Ahead of President Obama’s stimulus-jobs trip Thursday to push for a bridge between Kentucky and Ohio — which essentially links the areas represented by the two top Republican leaders in Congress — the GOP is pushing back.
“Now is not the time for the president to go into campaign mode,” House Speaker John A. Boehner, an Ohio Republican who represents part of Cincinnati, told reporters.
Mr. Obama will travel to Ohio to make remarks about the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects the state with Kentucky, and will argue that it and other projects could benefit if Congress would pass his jobs-stimulus plan, which he submitted last week.
The White House told the Cincinnati Enquirer that his bill doesn’t include money for the bridge itself, but would go to states and localities who could determine where to spend it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said his constituents have heard promises before. But he said the disgraced solar panel manufacturer Solyndra got more money from Mr. Obama’s first $825 billion stimulus bill than the state of Kentucky was allocated to build roads and bridges.
“I mean, how many stimulus bills do we have to pass before these bridges get fixed? How many Solyndras do we have to finance?” Mr. McConnell said.
Mr. Obama has called for Congress to immediately pass his bill, which includes $467 billion in long-term tax increases to pay for new spending and temporary tax breaks over the next two years.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, introduced the president’s bill last week, but has said it likely won’t be brought to the floor until next month.
In the House, meanwhile, a Democrat finally introduced the legislation on Wednesday, nine days after Mr. Obama offered his plan. Republican leaders have said they will wait for the Congressional Budget Office to tally the legislation’s costs and then send it through the committee process.