CEDAR RAPIDS – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called for Republicans to compromise with the president in order to pass his $447 billion jobs plan.
However, the Florida congresswoman said the GOP and its presidential hopefuls are taking marching orders from tea party activists who are telling them not to work with President Obama and Democrats.
“The president and Democrats are certainly willing to compromise, we need Republicans to work with us,” Wasserman Schultz said in an Oct. 2 interview with KCRG-TV 9.
“As chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee I realize it can’t always be my way,” she said. “The tea party that has a stranglehold on the Republicans right now seem to be pushing the Republicans to not compromise on anything.”
The country needs another round of stimulus, said Wasserman Schultz, who was in Iowa over the weekend to appear with Democratic incumbent congressmen Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell as well as Democratic 4th District challenger Christie Vilsack.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act two years ago created or saved 34,000 jobs in Iowa, she said. Obama’s current proposal, the American Jobs Act, would provide 60,000 small businesses with a payroll tax cut and create or save thousands of jobs.
“What are Republicans opposed to? The problem is they only care about one job – Barack Obama’s,” she said. “We need them to work with us so we can move the country forward together and pass this bill now so we can get things kick-started.”
Although Wasserman Schultz said Democrats “will totally support it” – the president’s jobs plan, a number of her Democratic congressional colleagues have joined GOP members in questioning his proposal. They have reservations with the $447 million price tag as well as the effectiveness of tax cuts to spur job growth.
Turning to the 2012 presidential race, Wasserman Schultz said it “shouldn’t be about who’s in the White House.”
“It has to be about how we going to work together to move the country forward and create jobs,” the chairwoman said. “We need Republicans to join us in that goal.”
She predicted Iowa will respond to Florida moving its primary to Jan. 31 by moving its first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses ahead. The caucuses, which, according to the rules of both the Republican and Democratic parties, are to be the first event in the nomination process, were scheduled for Feb. 6.
“All of that chaos is on the Republican side because President Obama doesn’t have a primary,” she said.
Democrats fought that battle four years ago, but Wasserman Schultz said the party worked it out.
“We have the four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada) locked in,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We have a series of steps other states can take to bring themselves into the system. We have a process that works.”
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