President Obama’s first attempt to split his American Jobs Act into smaller bites did not go well: His $35 billion package, intended to protect the jobs of teachers and first responders, was blocked in the Senate last night. Democrats couldn’t get the 60 votes needed to move the bill forward; three members of the Senate Democratic Caucus joined all Republicans to vote against it, resulting in a 50-50 vote blocking a debate on the package. It was one fewer vote than Obama got in the Senate for his full $447 billion proposal, Politico notes.
Obama went after the Senate GOP in a statement following the vote, USA Today reports. “For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again. That’s unacceptable,” he said. “Those Americans deserve an explanation as to why they don't deserve those jobs.” Another Republican-backed piece of the larger jobs bill, which would have stopped the government from withholding 3% of payments to contractors, also failed to advance last night in a 57-43 vote. The AP adds that future votes on other portions of the bill, which could include infrastructure spending, are unlikely to fare any better.