President Obama Gave GOP Ammunition When He Said They’ve Blocked “All” Middle Class Help
In his weekly address, President Obama derided Republicans in the House of Representatives for blocking “every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.” While it has been well-documented that the 113th Congress is the most unproductive in U.S. history, is the President correct when says that the GOP has blocked all substantive legislation that seeks to help the middle class?
Fact-checkers at The Washington Post have evaluated this statement and found that the President is being slightly unfair. This assertion has become part of the latest round of rhetoric from the White House, in which the President expresses his exhaustion with the partisan gridlock that has plagued his administration thus far.
However, on the day the weekly address was recorded the House passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, “which streamlines job training programs.” Speaker of the House John Boehner released the above photo of him signing the bill so it could be sent to the White House for the President’s signature.
Other bills that would purportedly help the middle class are stalled not in the House but the Senate. The construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is widely supported by Americans and would certainly create jobs. However, especially with the President’s current executive action on climate change, this idea may not be “serious” to them, but it certainly is to Republicans and their constituents.
The Post has rated the President’s statement with “three Pinnocchios” – their infuriatingly cutesy scale for determining a statement’s truth – meaning it contains “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.” Ultimately, the President was not being honest, and has since modified his statements changing “all” to “some.”
That the President would stoop to a rhetorical mischaracterization like this is perhaps what is most infuriating about Democrats who hold the high ground. The partisan gridlock in the Legislative branch is almost inarguably related to GOP obstructionism and political strategy. In the Senate, everything must pass with a super-majority of 60 votes because the GOP filibusters everything. The truth itself is damning enough, but now the President has given his enemies some ammunition to use against him.