House nearing deal, aiming for vote on Senate jobs bill before weekend

House Democrats are nearing a deal on the Senate jobs bill and could vote on it before the weekend, according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

“They’re working on it now,” he said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) expects all hurdles to be cleared within 24 hours.

The $15 billion jobs bill that passed the Senate 70-28 on Wednesday riled some House Democrats, who claimed the highway portion of the legislation unevenly compensated some states over others. Highway projects in Washington state, Louisiana, Illinois and California would benefit at the expense of other states.  

Rangel met Wednesday night with Ways and Means members to figure a solution for the problem.

Van Hollen was a part of that meeting and said leaders are weighing two strategies. They could either pass the Senate package as is and amend the highway portion of the bill in future legislation or make the needed changes to the bill and send it back to the Senate for approval. He admitted the latter choice comes with some risks since it requires the Senate to approve the amended bill.

“I know what I want to do, but I’m not going to say it just yet,” he said.

Returning the bill to the Senate could delay its enactment, since it is unclear if Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) could secure 60 votes for the bill again. With 59 Democrats in his conference, Reid needs at least one Republican to support House changes to the bill, a risky proposition since Republicans have taken political heat for supporting the majority leader’s bill the first time around.

Thirteen Republicans joined 55 Democrats and two Independents to support the original Senate bill.

Republicans voting yes included Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderWeek ahead: Senators near deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets Corker pressed as reelection challenges mount Overnight Health Care: CBO predicts 15 percent ObamaCare premium hike | Trump calls Sanders single-payer plan ‘curse on the US’ | Republican seeks score of Sanders’s bill MORE (Tenn.), the GOP conference chairman, as well as new Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.).

GOP Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrLawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election 5 senators call for US to shutter embassy in Havana MORE (N.C.), Kit Bond (Mo.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMcConnell tees up debt, government-funding vote National Flood Insurance Program is the next storm for hurricane survivors Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions MORE (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Ryan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort MORE (Maine), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFinance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea Week ahead in finance: Clock ticking for GOP on tax reform MORE (Utah), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeA third of Congress hasn’t held a town hall — it’s time to take action Anonymous affiliate publishes claimed list of GOP private contact info Wasting America’s nuclear opportunity MORE (Okla.), George LeMieux (Fla.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort How Senate relationships could decide ObamaCare repeal MORE (Ak.), Olympia Snowe (Maine.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerWeek ahead: Crunch time for defense bill’s cyber reforms | Equifax under scrutiny Senator says he nearly has the votes for ObamaCare repeal GOP braces for Bannon primary attacks MORE (Miss.) also voted yes.

Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was the only Democrat to oppose it.

The highway portion of the bill is quite small when compared to its centerpiece, a $13 billion payroll tax credit employers claim for hiring new workers who have been out of work for more than 60 days. Build America Bonds and greater expensing for small businesses are also included in the measure.