White House adviser David Plouffe made the rounds on the Sunday news talk shows in a major push for the president’s nearly $450 billion jobs plan.
“We expect to have a vote on the American Jobs Act in October,” Plouffe said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We need action,” he added. “The American people know the economy is too weak; too many of them are suffering. So the question for Washington is are we going to continue to play political games, or are we going to say we can do something right now to create jobs, to put money in the pockets of the middle class, hire construction workers, teachers, veterans. The president’s plan would have a profound impact on the economy, and Congress ought to act right now.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has pledged to bring the president’s plan up for a vote in the Senate, but it is unlikely to come to the House floor.
Plouffe’s comments came after some Democrats raised concerns over some parts of the plan. In a floor speech Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said he was concerned that the proposal includes “gimmicks” such as $1 trillion in savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Plouffe was undaunted. Asked about the provision on “Fox News Sunday,” he said that it was also included by House Republicans in their fiscal 2012 budget resolution.
Plouffe sought to make the case that House Republicans have been unwilling to work with Democrats because of a concern over losing their political base ahead of next year’s elections.
“Basically we are at a point now where roughly 30 tea party Members of Congress, the Republican leadership is putting their demands ahead of 300 million Americans, and that has to stop,” Plouffe said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, also on Fox News, said that he believes the jobs plan is a ploy by President Barack Obama to get re-elected.
“He is using, in my view, a strategy of class warfare, divide and conquer to try to survive this next election. It won’t work,” the South Carolina Republican said. “Their approach after being beat [in the 2010 Congressional elections] is to go to Ohio and Kentucky and give a speech about a bridge and declare class warfare. [That] is their strategy in terms of solving the economy.”
Obama “should have done what President Clinton did when he got beat soundly in ’94. President Clinton turned to Republicans, and we passed a balance budget agreement and we engaged welfare reform legislation,” Graham added.
“Every problem that [Obama] inherited is much worse, higher unemployment, a lot more debt, higher gas prices,” he said. “He’s putting more taxes on people that create jobs. He’s creating conflict where he should be trying to find common ground.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.