“At a moment of economic crisis, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate — the Democrat in charge of strategy over there — is sitting up at night trying to figure out a way to create an issue where there isn’t one, not to help solve our nation’s problems, but to help Democrats get reelected," said McConnell. "They are looking to find a way to make this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill controversial. They are trying to pick a fight."
The jobs bill sailed through the House last week 390-23 and is designed to ease the rules for capital formation for small companies. If it clears the Senate as expected it would deliver an easy campaign-year victory for congressional Republicans.
Regardless, Reid agreed to bring the legislation to the floor as part of a package forged on Thursday that affords Democrats votes on several of President Obama's judicial nominees. After Reid called it to the floor on Thursday, however, it immediately ran into opposition from the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinClyburn says he 'wholeheartedly' endorses Biden's voting rights remarks GOP senator knocks Biden for 'spreading things that are untrue' in voting rights speech Sinema, Manchin curb Biden's agenda MORE, and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Lawmakers seek 'assurances' Olympic uniforms not linked to forced labor Watch Live: Schumer, Senate Democrats hold press conference MORE (D-Ore.) who briefly blocked it.
Both senators complained the bill would not actually create many jobs but would roll back many of the hard-won reforms represented in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill.
"The House bill is full of problems for investors that will create a market places where investors could be deeply damaged," said Merkley.
But McConnell suggested in his floor speech on Thursday that it was in fact Schumer who was orchestrating opposition to the legislation in order to try to extract political points from Republicans in exchange for passage of the bill.
"Unfortunately some of our friends … would rather spend their time manufacturing fights — and 30 second television ads — than help create jobs,” said McConnell. "[T]heir plan isn't to work together to find a way to create jobs but to find ways to make it easier to keep their own."