Grassley rebukes Reid for narrowing jobs bill

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) accused Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today of "pulling the rug out" from efforts to gain bipartisan support for a jobs bill.

Reid decided to scrap the bill unveiled by Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) just hours after it had been unveiled. Members of his caucus complained that it had been watered down too much.

"Senator Reid’s announcement sends a message that he wants to go partisan and blame Republicans when Senator Grassley and others were trying to find common ground on solutions to help get the economy back on track and people back to work," said Jill Kozeny, a spokesperson for Grassley.

Kozeny added that Reid killed the bill just as it was gaining bipartisan momentum.

"Senator Reid did this just as Republican senators were saying they liked things in the Baucus-Grassley draft, which would have prevented billions of dollars in tax increases and offset any spending," she said. "The Majority Leader pulled the rug out from work to build broad-based support for tax relief and other efforts to help the private sector recover from the economic crisis.”

"We’re going to move this afternoon to a smaller package than talked about in the press,” Reid said when announcing his decision.

For more on the new jobs bill, see Alex Bolton's story.