McConnell says Senate aiming for Thursday vote on $35B jobs bill

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) predicted the chamber would vote Thursday on the Senate Democrats' mini-jobs bill, a $35 billion proposal to keep teachers and first-responders employed.

McConnell said the plan, which would levy a 0.5 percent surtax on annual incomes above a million dollars, would pose a burden on small businesses.

“We’ll be voting once again today on what the president calls one of his jobs proposals,” said McConnell. “This is a proposal to raise taxes on 300,000 business owners in order to send money down to states so they don’t have to lay off state employees.”

ADVERTISEMENT
McConnell said Congress passed similar stimulus legislation in 2009. Republicans have criticized the effectiveness of that intervention.

“We earlier had an experience with this in the first stimulus, which was borrowing money that would have to be paid back by future generations, in order to send [funds] down to states to help them with their financial problems so they wouldn’t have to lay off state employees.”

Republicans contend the Democrats’ jobs bill is a political ploy designed to make GOP lawmakers appear they are coddling millionaires at the expense of the working class. They say it’s a non-starter because it would raise taxes — the last thing, Republicans argue, that should be done during a recession.

McConnell said Republicans would insist on a vote on a separate piece of President Obama’s jobs plan: a proposal to eliminate the 3 percent withholding tax charged on federal contractors.

The federal government usually withholds 3 percent of the value of a contact up front as a down payment on the taxes that will be owed.

A senior Republican aide noted that White House press secretary Jay Carney described the pieces of the president’s jobs plan as equally important.

“We’re looking for ways to work together,” said the aide.

A Democratic leadership aide said there is no agreement yet on considering the jobs bill and the Republican proposal to scrap withholding taxes on federal government contractors.

The Democratic aide said the votes could fall to Friday.

More in Senate

McConnell: ‘Bust up’ immigration bill

Read more »