Jay Carney recently resigned his post as White House spokesperson. As many others do, he used the line that he needs to spend more time with his family. In corporate America, this is code for resigning before you are fired. In this case, it may signify that Jay Carney is tired of lying.
Since December 2008, Carney has been an administration mouthpiece, becoming White House spokesperson in January 2011. The administration has presided over many issues during this time period ranging from the Fast & Furious gunrunning operation and the IRS targeting of conservative groups to the lack of security for the American embassy personnel in Benghazi. During this entire time, immigration has been a consistent and ever-present topic.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to compare what Carney/Obama said about immigration and what was subsequently done about it.
American Jobs Act
The American Jobs Act of 2011 (S. 1660) was introduced in the Senate on September 13, 2011 by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and introduced in the House (HR 12) on September 21, 2011 by Rep. John Larson (D-CT). The Act was slated to put people back to work through infrastructure building, tax breaks, small business funding and the extension of unemployment benefits, among other things. The bill never made it to a first reading in the House and by October 11, 2011, the bill failed in the Senate.
Fast forward to October 24, 2011. President Obama stated:
Without a doubt, the most urgent challenge that we face right now is getting our economy to grow faster and to create more jobs….we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.
On June 15, 2012, Obama acted.
The Office of the Press Secretary issued remarks made by Obama in a Rose Garden briefing in which he stated:
As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans – they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country – to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents – or because of the inaction of politicians.
In response to reporters asking about the placement of foreigners over American workers, the President answered:
And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy – and CEOs agree with me.…it’s the right thing to do, period.
The last question at the briefing was, “What about American workers who are unemployed while you import foreigners?” The President ended the briefing.
When President Obama spoke about the American Jobs Act, it already had failed in Congress a month earlier. He then stated he will act where Congress did not. His action was to endorse the DREAM Act which imported more foreign workers, while the unemployment rate was already high. When pressed on the issue by reporters, Obama responded, “It was the right thing to do.”