President Barack Obama and his White House staff repurpose religious sayings in the hopes of spurring Republican congressmen into voting in favor of his jobs bill.
Obama chided House Republicans Wednesday for voting up a bill to reaffirm the “In God we Trust” motto found on U.S. currency rather than voting on his jobs proposal.
“That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama chastised. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.”
Later, his White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “I believe the phrase from the Bible is ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.’”
That phrase, it turns out, is more inspired by a Billie Holiday song than the Bible. A Thursday note on the transcript acknowledged that Carney wrongly cited the Bible.
In the same statement Carney explained, “I think the point the President is making is that we should – we should have it within our capacity to do the thing to help the American people.”
In addition to using God to challenge Republicans, the White House criticized the GOP’s plan in a graphic published in the White House blog yesterday.
The graphic quotes a Hart Research Associates/ GS Strategy Group Poll that “an overwhelming majority” (67 percent) of Americans oppose stopping or rolling back environmental regulations. The graphic also states that Republicans have no plan for cutting taxes for working class families and small businesses, and creating jobs for teachers, construction workers and veterans.
Republicans have been quick to remind the president that they have a jobs plan. The plan, found on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s website, also favors some of the president’s proposals, including reducing the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation and reforming the Unemployment Insurance system with programs such as the "bridge to work" program.
House Republicans have acted on the plan, passing last month trade agreement deals with Panama, Columbia and South Korea. The deals were among Obama’s to-do items in the American Jobs Act.
Cantor said House Republicans are working to complete other items on his list.
“Last week we put a bill on the floor having to do with the 3 percent withholding requirement and repealing that. This week on the floor, we will have several bills having to do with access to capital for small businesses. These are things that the President spoke to and the American people support,” he said in a Tuesday statement.
Cantor blamed Harry Reid and other Senate leaders for holding up the group’s efforts.
“When people around the country are looking for jobs and asking where the jobs are, they are stuck in the Senate, that’s where the jobs are,” he said.
Senate Republicans, along with a handful of Democrats, also stalled Obama’s Jobs Act last month.