In a Senate floor speech Thursday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lectured President Obama for pushing a “to-do” list on Congress.
Earlier this week, Mr. Obama delivered a speech unveiling a five-point package of previously announced proposals as unfinished business for lawmakers to accomplish. Among the president’s measures are mortgage relief for homeowners, clean energy manufacturing and eliminating incentives for businesses that ship jobs overseas.
But McConnell says the GOP caucus in the House and Senate has acted on legislation, including dozens of similar bills.
“So I have a suggestion—instead of focusing on his political Post-It note checklist, the president and Senate Democrats should show some leadership and work with Republicans to move on critical pro-growth bills. These proposals will help provide certainty and provide a much-needed boost to our economy,” he says.
President Obama is highlighting a theme of the “do-nothing” Congress, criticizing lawmakers for bypassing much of his jobs agenda. The list also includes a job corps for military veterans and a tax credit to small businesses for new hires.
“In this make-or-break moment for the American middle class,” Obama said Tuesday. “there is no excuse for inaction. I know this is an election year, but it’s not an excuse for inaction. Hopefully, we’ll just be checking off the list.”
However, GOP House leaders have said their caucus has supported dozens of pro-growth measures in the past year and even passed parts of the administration’s plan, such as the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.
McConnell defend his colleagues in the House, adding Democrats are more interested in helping the president win re-election than solving the country’s problems.
“And while the President is trying to manufacture arguments that he can run on, House Republicans have spent the last year and a half voting on and passing energy and jobs bills,” he says. “Where are the Democratic-led Senate and the president? Where are they? What are they waiting for? What’s the reason for the delay?”
Political observers predict the to-do list won’t likely pass without significant changes to the proposals and much of the debate is theater.