Sen. Reid doesn’t have the votes to pass $15 billion version of jobs legislation

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lacks the votes to begin debating
his targeted jobs bill, according to sources monitoring the legislation.

needs 60 votes to open debate on the $15 billion jobs bill. The vote
is scheduled for Monday, when lawmakers return from the Presidents Day
{mosads}“I understand Reid does not have the votes for cloture on Monday on his jobs bill,” one source said.
A Reid spokesman said the vote is in the hands of Republicans. Democrats have 59 senators in their conference.

“It all depends on what Republicans do,” said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman.   
Reid scaled back an $85 billion jobs bill created by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking
Republican Chuck Grassley (Iowa) to focus on a narrower package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
since he announced his smaller jobs bill, it has been under siege by
Republicans and Democrats alike. Absent political arm-twisting by
Senate leaders to bring their rank-and-file in line, opposition to the
bill is expected to be bipartisan, sources said.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) called on Reid to “reconsider” the move and
urged him to move the Baucus-Grassley bipartisan proposal.
hope the majority leader will reconsider,” Lincoln said in prepared
remarks. “This bill was carefully crafted to achieve significant
bipartisan support and contains several important measures to spur
business growth and encourage new hires.”
The centerpiece to
Reid’s bill is a $13 billion tax credit employers can claim for hiring
employees who have been out of work for more than 60 days. But not all
Democratic senators support the initiative.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has raised the concern that a shortage in customer demand could render the tax break useless.
a question of whether that puts the cart before the horse,” said
Nelson. “If I don’t have enough customers for my product, hiring more
people is not going to help and tax credits are not going to be to my
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has noted the
Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that extending
unemployment insurance would create more jobs than providing tax
credits to employers who hire new workers.
A spokeswoman for
the majority leader said her boss would extend unemployment insurance
before its expiration by the end of the month. Lobbyists see this as
the best vehicle for advancing many of the provisions in the
Baucus-Grassley jobs proposal put aside by Reid.
leaders included in their measure $31 billion in extensions of expiring
tax provisions, including the research and development tax credit that
is widely used by businesses. The Information Technology Industry
Council sent a letter to Reid on Wednesday urging passage on this and
other expiring provisions.
“At a time when creating and
protecting jobs is critically important, extending these already
expired tax provisions will help preserve and promote high-tech
employment in the U.S. and help level the playing field for U.S.
companies competing abroad,” wrote ITIC president and CEO Dean Garfield.
“We urge you to include this broadly supported, bipartisan legislation
as you consider meaningful pro-growth legislation.”
The extender package also resuscitates biodiesel tax credits whose expiration the National Biodiesel Board says has
caused 29,000 jobs to be lost since the provision lapsed on Jan. 1.
biodiesel tax credit in the [Baucus-Grassley] jobs bill is the only
option being considered that will guarantee that workers can be put
back to work the day after it is signed into law,” said Dan Farney, an
Illinois Soybean Association farmer, in prepared remarks. “Illinois
biodiesel plants are laying off more green-collar employees every day
that the tax credit is allowed to go unsigned. This just adds to our
nation’s and state’s unemployment problems.”
Grassley’s state
has been negatively affected by the tax credit’s expiration. On Tuesday
the Iowa Republican condemned Reid for striking extenders from his jobs
bill for political gain.
“The industry is hemorrhaging jobs and
we can do something to stop it,” Grassley told reporters. “Yet Sen.
Reid decided that it was more important to play political games than
actually saving and creating jobs in the private sector.”

Tags Chuck Grassley Harry Reid Max Baucus Tom Harkin

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video