Senate Republicans block Obama’s jobs bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — All 46 U.S. Senate Republicans voted against President Obama’s American Jobs Act Monday evening. With 60 votes needed to end the Republican filibuster against the act that would create as many as 2 million new jobs and keep 280,000 teachers from being laid off. This bill is unlikely to see any other action.

Both U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington state voted in support of the jobs bill. (See Sen. Murray’s statement on the vote.)

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says:

The 99 percent of our country who want jobs now should take note of how each and every senator voted today on the American Jobs Act. And we should ask each one who voted no — what is your plan? How would you put our country back to work and give hope to our nation’s families? Because the truth is the Republicans who unanimously blocked this courageous bill have no plan and seek to profit politically from the country’s pain.

Along with the 2 million jobs, the American Jobs act would:

  • Prevent 5 million workers from losing their unemployment benefits;
  • Make immediate investments in rebuilding and upgrading America’s highways, transit, rail, airports, bridges, ports, schools and communications and energy infrastructure;
  • Make sure the wealthy contribute their fair share to fixing our economy; the American Jobs Act is paid for by a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires.

Trumka says the “commonsense jobs bill should have brought together all senators of both parties to stem the tide of economic pain that is overwhelming working people.”

Senate Republicans’ unanimous opposition to this jobs bill reflects shamefully distorted priorities that place partisan gain over economic security for the 99 percent of us who lack it.

This week across the country tens of thousands of union members and other activist are joining the AFL-CIO’s America Wants to Work mobilization to demand Congress promote real jobs creation agenda. Click here for more information and here to find an event near you.

This story by Mike Hall is cross-posted from AFL-CIO Now.

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