WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama’s administration is expecting Congress to vote on his sweeping jobs bill in October, a senior advisor said Sunday, dismissing talk of discord over the bill among Democrats.
Obama has encountered stiff resistance from Republicans who make no secret of their desire to bounce him out of the White House next year, but opposition lawmakers, as well as those in his own Democratic party, are under pressure to look beyond the political war and focus on creating jobs to tamp down the stubbornly high unemployment rate.
“This economy is far too weak and needs a jump-start, so we expect there will be a vote on the entire American Jobs Act at some point in October in the Senate,” White House senior advisor David Plouffe told CNN’s “State of the Union” as he made a round of the Sunday talk shows to push Obama’s plan.
“We’re going to keep making the case,” he said.
Obama’s $447 billion plan was unveiled earlier this month in an attempt to kickstart efforts to combat 9.1 percent unemployment in the world’s biggest economy and restore trust in his economic leadership.
The centerpiece of the proposal is a deeper-than-expected $240 billion payroll tax cut for employers and employees, meant to spur consumer demand and encourage firms to hire new workers.
Plouffe told ABC’s “This Week” program that “the president’s plan would have a profound impact on the economy, and Congress ought to act right now.”
The network reported earlier this week that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not moved forward on scheduling a vote, with the Democrat saying the Senate floor was “pretty well jammed now.”
Obama has been pressing for immediate action on his plan for the past two weeks. Congress has been contending with major trade legislation, as well as a battle over disaster assistance and renewed clashes over government funding.
When pressed on whether the Democrats were ready to bring the bill forward, Plouffe told ABC: “No, no. We expect to have a vote on the American Jobs Act in October.”