A Week to Test the GOP’s Commitment to Bipartisanship
With unemployment tickling 10 percent (and likely to rise), Senate Democrats this week are hoping to push through a series of bills designed to encourage job creation. It’s as much a test of the Republicans’ commitment to bipartisanship as it is a gauge of the Democrats’ power to pass legislation in the wake of Scott Brown’s surprise Senate win in Massachusetts last month.
That is, with President Obama reaching across the aisle in ways not seen in modern history — and with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) insisting on crafting a jobs bill that can win the support of some pretty conservative Republicans, including Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) — GOP leaders have little claim to their habitual complaint that the Democrats simply want to ram legislation through Congress without any Republican input. So if we see stalling this week on a jobs bill, you can bet that it has less to do with the actual policy (all sides agree that struggling states need the help) than it does with the fact that the Republicans’ strategy has, for more than a year, been to delay legislation at all costs.