As the President prepares for his Virginia bus tour next week, he should know from his last visit that the people of the Commonwealth want to see policies that will get our economy back on track and get people back to work. Since the night of the President’s jobs speech, Leader Cantor has repeatedly stressed the need to work together on areas of common ground to grow the economy and produce results. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board points out, President Obama is finally abandoning his all-or-nothing approach on his jobs plan and “would welcome votes on specific items in the plan.” House Republicans are ready and willing to work together, and we have moved forward on items the President supports.
Yesterday, both parties voted to pass the long-awaited trade deals and the VOW Act to help our veterans re-enter the workforce. We hope the President will act quickly and sign these trade deals into law and then join us on other pro-growth measures that will make it easier for job creators, innovators and small businesses to grow and create jobs.
Today In History: In 1792, the cornerstone is laid for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the "White House" because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted strikingly with the red brick of nearby buildings.
Birthdays: Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Jerry Rice, Chris Carter, Paul Simon, Sammy Hagar, and Kate Walsh
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ....
State Of Play: Senate Democrats Remain Divided Over The President’s Proposal, Lack A Clear Path Forward
Democrats Split Over Next Step On Jobs Bill. Action on smaller chunks of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill will likely be delayed by weeks as Senate Democrats and the White House have yet to settle on which pieces to move first. ... Democrats heading into their weekly policy luncheon were divided over what to do next — and emerged without a plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats need more time. “I have had a number of meetings today, we are working very closely with the White House and my caucus, and until we have direction from my caucus, we are not going to be able to make a decision,” the Nevada Democrat said. Roll Call
- Sen. Tester: The President’s Proposal Is Bad Policy. “Good policy makes good politics. I didn’t think this was particularly good policy.” The Washington Post
- Sen. Manchin: Significant Changes Must Be Made To The President’s Bill. "I would not - and I repeat that, I would not have voted for the passage of that bill without the significant changes that needed to be made," he said. The Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register
- Sen. Nelson: I Cannot Support President Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes. One of the Senate’s most conservative Democrats, Nelson has worked especially hard to show his independence from the party. In a statement, he rejected the jobs package’s underlying premise, indicating that he could not support the bill because it includes billions in higher spending and tax increases. “I simply can’t support raising taxes so Washington can spend more,” he said. The Washington Post
- Senator Lieberman Is “Very Skeptical” About Most Of The President’s Bill. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) also showed little enthusiasm for backing a smaller package. “I’m very skeptical about most of it,” he said, “even the payroll tax cut. ... I’m not convinced there’s been evidence to show that produces enough jobs.” Roll Call
- Senator Levin Speaks Out Against President Obama, Calls For Dems To Push Already Failed Bill. Sen. Carl Levin (Mich.) urged his fellow Democrats not to break up the bill but instead force an old-fashioned filibuster and take the issue to the public with the bully pulpit. “We should keep the bill together,” he said. Roll Call
Editorial: President Obama Agrees With Majority Leader Cantor – The Path Forward Is Focusing On Areas Of Agreement. President Barack Obama agrees with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. After the Senate effectively scuttled his jobs package on Tuesday, Obama said he would welcome votes on specific items in the plan. When the White House released the initiative, Cantor indicated that he supported aspects of the plan although he opposed passing it in its entirety. His approach reflected political prudence. It was not, as shrill voices claimed, an exercise in partisan obstruction. Richmond-Times Dispatch
- Leader Cantor: President Obama Continues To Send The Wrong Message To Entrepreneurs, Innovators, & Investors By Threatening To Impose More Burdensome Regulation and Raise Taxes. "The constant threat of tax increases and the continued threat of excessive regulations coming from this Administration sends the wrong signal to our entrepreneurs, our investors and our business people, the very people we need to create jobs," Cantor said. USA Today
State Of Play (2): House Passes Job Creating Free Trade Agreements, Key Components Of The Republicans’ Plan For Job Creation
Speaker Boehner: A Key Component Of The Republican Jobs Plan Has Been Sent To the President. “With passage in the House and Senate today, a key component of the Republican jobs plan will be sent to the president for his signature,” Boehner said. “These significant trade pacts will provide new opportunities for American small businesses, farmers and manufacturers to expand and hire more workers. And frankly, it shouldn’t have taken this long for it to happen. “While a Democrat-controlled House sat idle, other nations expanded their trading ties and American competitiveness suffered,” he said. “These common-sense agreements reverse that trend, level the playing field, and provide American job creators access to new customers and markets to sell their products.” ABC News
Leader Cantor: Passage Of The FTA’s Demonstrates What Can Be Accomplished When The Focus Is On Areas Of Agreement. “Our actions today are proof that when we look for common ground and work together, we can produce results,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said. The Virginia Republican called on Senate Democrats and Obama to help pass “other pro-growth measures to help the American people get back to work.” Roll Call
Chairman Camp: These FTA’s Represent Some Of The Most Important Job Creating Legislation In The Last Several Years. Republicans and business-group backers, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, were almost united in support of the agreements. "Today, the House passed on a bipartisan basis some of the most important job-creating legislation in the last several years by approving our trade agreements," said House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.). The Wall Street Journal
- Flashback: Then Speaker Pelosi’s Delay On The Free Trade Agreements Cost Jobs, Economic Growth. U.S. farmers and big agricultural exporters are excited about new sales opportunities for beef, pork, poultry, corn, wheat, soybeans and other food products in the three markets, but they lament the long delay as a lost opportunity. "We can't underestimate how much U.S. agriculture has lost out," while the trade pacts were stalled, said Devry Boughner, director of international business relations for the food, agriculture and risk management giant Cargill. ... All three pacts were negotiated and signed during the administration of former President George W. Bush, who was unable to win their approval from the Democratic-controlled Congress before leaving office in 2009. Reuters
Senate Republicans Unveil Jobs Plan. So they’re planning to roll out a jobs plan that amounts to a conservative’s dream agenda: targeting labor and environmental regulations, enacting a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, lowering corporate and individual tax rates, encouraging energy production and expanding free trade, according to a draft obtained by POLITICO. ... The effort is being led by a trio of strange bedfellows — Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a wonky former head of George W. Bush’s budget office, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a libertarian-minded tea party favorite, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee. Politico
California Democrats (Minus Pelosi) Take On President Obama Over Housing. In a show of political force and a reminder that the president has disenchanted some allies, House Democrats from throughout the state rallied publicly for stepped-up efforts that might fend off foreclosures. "California has been ground zero from the beginning," Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said of the foreclosure crisis, "and it has been for too long." Matsui and 31 other California House Democrats wrote President Barack Obama urging more help with mortgage refinancing, interest-rate reductions and an overall streamlining of assistance. ... "The problems we are facing are exacerbated by the fact that the administration has simply not gotten it right, over and over and over," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced. ... Further dramatizing their frustrations, 15 of the California Democrats convened a Wednesday news conference to echo the request for help. For a solid half-hour Wednesday, the Californians took turns characterizing the administration efforts with words like "tepid," "defensive," "not focused," "failed consistently" and "total lack of urgency." McClatchy