But the measure remains bottled up in the GOP-controlled House. Democratic leaders have been circulating what’s known as a “discharge petition” to force a vote on the measure, and according to Democratic aides, it now has 174 signatures — bringing it close to the 218 it needs to force the vote.
The rub: Not a single House Republican has signed the petition to bring the measure to the floor. This, despite the fact that the bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2010, with 99 Republicans supporting it (there was no vote in the Senate on it). And Dems are demanding to know why.
“Last year, Republicans joined Democrats in passing this bill and it has strong support today,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami tells me. “Republican leaders who continue to stand in the way must explain to American workers why they must pay the price for inaction in the House.”
Here’s a bill that could create more than a million jobs without massive government expenditure, with five Republican senators—including some rarely seen voting with Democrats on anything—cosponsoring, and not one Republican in the House is willing to buck leadership and sign on?
Basically, any Republican who voted for this in 2010 and does not sign the discharge petition now is opening himself up to a campaign ad saying “Congressman Asshat blocked legislation to stop China from illegally manipulating its currency and killing American jobs—even though he’d voted for the same bill the previous year.” Which is a benefit to Democrats. It’s just that reducing the trade deficit with China and creating some jobs would be better, for everyone.