Missouri Senators split on Obama’s jobs bill

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Missouri News Horizon
– Both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators this week likened the President’s proposed jobs bill to the 2009 economic stimulus package – although they could not agree whether that’s a good thing.

On the same day that President Barack Obama held a press conference to promote his economic development bill, Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters he thinks the bill will be more of the same policies he says failed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which injected $800 billion into the U.S. economy following the 2008 stock market crash.

“(The jobs bill) is more about 2012 politics than it is about 2011 legislating, and it is the same concepts that produced no good results with the $800 billion so-called ‘stimulus plan,’” Blunt said during a Thursday conference call.

The current proposal from the president is smaller than the original stimulus – only about $477 billion. Obama says it’s necessary to help prevent a second recession.

But Blunt, like many other Republicans in Congress, view the plan as an unwarranted expansion of government spending at a time when they say the government’s top priority should be paying down the deficit to help provide economic security.

The jobs bill has not come up for a vote in either chamber yet. In her own conference call with reporters, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill refuted assertions that her party would not stand-by the president’s proposal.

McCaskill also compared the proposal to the 2009 stimulus, but in a much more favorable light. She said the stimulus helped prevent an economic depression and argued that the current slow-down in the economy was the result of the two-year stimulus plan coming to an end.

“People like to say the stimulus didn’t work,” she said. “Well that’s just not true. It didn’t make it perfect, but it certainly made it better. It stopped the bleeding and one of the reasons we’re struggling right now is the stimulus has gone out of the economy.”

The president’s jobs bill is due for a vote in the Senate next week.