The skinny on the jobs bill

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 18:23

Senate Majority leader has scrapped a deal forged by the Senate finance committee on the jobs bill, due to complaints from Democrats:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is rewriting a jobs bill after Democrats complained of too many concessions to Republicans.  

Reid announced Thursday that he would cut back on the jobs bill Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced only hours earlier, essentially overruling the powerful chairman.  

It is enough to make one ask--why didn't he just do this with health care?  The 74 days the Senate lost while waiting for Baucus and Grassley on health care was enough to push the process past the Massachusetts special election.   If Reid had just overridden Baucus back then, the health care bill would currently be law.

I guess even if Reid did not override Baucus then, at least overriding Baucus now shows that he valuing bipartisanship at lot less these days.  Progress!

Now, Reid will move forward with the original bill he had discussed back on Tuesday:

  1. A tax credit, proposed by Senators Schumer and Hatch, for small businesses that hire new workers (see more here)

  2. More Build America Bonds, which make it easier for state and local governments to borrow money (see more here)

  3. Section 179 Expensing: helps small businesses grow by allowing them to write off more of their expenditures

  4. About $20 billion for the Highway Trust Fund.

Debate, amendments and voting on this bill will take place next week.  As I discussed on Tuesday, this bill is pretty weak tea compared to the House jobs bill.  It is especially light on direct public infrastructure spending, and direct grants to state and local governments.

The deal between Baucus and Grassley that caused Democrats to balk included many other measures:

[A] short-term extension of the USA PATRIOT Act, flood insurance provisions, Small Business Administration loan provisions, and a $1.5 billion package of agriculture disaster relief provisions.

The Baucus version of the bill also included a tax extenders component very similar to the $31 billion Tax Extenders Act passed by the House, and a deal on unemployment and COBRA extensions.

While these measures will not be in the bill the Senate votes on next week, it is important to note that the Senate isn't scrapping any of these ideas.  Rather, they will take up these ideas the week after next in separate legislation.

Chris Bowers :: The skinny on the jobs bill

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Reid already poo poo-ing filibuster changes (0.00 / 0)
Can't wait to see droopy dog go down in flames

there's this story in Post (4.00 / 1)
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday dismissed an effort by some Democrats to eliminate the filibuster, saying the chamber's procedures were designed to prevent the majority party from unilaterally changing the rules.

Minutes before a pair of colleagues formally unveiled their proposal to eliminate filibusters, Reid told reporters he adhered to the long-standing Senate rule that only a two-thirds majority could change the chamber's rules. This high hurdle -- established decades ago in an effort to prevent a party with a simple majority from ruling the chamber with an iron fist -- would require eight Republicans to join the 59 members of the Democratic caucus to alter the rules, something Reid said is not going to happen.

"I'm totally familiar with his idea," Reid said of the latest filibuster-reform resolution, from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "It takes 67 votes, and that, kind of, answers the question."


[ Parent ]
So now the Senate Bill (4.00 / 4)
is coherent, Reid having cut out the crap (Patriot Act!), but still disgracefully small. 50 billion dollars? We're in an unemployment crisis, and the House of Lords gives us 50 bill. For perspective, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost some 200-250 billion this year.  

Please tell me (4.00 / 1)
there is nothing for Alabama.

the President's Day recess (0.00 / 0)
begins tomorrow and comprises all of next week. The Senate comes back into session the following week.


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