President Obama will present his jobs proposal to a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8. Some Republicans plan to skip the Joint Session to host football parties, campaign for themselves, stay home and otherwise disrespect our President and ignore our nation’s urgent need to work to create jobs. Jobs should be the top priority in Washington. Republicans have made clear that their top priority is seeing President Obama fail, even at the expense of Americans failing.
Rep. Ron Paul decided not to stop his own presidential campaign to attend the session. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh and Georgia Rep. Paul Broun are also planning to stay away. DeMint says he prefers to read the speech text. And he should do that plus attend in person. Next Republicans will be staying at home during the President’s State of the Union address to read it at home. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has what he believes is the best reason to skip it. He had planned a NFL season opener party to celebrate the New Orleans Saints and posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, September 7 that “Who Dat Nation, family and friends are coming over for the big game”. Then he apparently had a possible change of plans due to today’s Facebook posting:
“Typical Harry Reid. He’s now scheduled votes that should’ve been held this morning for right before and right AFTER the prez’s speech. Pens in those who would have skipped speech, like me. So now I’ll miss my own Saints game party at home.”
Instead of listening to the President and working with the President on jobs, the GOP lawmakers prefer to stay home watching football games, mock the President’s job proposals, and offer none of their own.
President Obama proposes to unveil plans to put Americans back to work in jobs that will strengthen our country, like fixing roads, bridges and schools. Republicans mock this approach saying fixing schools does nothing for our education system. We’re talking about jobs here and not test scores. Repairing schools could put up to 5 million Americans back to work. And if we don’t repair our roads and bridges, it will cost nearly 1 million jobs and set our economy back by $1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.
Rather than work with the President on jobs or a jobs plan of their own, Republicans prefer to give tax breaks to the richest 400 millionaires who have more wealth than half of the people in the US combined. Republicans have tried to eliminate almost 7 million jobs this year. Our economy needs big, bold and new programs to get the stalled economy moving again. And it needs our lawmakers of both parties to work with the President to get the job done.
So when are the jobs coming? The Republicans answer is “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Debbie Hines is a lawyer and legal/political commentator who is frequently seen in the media addressing issues involving law at the intersection of politics, gender and race. She also writes for the Huffington Post and the Women’s Media Center. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Black Enterprise, among others.