Pelosi, Hoyer bring number of Obama jobs package co-sponsors up to three

President Obama's jobs package only has three sponsors in the House after the top two Democratic leaders backed it. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) this week officially signed on to the legislation as co-sponsors. 

But other Democrats so far have not co-sponsored the legislation. The only other Democrat who is a co-sponsor is House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.), who introduced the bill on Sept. 21. 

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Obama introduced the package more than a month ago and has repeatedly urged Congress to approve it.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) introduced Obama's bill on Sept. 21, about two weeks after Obama's Sept. 8 address on jobs to a joint session of Congress. The House bill is H.R. 12.

House Republicans on Friday morning teased Democrats about the lack of Democratic support for Obama's bill, particularly given repeated calls from Democrats to take up the bill. Democrats did not answer directly, but many Senate Democrats are known to be wary of the tax increases that Obama has proposed to pay for his $447 billion jobs plan.

Given those concerns, Senate Democrats jettisoned Obama's proposal to raise taxes on oil companies and families earning more than $250,000 a year, replacing those provisions with a 5.6 percent surtax on annual income above $1 million. A jobs package that included that proposal won 51 Democratic votes in a procedural motion this week, with all the Senate's Republicans opposing, in addition to two Democrats. A few other Democrats indicated they did not support the overall package but were willing to vote to allow the debate to continue. 

Republicans and Democrats on Friday morning resumed their argument on the House floor on how best to create jobs. Members were debating H.R. 2273, which would override a pending Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on coal ash.

Democrats said the House should be focused on a jobs bill, but Republicans argued that easing EPA rules is in fact a jobs bill.

"There's no question that the current legislation that we're talking about saves 316,00 jobs, up to 316,000 jobs," said Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). "I'm going to call that a jobs bill."

Scott also argued that this week's passage of three free trade deals is also a move to create jobs, as are other bills limiting EPA rules.

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