Republicans Call on Senate to Pass GOP Jobs Bills

By Matt Cover | November 4, 2011 | 4:55 PM EDT

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio talks about jobs during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( House Republicans – led by Policy Committee Chair Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) – called on Senate Democrats to bring House-passed jobs legislation to a vote, criticizing Senate Democrats for not passing a budget in 919 days.

“It’s now been 919 days since the Senate has passed a budget. The president has made 49 campaign speeches since he talked about and introduced his jobs plan. Nineteen cities have been visited on his campaign tour, and in that time in this Congress, House Republicans have passed 22 bills to help jobs creators, and the vast majority of them are still sitting in the Senate,” Price said at a Capitol Hill news conference Friday.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) noted that in the 919 days since the Senate has passed a budget, the national debt has increased by more than $3 trillion, saying that the failure to pass a budget or to consider GOP jobs legislation was a failure of responsibility for the Senate.

“The national debt, 919 days ago, was $11.1 trillion. Today, it’s $14.9 [trillion]. The number of unemployed people has gone up. Unemployment rates have remained stagnant at a rate that the country simply cannot afford to operate under.”

“We passed a budget in the House,” Scott said. “We understand that [Sen.] Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the president don’t like that budget, but that does not – that does not – eliminate their obligation to pass a budget through the United States Senate.”

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said that Reid – the Senate Majority leader – should just bring up the stalled House-passed jobs bills.

“Mr. Reid, let these bills come to a vote,” Huelskamp said. “How many days do we have to wait for Sen. Reid and the president of the United States to allow jobs bills to pass and create good jobs?”

Currently, the Senate is voting on individual elements of Obama’s jobs package, which originally failed when Democrats could not break a GOP-led filibuster. Now, Reid is trying to bring each individual element to the floor for a vote.

Senate Republicans, however, continue to defeat efforts to pass Obama’s jobs bill piecemeal.

Price said that partisan fighting in the Senate was no reason for Reid to ignore the House-passed legislation. Instead of fighting over Obama’s failed plan, the Senate should take up the House-passed measures, he argued.

“Just because you can’t get 60 votes on one piece of legislation in the Senate doesn’t mean that you can’t get the 60 votes on something else,” Price explained. “The challenge for leadership is to pass a bill that the Senate can pass. Then, it’ll be different than the House [version], and we’ll go to conference and work on behalf of the American people. The American people are sick and tired of this type of craziness that doesn’t allow the process to work.”