No House vote on Senate jobs bill

The House will not vote on the Senate jobs bill this week, according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Rangel also told The Hill he was unsure if there was sufficient support in the lower chamber for the $15 billion legislation.

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“I don’t know where we are there,” he said, adding, “I don’t know what the whip count is.”

Rangel predicted bipartisan passage of the bill earlier in the week. But that was before the liberal wing of his party revolted against the measure by questioning its effectiveness.

Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) told Democratic leaders Thursday they didn't support a measure because they saw it more as a "tax bill" than a bill that would create jobs.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus, on Friday questioned the size of the Senate bill and called on leaders to host a conference on it.

“The only path to make it bigger is to conference it,” he said.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, echoed Grijalva’s sentiment.

“I’m not so sure about the effectiveness,” he told The Hill. “If it was a part of a large package, perhaps I could be persuaded to vote for it.”

The centerpiece to the Senate bill is a $13 billion tax credit employers can claim for hiring employees who have been out of work for more than 60 days. It also extends infrastructure spending through 2010, expands small-business expensing and contains Build America bonds.

When asked about the fate of the Senate jobs bill at her Friday press conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dodged the question, saying only that passage of its provisions, as well as an extension to unemployment insurance, was needed.