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Harry Reid's pledge: One jobs bill a week

October 17, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to the media during an Oct. 4 briefing on Capitol Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to the media during an Oct. 4 briefing… (Alex Wong / Getty Images )

The Senate plans to vote on the first component of President Obama's jobs plan -- $35 billion to save the jobs of public school teachers and first-responders -- possibly as soon as this week.
    
It seems Democrats are finally operating from the same political playbook. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, made the announcement Monday as Obama embarked on his three-day jobs bus tour.

"We're going to do our utmost to do this as quickly as we can," Reid told reporters.

Senate Republicans immediately denounced the proposal as another bailout for public sector workers, saying previous efforts to ship funding to cash-strapped states did not prevent teacher layoffs.

Still, arguing against teachers and firefighters will prove a tough vote. Democrats plan to pay for the measure with the proposed 5.6% surtax on millionaires.

Democratic leaders in the Senate are carving Obama's $447 billion jobs package into individual components after a GOP-led filibuster blocked it last week from advancing. The Republican-led House, which is on recess this week, declined to take up Obama's jobs package -- but expects to consider tax relief for corporations when lawmakers return next week.

Reid promised "one jobs bill a week" in the days ahead.

That said, the Senate must first dispense with a package of spending bills this week, and may run out of time to take up the jobs bill provision. And senators will be on recess next week.

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