 million Americans who are out of work.
“It’s a short-term Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound,” said Rep. Allen West (R.-Fla.).
Rep. Jeff Landry (R.-La.) said the President’s plan to spend more money while adding to the trillion-dollar debt won’t create jobs, and that he was disappointed the President didn’t include support for more drilling jobs in the Gulf of Mexico in his plan.
“Tonight, we heard yet another speech from the President about what he is going to do to create jobs, but all I heard was the President trying to keep his own job,” Landry said.
Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah) said he agreed with “very little” of the President’s proposal, which he called a “frustrating retread version of his same tired old message.”
“It’s the same failed economic policy he has given us all along,” Lee said.
“That was disappointing given the intense buildup the White House gave the speech as something bold and new,” Lee said.
Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona said the President’s plan would send unemployment rates soaring and continue bankruptcies and foreclosures.
“Rather than offer a new road map for recovery and reform, he merely dusted off a tired agenda of old ideas wrapped in freshly partisan rhetoric,” Kyl said.
Reports earlier this week put the cost of the President’s American Jobs Act at $200 billion, but the price tag quickly shot up to $447 billion by Thursday night’s speech.
Republicans say that 2.4 million jobs have been eliminated during Obama’s presidency, and the national debt has increased by $4 trillion.
Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.) was hoping the President would roll back burdensome regulations, and talk about entitlement reform, free-trade agreements and producing more energy.
“By fiddling around the edges and suggesting short-term, superficial fixes, Washington is creating uncertainty and making things worse,” Corker said. “It’s the private sector that creates jobs. The federal government’s role should be to create the proper environment.”
Republicans say they are concerned that the President’s only plan is continued spending and increasing the debt, without specifics on how this will be paid for, except that he will give that responsibility to the new congressional super committee already tasked with finding trillions of dollars in cuts.
“Like Wimpy” from ‘Popeye,’ he will gladly pay us next Tuesday for a hamburger today,” West said.
Rep. Justin Amash (R.-Mich.) said Washington should be urging private-sector growth, not more government spending. “The federal government already has tried using more spending and more debt to resuscitate the economy. That experiment failed,” Amash said. “The President should have the courage to acknowledge when he’s wrong, and there’s no doubt his economic policies have been dead wrong.”
Easing regulatory burden will be a cornerstone of Republicans’ plan this fall to boost the economy, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R.-Tex.) says easing those restraints will protect small businesses from continued rising costs that may force them to lay off more employees.
According to The Heritage Foundation, Obama imposed 75 major regulations that cost the private sector more than $40 billion in his first two years in office.
“More rules and regulations will not help with job creation,” Smith said. “Uncertainty about the cost of these upcoming regulations discourages employers from hiring new employees and expanding their businesses.”
Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R. –Idaho) said the president’s speech was full of good intentions, but “rings hollow.”
“The American people realize that another spending stimulus isn’t the answer. The President already tried and failed with a stimulus spending binge over three years ago,” Labrador said.
Obama urged Congress to “pass this jobs plan right away,” although no legislation has been drafted and presented to the legislature.
“It was essentially a lecture. We were told over and over to pass the bill. I don’t think I’ve been lectured like that since I was in grade school,” Lee said.
Added Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Tex.) in a tweet during the speech: “Why is it, the only thing Obama puts in writing is what goes to his teleprompter?”