It’s made headlines in the New York Times, received prominent coverage from the cable nets, and by and large been a messaging coup for House Republicans. The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed GOP-backed legislation called the JOBS [Jump Start Our Business Startups] Act. It’s a modest bill, comprised of several measures that have already passed the House by wide margins, aimed at promoting capital formation.
But Democrats aren’t celebrating. They think the bill is perfectly fine, but more of a public relations stunt than a real prescription for economic growth. And on Capitol Hill, Dem leaders are quick to remind reporters that just because it’s called JOBS, doesn’t make it’s a tremendous legislative achievement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters she’s not trumpeting the bill “because it’s so meager” then mimicked a trumpet noise and saluted the arrival of “the little king.”
“Yes it’s a good thing… a number of them we’ve passed already with over 400 votes,” she said. “Ok, already. We’ve done it. It’s good. Let’s do it again. But let’s not mistake it for what we need to do for a real, serious, comprehensive jobs bill for our country.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer agrees. At a small roundtable with reporters in his Capitol office Thursday, he noted, “They’re six bills that are decent bills. I think they’ll have some positive effect….But it’s not a jobs bill in the sense that anybody believes it’s going to create large numbers of jobs in the short term.”
Hoyer went on. “[T]hey’re useful. But I was surprised the New York Times treated it as a real jobs bill — a big story with a picture, putting us in consternation. It’s not putting us in consternation — we voted for all those bills before.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.