Partisanship Takes A (Brief) Holiday On JOBS Bill Backed By Obama, GOP : It's All Politics Partisan fighting took a rare backseat as the GOP-led House passed financial legislation that both President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed on. But despite the agreement, the partisan sniping was never far away.
NPR logo Partisanship Takes A (Brief) Holiday On JOBS Bill Backed By Obama, GOP

Partisanship Takes A (Brief) Holiday On JOBS Bill Backed By Obama, GOP
CSPAN screengrab of House JOBS Act vote.

Partisan bickering being so routine in Washington, whenever Democrats and Republicans can agree on a piece of legislation that goes beyond what to name a federal building, it becomes something of a feel-good story.

So it was with House's bipartisan passage Thursday via a 390-23 vote of a bill called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups or JOBS Act. The legislation is meant to ease Securities and Exchange regulations to make it easier for small businesses and banks to raise money from investors.

The idea is that if small businesses can raise money more readily, they might expand faster and thus create more jobs. Who could argue with that?

Not President Obama certainly. The Obama administration officially let it be known earlier in the week that the president backed the bill produced by the House GOP because it tracked with recommendations he made last year.

The banking industry also supported the legislation, with Roll Call reporting that the bill's success represented the continuing power of financial-services lobbyists in Washington to make things happen.

The Christian Science Monitor, by the way, provides a useful summary of the legislation.

But even during the rare moment of election-year agreement between the White House and congressional Republicans on financial legislation, the partisan edge was never far from the surface.

After the House passed the bill, for instance, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter why she wasn't "trumpeting" the bipartisanship the bill represented. (It begins at about the 7-minute mark of this video.)

"It's because it's so meager, "she said. Then she actually imitated the sound of a trumpet fanfare that might precede the arrival of a monarch and said "Here comes the little king" which brought laughter from the reporters.

The stalled $260 billion transportation bill would create many more jobs, she said. But Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has been unable to get that through the House in part because of resistance from some in his Republican conference who object to the spending.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday during House floor debate of the JOBS Act, Rep. Barney Frank, (D-MA) who's retiring, was barred from speaking for the rest of the day after he violated House rules during a heated partisan exchange by accusing Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) of hypocrisy.

So even when there wasn't much disagreement on the legislation, there was still disagreement.

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