For the second time in less than two weeks, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would put Americans back to work. This time, they said “No” to 400,000 teachers, firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
Last night, Senate Democrats tried to overcome a Republican filibuster of the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work to Work Act (S. 1723). But the 50-50 vote—with every Republican voting “No”—fell short of the 60 needed.
In a statement, President Obama said:
That’s unacceptable. We must do what’s right for the country and pass the common-sense proposals in the American Jobs Act. Every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now.
The bill would have provided funds to local governments to put back to work or keep on the job some 400,000 teachers and first responders. It was originally part of the American Jobs Act that Senate Republicans also blocked with a filibuster. Other portions of that legislation are expected to be introduced in the Senate—including a provision to create hundreds of thousands of jobs by repairing the nation’s bridges, roads and other vital sectors of the infrastructure.