If the Republicans have one message this campaign season, it's that they'll do more to create jobs than the Democrats have.
The latest poll numbers suggest the voters are inclined to believe the Republicans about this. The latest news from Washington suggests they shouldn't.
Steve Benen explains:
At issue is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund, which should have been one of the most popular programs in Congress. A key component of the Recovery Act, the fund subsidizes jobs with private companies, nonprofits, and government agencies, and has single handedly put more than 240,000 unemployed people back to work in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
Governors, including Mississippi's Haley Barbour (R), have sung its praises, and urged its extension. In July, CNN called the TANF Emergency Fund "a stimulus program even a Republican can love."
Except, Republicans didn't love it. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) led the floor fight this week, and was even willing to accept a compromise: instead of a year-long extension that Democrats had requested, Durbin sought a three-month extension, at a cost of just $500 million, in order to keep the fund alive through the end of the year. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) refused to allow it. ...
This isn't some academic exercise -- by killing the measure, Republicans will force thousands of Americans out of work. The House approved an extension of the program (twice) but the Senate GOP just didn't care. As a result, the TANF Emergency Fund comes to an end tonight at midnight. Thousands of layoffs will begin quickly, and continue as we get closer to the holiday season.