Partisan Sniping Infects Even The Bipartisan Transportation Bill

Last fall, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee together linked arms to unanimously approve a new federal transportation bill. The committee’s liberal chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and conservative ranking Republican, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, alike cheered the ability of the legislation, known as S. 1813, to put Americans back to work nationwide. Sadly, that Kumbaya moment just couldn’t last. Now that it’s moved from committee to the Senate floor, even this rare bill to achieve extraordinary bipartisan support has fallen victim to partisan sniping. Boxer complained Monday about an effort by Republican senators to introduce controversial, unrelated amendments to the highway bill, which would authorize the government to spend $109 billion over … Continue reading

Capitol Idea: It’s Time to Nuke Senate Republicans

There’s been much talk in recent years in the U.S. Senate of “going nuclear,” or of triggering a “nuclear option.”    Well, it’s time. No, make that well past time, for President Obama to go nuclear on Senate Republicans.    The Senate GOP has steadily ratcheted up its obstruction of very nearly everything to come through the chamber. Not only have they been blocking needed extensions of payroll tax cuts for middle class workers and unemployment benefits for jobless Americans, just this week, Republicans filibustered both an Obama nominee for a federal appeals court as well as the president’s appointee to head up a new financial consumer protection agency. Soon after Republicans filibustered Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau … Continue reading

President Vows To Fight For His Jobs Act: ‘I Will Not Take No For an Answer’

Senate Republicans may have tried this week to kill President Obama’s American Jobs Act, but the president refuses to let his $447 billion legislative package die quietly. The president’s re-election campaign late Wednesday released an email to supporters that included a video message from Obama himself, in which he vowed to keep fighting. The email, signed by campaign manager Jim Messina, notes that although the American Jobs Act failed to get the 60 votes in the Senate required to overcome a GOP filibuster, the legislation would have been approved absent that filibuster. Messina also cites opinion polling that finds 63 percent of Americans support Obama’s plan to create nearly 2 million jobs. In his video, Obama notes that Republican senators … Continue reading