New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the top Democrat in charge of messaging in the Senate, said it was too "premature" right now to say whether there were enough votes or not to pass President Obama's American Jobs Act.
Schumer's comment comes less than 24 hours after Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he didn't think there were currently the votes in his chamber to pass the job-creation legislation.
"I think it's premature to say — I mean, jobs is the No. 1 issue and we're working really hard and trying to get the votes for the president's jobs bill," Schumer said during a conference call.
Speaking on local Chicago radio station WLS, Durbin was asked Thursday whether the votes were there in the Senate.
"Not at the moment, I don’t think we do, but, uh, we can work on it,” Durbin said.
Durbin added that the bill would need bipartisan support.
"There are some senators who are up for election who say ‘I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people.’ So, we’re not gonna have 100 percent of Democratic senators," Durbin said. "That’s why it needs to be bipartisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen."
Obama has been pushing Congress to quickly pass his American Jobs Act, which includes an extension of the employee payroll tax cut, increased infrastructure spending and additional unemployment insurance benefit funding. Republicans have voiced some opposition to parts of the bill, but on the whole have expressed less opposition than on other pieces of legislation the president has proposed.