As Senate Democrats try to downplay expectations, one question remains: Will the Democrat-controlled Senate deliver President Obama a “major rebuke” by failing to reach a simple majority in support of his plan?
If Democrats Fail To Muster 51 Votes It Will Be Viewed As A “Major Rebuke” Of President Obama. As I noted below, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Dems may not be able to muster a simple majority in support for Obama’s jobs bill in the Senate later today. That’s because of likely uniform GOP opposition, yes, but also because some Senate Dems in red states appear to be prepared to vote against the jobs bill — even though what’s being voted on today is over whether it will go to the floor for debate. ... The emerging question right now is whether it will gain a simple majority in the Senate. That’s crucial for Dems, because if it doesn’t, it will give the GOP a talking point to undercut the Obama/Dem case against the GOP. Republicans will argue that not even a majority of the Dem-controlled U.S. Senate supports the bill, so why are they being singled out by Obama for frustrating the will of the majority on jobs? And if a majority doesn’t back the bill, it will be widely portrayed in the media as a major rebuke to the President. (The Plum Line, 10/11/11)
Senator Durbin Admits Democrats Are Not United Behind The President’s Proposal. Democratic unanimity is not assured. Moderates like Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — both are up for re-election next year in states where Obama figures to lose — may abandon their party ... "We're likely to lose two, three, four Democrats," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, told Chicago's WTTW-TV Monday. (The Associated Press, 10/11/11)
House Side – Hoyer: Americans Will Interpret Failing To Get 51 Votes As A Lack Of Support For The President's Jobs Program. Responding to a question about the apparent lack of unanimity amongst Senate Democrats ahead of the vote on the American Jobs Act, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) quite bluntly responded, “People will read it as a lack of support for a jobs program.” ... “I think you’re correct that if we can’t get 51 Democrats to vote for it, it will clearly be argued by Republicans and construed by all of you as undermining the president’s message.” (Talking Points Memo, 10/11/11)