Pitching the American Jobs Act along the Potomac River near Key Bridge on Wednesday, President Obama once again called out Republican congressional leaders by name for not supporting the $447 billion jobs plans.
While the tactic hasn’t proved to serve the Obama administration’s agenda in Washington, it has given the president a slight bump in his approval ratings.
The president specifically criticized Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who were in Louisville together earlier this week, over infrastructure funding, alluding the economic hit small businesses take when bridges such as the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville shut down.
From the White House:
Smaller businesses, they don’t have a choice. They have to go across these bridges. When a major bridge that connects Kentucky and Indiana was recently closed for safety reasons, one small business owner whose shop is nearby watched his sales fall 40 percent in just two weeks. Farmers, they can lose five cents a bushel when a rural bridge closes.
The president highlighted that GOP leaders have said they support doing whatever is necessary in these situations and mentioned McConnell’s involvement with the bridge specifically.
When the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell visited that closed bridge in Kentucky that I was talking about, he admitted, look, “roads and bridges are not partisan in Washington.” That’s a quote from him. Paul Ryan, the Republican in charge of the budget process, recently said, “You can’t deny that infrastructure does create jobs.”
Okay, so if the Speaker of the House, the Republican Leader in the Senate, all the Democrats all say that this is important to do, why aren’t we doing it? What’s holding us back? Let’s get moving and put America back to work.
But McConnell urged the president and Senate Democrats to work towards a bipartisan deal on piecves of legislation passed by House Republicans that he says will get the economy moving.
“There is no denying the fact that the policies of the past two and a half years have made a bad situation worse,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. “For two and a half years, Democrats dominated this town. They got everything they wanted. And what happened?”
During his speech at the University of Louisville, Boehner was asked about infrastructure spending and told the audience the country has deficiencies and more funding needs to be put towards fixing it, but that “nobody wants to pay for it.”