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McConnell Tries to Call Up Obama ‘Jobs Bill’ for Vote, Reid Blocks

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By Doug Powers  •  October 4, 2011 08:45 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

In an email today, Barack Obama’s 2012 Campaign Manager wrote this: “But here’s something you can do: Find Republican members of Congress on Twitter, call them out, and demand they pass this bill.”

Obama’s supporters must have responded en masse, because at least one Senate Republican did exactly what they were demanding. Well, he tried to anyway:

In a lively spat on the Senate floor Tuesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attempted call up President Obama’s jobs plan for an immediate vote in the upper chamber.

However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who supports the legislation, blocked the vote.

Reid used a procedural maneuver called “filling the tree,” which allows the majority leader to say a piece of legislation has had all of its possibilities for amendments.

McConnell had tried to offer the president’s job package as an amendment to the China currency legislation, which was being debated in chamber. By “filling the tree,” Reid blocked that move.

“What I am trying to do here today by requesting this vote on the president’s jobs bill … is to honor the request of the president of the United States that we vote on it now,” McConnell said. “He has been asking us repeatedly over the last few weeks that we vote on it now.”

Reid, responding to McConnell’s assertion that Obama asked Congress to take up the Jobs Act “right away,” insisted that Obama didn’t mean right away right away:

“Right away is a relative term,” Reid said. “[I] sponsored it, I am the one who brought it to the floor. We need to move to this right away … I have said I will bring it to the floor this work period.”

Reid’s doing some heel dragging because he knows he doesn’t have the votes — or possibly the intentional delay is subtle payback for 20 minutes on hold.

Meanwhile, President Obama has given up on “pass this jobs bill now” and is settling for “pass it this month.” Next up: “Easter-ish would be good too…”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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