In an amazing act of chutzpah, Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) yesterday filed his own “American Jobs Act” when Democrats did not submit the bill that President Barack Obama exhorted Congress to “pass this bill now.” “My bill is not the president’s bill, it’s a real job creator,” Gohmert told The Hill, shortly after filing his two-page alternative to the president’s plan, under the same title. After Obama urged Congress to “pass this bill now” on September 8, 2011, no Democrat stepped forward to introduce the bill in the House of Representatives, Gohmert did so with his own bill. Now Representative Gohmert is being accused of “pranking Obama,”snagging the bill name,”nabbing the bill name,” or “Gohmert Bogarts Barack.”
Gohmert’s Two Page Jobs Bill and Obama’s 155 Page Jobs Bill
“Pass This Bill”
In his speech to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama said “pass this bill now” seventeen times in a thirty-three minute speech. Since then, in five subsequence speeches, President Obama has said “pass this bill” or some variant of it 90 times. He said it 17 times in his speech to Congress, 18 times at the University of Richmond, 12 times in the Rose Garden, 18 times at a high school in Columbus, and 24 times at North Carolina State University. He also says, “Pass this bill. If you want construction workers on the worksite, pass this bill. If you want teachers in the classroom, pass this bill. You want small business owners to hire new people, pass this bill. If you want veterans to get their fair share of opportunity that they helped create, pass this bill. If you want a tax break, pass this bill.” “If you love me, you’ve got to help me pass this bill!” Obama told a man in a North Carolina crowd who shouted his admiration for Obama.
DNC Launches Ad Campaign
The Democrat National Committee (DNC) is launching an advertising campaign in politically key states and cities aimed at getting the public behind President Obama’s new jobs plan. The television ads show parts of Obama’s speech promoting the $447 billion package of tax cuts and new spending. They urge viewers to “Read it. Fight for it. … Pass the President’s Jobs Plan.”
Other “Stuff” In Obama’s Jobs Bill
There are “other” things in the Obama jobs bill.
- $2.98 billion in infrastructure investments
- $1.77 billion to prevent layoffs of 18,000 teachers, police officers and firefighters
- $2.02 billion to modernize schools
- $213.7 million to help revitalize communities by rehabilitating vacant and foreclosed homes
- An extension of long-term unemployment insurance
- The creation of the Public Safety Broadband Corporation
And we thought this was a “jobs” bill! Why have all the other issues been included? What other surprises await us in Obama’s 155 page jobs bill?
Gohmert’s Opinion of Obama’s Jobs Bill
It is a disaster,” says Rep. Gohmert. And the whole bill should have been renamed to either “The Save Obama’s Job Act” or “The Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Full Employment Bill,” he added. “If you apply for a job and you think that the reason you didn’t get hired is because you were unemployed at the time, you’re now a protected class,” said Gohmert. “You’ve now got a cause of action, go get a lawyer.” He continued, “How do you prove, if you’re an employer, that being unemployed was not the reason that you did not hire somebody. It is going to create all kinds of claims for this mass of people and there’ll be more and more unemployed because of this bill. This is a job killer except for famous lawyers who do labor work, they’re going to have a field day,” Gohmert said. “Anybody that’s unemployed who doesn’t get hired is going to have a claim, a cause of action. But everybody else is going to be in big trouble.” According to the National Employment Law Project, Gohmert is incorrect: The proposal would not make employment status a protected class, it simply bans hiring discrimination against the jobless. Yeah, tell that to a lawyer who smells a contingency fee.
So… We see that President Obama’s 155 page “bill” was full of extraneous issues, while Representative Gohmert’s 2 page bill is short and focused. Simple laws have a much better chance of having unintended consequences. In light of unintended consequences, which bill is better?
But that’s just my opinion.