Senate might vote Thursday afternoon on Obama's jobs plan

Senate Republicans say there will be a vote Thursday afternoon on President Obama’s controversial jobs package, which would likely go down in flames if lawmakers have the chance to consider it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) relented Thursday and said he would allow Republicans to offer the president’s jobs package as an amendment on the floor.

The package, which does not include modifications unveiled Wednesday by the Senate Democratic leadership, might not get a single vote, if history is a guide.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) executed a similar maneuver earlier this year when he forced a vote on Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget blueprint. It failed on a vote of 97-0.
Reid told McConnell on Thursday that he would allow a similar vote on the jobs package.
The Democratic leader argued the GOP amendment is not really the president’s jobs bill because Senate Democrats have a new version that is more likely to gain broad support.
“The problem we had is that the Republican leader offered the president's jobs bill in a form that is not the president's jobs bill. Now, I’ve told him this morning, you want to vote on that, fine. We'll do that. We'll have a vote on that today. It can either be a motion to suspend the rules or it can be a regular amendment,” Reid said on the floor.
McConnell wants to force a vote on the earlier version of the package, which would limit tax deductions for families that earn more than $250,000 and eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
Many Senate Democrats have expressed opposition to these revenue-raising provisions.
Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) oppose the oil and gas tax changes. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) opposes the proposal to limit deductions. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said earlier this week that the president's original proposal would not pass.

Republicans had tried to force a vote on the package Tuesday, but Reid blocked them with a procedural maneuver.
His floor statement on Thursday, however, left Republican strategists licking their chops.
“There will be a Senate vote today on the stimulus/tax hike bill the president sent to Congress, the bill he demanded Congress vote on,” McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart tweeted triumphantly.
Stewart estimated the vote would happen before 5:30 p.m.
A Democratic leadership aide, however, said Republicans are getting ahead of themselves.
The aide said Democrats will only allow a vote on a motion to suspend the rules to take up the president’s jobs package. That would require the support of 67 lawmakers, a far-fetched possibility. If the motion to suspend fails, the Senate would not consider the president’s plan.
A GOP leadership aide said Democrats would make a “180-degree turnaround” on their offer if they denied Republicans the chance to vote on the jobs plan.