Al Franken watched the debate to raise the debt ceiling drag on -- and on, and on -- over party politics. Franken doesn't want to see the same thing happen with Barack Obama's new jobs plan, but he fears it might anyway.
America's unemployed can't afford more bickering like took place in the "debt ceiling debacle," Franken said in an interview with a South Dakota CBS station yesterday.
Obama's plan, which calls for a combination of public works spending and cuts to the payroll tax, got positive feedback from as partisan a figure as House Speaker John Boehner, and only the far wings of American politics rejected it on its face. (Paging Congresswoman Bachmann.)
But, with another election day still more than a year away, Franken said there won't be any plan, or any new jobs, "if we have a continuation of this whole unwillingness to compromise."
"We have fourteen months until the election," Franken told Keloland TV. "People don't have fourteen months to wait. They're living week to week, they're living day to day. And there really is some urgency to getting people back to work."
Obama's jobs plan speech was pretty much all about urgency, with repeated statements that Congress should pass the jobs bill "right away." In total, the plan calls for $447 billion in combined federal spending and payroll tax cuts.
Franken said the plan would be good for putting Minnesotans "putting lots of Minnesotans back to work, including teachers, first responders, and construction workers." Boehner's first reaction the night of the speech was to say Obama's plans "merit consideration," which is essentially a ringing endorsement in today's political environment.
Michele Bachmann, in her absolutely unwatched response speech, chirped that Obama had "doubled down on the same policies that are killing the United States economy," neglecting to mention exactly what she was talking about.