Republicans in Congress are getting tired of hearing that they are blocking the country’s path to economic recovery, especially by refusing to pass President Barack Obama’s ambitious “American Jobs Act” bill. So they have decided to get to work, passing the little bits that they do like — and asking Democrats to take some serious concessions in retaliation.
Via Talking Points Memo, House Republicans are proposing ending a three percent “holding fee” the government keeps when contracting out jobs to private companies. The fee is kept to guarantee the private company pays all of the proper taxes on the job, a rampant issues with private contracts before the fee was implemented by President George W. Bush. The GOP wants to end that practice and, to balance out the cost of the lost fee, it wants to restrict the income level for qualifying for Medicaid by making all Social Security benefits part of the financial consideration, rather than just the part that is taxable.
Or, as they put it, “In sum: make it easier for big contractors to cheat on their taxes, and covering the cost by limiting Medicaid eligibility for sick old people.”
However, Republicans aren’t the only ones picking and choosing these days. Frustrated by Congress’s inability to pass anything, the President has begun combing through his own proposal, finding those pieces that he can simply sign into law himself, without approval from the legislative branch.
According to the New York Times, Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” push will work primarily to reduce debt loads that are overwhelming every day Americans, as an attempt to free up more income to go into spending and stimulate the economy, versus paying debt. He has already made an effort for homeowners via the revamped HARP program he unveiled, and on Wednesday he is expected to address student loan debt. The administration has vowed to release one new initiative a week through the end of 2011, although they would prefer for Congress to pass a bill instead.
“The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”
photo credit: Chuck Kennedy, White House Photostream
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