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Obama signs jobs bill

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama signed an $18 billion jobs bill into law in a Rose Garden ceremony this morning, providing tax breaks for businesses that hire previously unemployed workers and extending funding for infrastructure and transportation projects.

The measure, which Obama signed in front of an audience of business executives and lawmakers, is the first of what Democrats hope will be a series of election-year bills that will help put people back to work before the midterm elections in the fall.

"I hope it is a prelude to further cooperation in the days and months to come, as we continue the work of digging out of this recession and rebuilding our economy in a way that works for all Americans," Obama said Thursday.

Obama praised the handful of Republicans who supported the measure, thanking them for being willing to "break out of the partisan morass in Washington" to support it.

The president signed the legislation, as he often does, by signing his name one letter at a time with several different pens. The pens are then presented to key lawmakers as mementos of the effort.

Afterward, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) shook hands with Obama and was overheard joking that the ceremony would serve as a warm up for the health care vote if it comes later this week.

"I'm going to need more pens," Obama responded.

By Michael D. Shear  |  March 18, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Economy  
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Here's my take on the jobs bill (in particular Senator Grassley's reaction to it), in verse, titled
Quantum of Stimulus (or: Bonds, Build American Bonds)

President Obama signed a Jobs bill today.
It was a small bill, so what can I say?

Obama too said he wished that there was more
(It wasn’t as big as the bill before).
All but 11 Republicans voted against it
(They would have preferred to have condensed it).

But by GOP standards, 11 “yes” votes is a landslide
Of Republicans coming over to the right side.
I guess it’s a good sign
That at least some Republicans are growing a spine.

On the next installment, Senator Grassley took a unique stand
(Unique, that is, for him and his GOP band).
He now hates the banks with a fearful passion
And for the commoners has deep compassion.

He was upset about the Build America Bonds measure,
Which usually would give him lots of pleasure.
He didn’t like that banks are making money
(For a Republican, that’s kind of funny).

It’s an interesting juxtaposition,
The exact opposite of his usual position.
Usually he sides with the banks,
As do the rest of the GOP ranks.

Dems counter that Grassley’s just upset that BAB is a success,
As the $78 billion raised for infrastructure projects attests.
The way it works is that a state or local government issues a BAB
And the Federal government picks up part of the interest tab.

Why are we calling it the jobs bill instead of stim 2,
When create jobs is the main thing that the stimulus has tried to do?
Calling it a Jobs Bill polls better, but to me they’re identical,
And opposition to either is equally nonsensical.

Is stim 2 a lot?
No, it’s not.
It’s just a quantum, after all,
But even a quantum is better than nothing at all.


Posted by: RayinDC | March 20, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Sure this bill is not enough, but when you are dying of thirst most people won't turn away the smallest drop of water.

Posted by: ai3di | March 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This jobs bill is great... Now I can fire my current employees, replace them with unemployed, pay half as much and get a tax break to boot!

Posted by: nemosnemesis | March 18, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This bill should not be judged by its signing, but by its performance, simply put. Chalking up more (future) tax dollars to "jobs saved" does not help Americans. It's called stealing/cheating.

Posted by: nosam32 | March 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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