President Obama made a statement today on the White House South Lawn blasting Senate Republicans for obstructing aid to small businesses. Obama said, “When Congress reconvenes, this jobs bill will be the first business out of the gate. And the Senate Republican leadership needs to stop its efforts to block it.”
Here is the video from The White House:
Obama stressed why the small business jobs bill is so critical, “A report yesterday from the Labor Department underscores why this is so critical. In the final few months of last year, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees accounted for more than 60 percent of the job losses in America — more than 60 percent. These are the businesses that usually create most of the jobs in this country. And this report, combined with this morning’s news that unemployment claims rose again, compels us to act. It compels us to stand with the small businessmen and women who are trying to grow their companies and make payroll and hire new workers.”
He then explained the jobs bill, “The jobs bill that is stalled in Congress would completely eliminate taxes on key investments in small businesses. It would allow small business owners to write off more expenses. And it would make it easier for community banks to do more lending to small businesses, while allowing small firms to take out larger SBA loans with fewer fees, which countless entrepreneurs have told me would make a big difference in their companies. I’d also like to point out this legislation is fully paid for and will not add one single dime to our deficit.”
Obama urged Republicans to stop playing politics while small business people are in desperate straits, “So let me just make this simple point. There will be plenty of time between now and November to play politics. But the small business owners I met with this week, the ones that I’ve met with across the country this year, they don’t have time for political games. They’re not interested in what’s best for a political party. They’re interested in what’s best for the country.”
The President then urged Senate Republicans to stop blocking the bill, “When Congress reconvenes, this jobs bill will be the first business out of the gate. And the Senate Republican leadership needs to stop its efforts to block it. Let’s put aside the partisanship for awhile and work together for small businesses, for employees, and the communities that depend on them across this great country.”
In my opinion, Republicans are starting to overplay their hand here. By blocking things like the jobs bill and unemployment benefits, they are allowing Obama and the Democrats to seize the populist message of fighting for the common man. In an election year when Republicans should be blowing Democrats out of the water, key races remain close, without the Democrats starting to spend money yet, because Republicans can’t get out of their own way.
The message that Obama has been sending, will be sending, and will continue to send is that the Democratic Party is trying to overcome Republican obstruction to help average Americans. You can count on this message being echoed by Democrats all across the country, as they try to localize every single race and make the central question, who do you trust to fight for you? While Republicans are wasting their time talking about “anchor babies” and “Ground Zero mosques,” Democrats will focus in on the economy and jobs.
One of the favorite tent poles of Republican politics is small business. When anything business related is discussed the GOP always frames the issue in terms of the small businessperson on Main Street America, but with their obstruction on the small business jobs bill, Republicans have left that pretense behind in an effort to stoke the flames of anger that are consuming the American electorate.