For the third time in four weeks, Senate Republicans on Thursday voted in unison to block a piece of President Obama's jobs package.
The GOP senators were joined by one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) in rejecting a procedural motion on legislation that would spend $60 billion on transportation infrastructure programs. The vote was 51-49.
The spending was offset with a new tax on income earned above $1 million that Republicans oppose.
Many Republicans, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), said they favored the idea of patching up the nation’s roads, railways and bridges, but refused to agree to any tax hike.
“Sen. Reid comes in with a tax-increase plan, a big spending plan totaling $60 billion, and we are supposed to pass this?” Sessions asked prior to the vote Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acted just as shocked that Republicans would once again conspire to defeat a piece of legislation he said would create jobs.
“It's unbelievable that the Republicans have lined up in the past and we've heard they're going to do the same thing today in unanimous opposition to this common-sense plan supported by people all over America,” Reid said. “Americans are crying for jobs.”
The Senate previously rejected Obama's entire $447 billion jobs package and a portion of the package that would have given money to states to hire teachers, firefighters and police officers.