President Barack Obama continued to tout his jobs agenda Nov. 3 as Senate Republicans dealt him another defeat, stopping a $60 billion infrastructure bill.
The bill, which was defeated by a 51-49 vote, fell short of the 60 votes needed to continue work on the measure, according to the Associated Press.
Before the vote, Obama spoke at one of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area’s dilapidated bridges, saying, “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work!”
Republican leaders said the president was pushing the bill to gain an advantage in public perception ahead of next year’s elections, and had not sought to compromise on its specifics.
“The truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges,” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the AP. “And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that.”
The current national unemployment rate stood at 9.1 percent in September, according to federal statistics. In a statement issued by the White House, Obama directly challenged Republican leadership on the issue.
“The American people deserve to know why their Republican representatives in Washington refuse to put some of the workers hit hardest by the economic downturn back on the job rebuilding America,” Obama said. “It’s time for Republicans in Congress to put country ahead of party and listen to the people they were elected to serve. It’s time for them to do their job and focus on Americans’ jobs.”