It really boils down to this for the GOP: you can't whine about Obama/Reid/Pelosi doing little about jobs in this country while taking away unemployment benefits from the millions who need it. The Party of No? Maybe.Republicans on Thursday defeated Democrats' showcase election-year jobs bill, including an extension of weekly unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work more than six months.
The 57-41 vote fell three votes short of the 60 required to crack a GOP filibuster, delivering a major blow to President Barack Obama and Democrats facing big losses of House and Senate seats in the fall election.
The rejected bill would have provided $16 billion in new aid to states, preserving the jobs of thousands of state and local government workers and providing what White House officials called an insurance policy against a double-dip recession. It included dozens of tax breaks sought by business lobbyists and tax increases on domestically produced oil and on investment fund managers.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs accused Republicans of blocking a commonsense economic package aimed at helping Americans suffering in the recession. "The president has been clear: Americans should not fall victim to Republican obstruction at a time of great economic challenge for our nation's families," Gibbs said in a statement. "The president will continue to press Congress to pass this bill and bring this relief that's critical to our economic recovery."