Regardless of what the House is doing, the Senate will focus on job creation, Reid continued.
"So, Mr. President, while House Republicans hold a political show-vote, the Senate will take a different approach," Reid said. "They're going to continue to try and be constructive, focus on jobs."
Reid's opening floor speech came as the Senate reconvened for the first time since it passed a massive highway bill that also including extensions of the current student loan interest rate on Stafford loans and flood insurance. Reid praised Senate Republicans and Democrats for working together to pass the package and said he hoped legislators in his chamber could do the same with the tax credit bill, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, S. 2237.
That bill would provide a 10 percent tax credit on salaries paid by a company above the salaries it paid out in 2011, up to $5 million, creating a tax credit of up to $500,000. It would also expand bonus depreciation for another year, allowing companies to immediately write off the cost of new equipment.
The bill spends an estimated $28.5 billion over 10 years, but is not offset by any new spending cuts or revenue. The Senate is set to end debate on the motion to proceed to the bill on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day President Obama urged Congress to extend the Bush tax rate for Americans making less than $250,000 a year. Obama's push and the Senate vote on the tax relief bill seems to be a coordinated effort by Democrats to move the national discussion away from the Obama administration's healthcare reform law, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold virtually all of it, and toward job creation and whether all or some of the Bush tax cuts should be extended.
"Democrats can't undertake the work of strengthening the economy alone," Reid said. "Tomorrow Republicans will have an opportunity to prove they're willing to continue to work with us to create middle-class jobs."
—This story was updated at 2:59 p.m.