ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House is dismissing Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's call for an immediate vote on President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill as a political stunt.
White House press secretary Jay Carney, speaking on Air Force One, called McConnell's move "gamesmanship" and "disingenuous."
McConnell on Tuesday took up Obama's challenge to Congress to pass the bill. He called for an immediate vote by offering the jobs bill as an amendment to pending legislation addressing the value of China's currency. McConnell opposes the jobs bill and his maneuver was a clear attempt to put Democrats and Obama on the spot.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid objected and instead proposed a vote immediately after the Senate disposed of the China currency bill. McConnell objected to that offer. Reid said he plans to bring up the jobs legislation later this month.
"What we saw in the Senate today was a political stunt by the Senate minority leader to attach the jobs bill to the China bill without debate and simply as a stunt," Carney said.
Obama has been demanding a vote, blaming Republicans for inaction. But some Democrats have also taken issue with Obama's proposal, particularly its plan to pay for it with tax increases on higher-income taxpayers and on corporations.