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.

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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 ReidDems face identity crisis Heller under siege, even before healthcare Charles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales 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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill Trump administration pays June ObamaCare subsidies to insurers Republicans and the lost promise of local control in education MORE (Tenn.), the GOP conference chairman, as well as new Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.).

GOP Sens. Richard BurrRichard BurrAn unlikely home in DC Senate intel panel to hold hearing on Russian meddling in Europe The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (N.C.), Kit Bond (Mo.), Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | Senate Dems set principles for potential budget negotiation Defense hawks gird for budget brawl MORE (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Tech: EU hits Google with record fine | Amazon gears up for lobbying battle | Facebook hits 2 billion users | New ransomware spreads across globe Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google MORE (Maine), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes GOP chairman wants 'robust' tax reform process in the Senate Chaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend MORE (Utah), James InhofeJames InhofeSenators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan McCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control MORE (Okla.), George LeMieux (Fla.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump: Senate GOP 'very close' to agreement on health bill EPA head faces skeptical senators on budget cuts Cruz, McConnell huddle with healthcare vote looming MORE (Ak.), Olympia Snowe (Maine.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and Roger WickerRoger WickerOvernight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill Lawmakers unveil bill to set 355-ship Navy 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.