Friday, November 4, 2011
Despite their self-proclaimed interest in creating jobs, Senate Republicans–joined, of course, by Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT)–blocked another part of President Obama’s jobs bill, one that would have increased employment and repaired the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Their motivations? First, they are loath to hand the president a victory, even if–or especially if–it helps the economy. The GOP are also unanimously opposed to raising taxes on the wealthy to create jobs:
Thursday's proposal would have allocated $50 billion for highway, rail and airport modernization projects as well as $10 billion for an infrastructure bank that could leverage private investment for additional projects. It would have been paid for by a 0.7% surtax on household incomes above $1 million.
In the House, however, Republicans took action on an urgent matter. No, it wasn't jobs. It was making sure that "In God We Trust" is affirmed as America's motto. Was the motto under threat? Of course not. Regardless, the motto–not jobs–required immediate action:
Citing a crisis of national identity and mass confusion among Americans about their nation’s motto, the House on Tuesday voted on a resolution “reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States.”
The resolution...is designed to clear up any confusion over the motto’s official status and to encourage schools and other public institutions to display it, said Representative J. Randy Forbes, Republican of Virginia and the measure’s sponsor.
...Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, said earlier this year that he would try to prevent votes on measures that were not “substantive and meaningful.” The House did not vote, for example, on an independent resolution, passed in the Senate this year, to honor the troops who carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. His office did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
...“Why are my Republican friends returning to an irrelevant agenda?” [Rep. Jerrold] Nadler (D-NY) said. “The national motto is not in danger. No one here is suggesting we get rid of it. It appears on our money, it appears in this chamber above your head, it appears in the Capitol Visitors’ Center, all over the place.”