As promised, the White House has finished putting together a specific legislative package for the American Jobs Act, and President Obama held an event in the Rose Garden this morning to announce its introduction. He spoke for about 10 minutes, and the clip is worth watching.
The transcript is online for those who can’t watch videos online, but a couple of things jumped out at me. First, the president is showing the kind of message discipline I’ve never seen from him before. He used the phrase “pass this bill,” or something very close to it, 11 times.
“I have to repeat something I said in my speech on Thursday. There are some in Washington who’d rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now. In fact, Joe and I, as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the Washington newspapers and it was quoting a Republican aide saying, ‘I don’t know why we’d want to cooperate with Obama right now. It’s not good for our politics.’ That was very explicit.
“I mean, that’s the attitude in this town: ‘Yeah, we’ve been through these things before, but I don’t know why we’d be for them right now.’ The fact of the matter is the next election is 14 months away. And the American people don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action…. [T]he notion that there are folks who would say, ‘We’re not going to try to do what’s right for the American people because we don’t think it’s convenient for our politics,’ we’ve been seeing that too much around here. And that’s exactly what folks are tired of.”
For what it’s worth, House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) responded soon after, issuing a statement saying the American Jobs Act will be sent to the Congressional Budget Office for a score. “Once we receive CBO’s analysis, we can begin the important work of reviewing the various elements of his proposal,” Boehner said.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t take 14 months.