February 23rd, 2010
02:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Reid calls on Senate to pass jobs bill soon

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/art.reid0209.gi.jpg caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that the Senate must vote soon on the jobs bill."]

Washington (CNN) - The Senate could vote on the jobs bill as soon as Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

"I'm hopeful and confident we can work out a reasonable time to vote on this," the Nevada Democrat said Tuesday. "Otherwise, we'll have to do it really late tonight or very early in the morning."

Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said that both parties and both chambers have "incentive to get something done" soon.

Peter Beinart, a scholar at the non-partisan New America Foundation, added that it's nearly impossible for Republicans to vote against a bill helping Americans save or pick up jobs.

"It's kinda extraordinary that you have this permanent filibuster against everything – even stuff like jobs, which should be less controversial than health care," he said.

On Monday, the Senate passed a key procedural vote to push the $15 billion jobs bill to a vote. Five Republicans - including newly minted Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts - aligned with Democrats to pass the bill 62-30. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, was the sole Democrat to vote against it.

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The Senate bill is a scaled down version of an $85 billion draft bill that was later scrapped for Reid's $15 billion plan. The bill exempts employers from Social Security payroll taxes on new hires who were unemployed; funds highway and transit programs through 2010; extends a tax break for businesses that spend money on investments, such as equipment purchases, among other items.

The bill, however, does not extend the deadline to apply for unemployment benefits and the COBRA health insurance subsidy. The House, in passing its $154 billion bill last year, included $79 billion in funding to extend unemployment benefits and a COBRA extension.

On Tuesday, Reid said he would be "asking consent" by the Senate for a separate bill calling for a 30-day extension for "expiring tax provisions, including unemployment insurance, COBRA, flood insurance and a number of other important issues."

If something isn't done, around 1.2 million Americans will run out of benefits after February 28.

"The first critical battle will be between Senate and House Democrats, especially on many of the issues like COBRA," Duffy said. "If Democrats can come to agreement, then Republicans will look at the result and make a judgment about whether they can support it."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that he spoke with Reid about the extensions on unemployment insurance and COBRA. He indicated that the House could pass the Senate jobs bill without going to conference. But he also said it's "accurate to say there will be disagreements."

Reid also said Tuesday that he's working on the next jobs bill, which would be "a small business package ... a very very robust program" that will be bipartisan, just like the current bill. Reid said he hopes to have it done before Easter.

One key differences also to be hashed out between the two chambers includes helps for struggling states. The House bill provides $23 billion to states in order to save or create an estimated 250,000 education jobs over the next two years. It would also fund positions for $5,000 cops - and would provide money to hire and retain firefighters.

–CNNMoney Senior Writer Tami Luhby, along with CNN Congressional Producers Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh, contributed to this report.

Filed under: Harry Reid • House • Jobs • Senate
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. get real

    To win the 5 Republicans' support, they had to cut an extension to unemployment benefits. Hope y'all enjoy the bread lines. While you're standing at the food pantry, I hope you thank the GOP! That's bi-partisanship for ya.

    February 23, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    If we can't get any republican support on a jobs bill, then republicans can flush their election dreams down the toilet.

    February 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. gt

    poor harry such a pathedic leader,,,no wonder nothing gets done in washington,,,

    February 23, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Joseph-Ohio

    "It's kinda extraordinary that you have this permanent filibuster against everything ......" Wow that says it all. How can Republicans continue to say President Obama is failing when all they have done the last year is sit back, vote no, and collect a nice pay check with all the perks for doing such. This is not government! I will not hold my breath. To our own fault as lazy Americans we tend to believe everything we see on TV as right. News Flash Middle America: The Republican Party has not had your back for decades just your uneducated vote. Get informed, get involved, and by all means get the facts not TV Republican fiction.

    February 23, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    As far as Reid is concerned, the purpose of a "jobs bill" is to siphon money away from working, productive, people and give it to new legions of useless government drones.

    The only "jobs bill" the country needs is for the idiot government to stop taxing people and small businesses to death. How can any small business afford to hire anyone if they don't have enough money left over after taxes to pay them? How can people buy goods and services from small businesses if they don't have any money left over after taxes to pay for those goods and services?

    Government is not the solution, it's the problem.

    February 23, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I will tell you who you are dealing with. Spread the word people. The mark of the beast on your forehead is when you accept the Anti-Christ through blind faith. The mark of the beast on your hand is when you accept the Anti-Christ through gifts. People Obama is the Anti-Christ that you have all read about. You have been warned. The future is not set and can go in two very different directions. Get involved and help stop this massive take over.

    February 23, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Editor, check that last paragraph. Considering Wall Street and Detroit got a trillion in taxpayer money, it's about time the Fed's spend a small amount of $ on a new jobs bill. However the last thing America needs to do is spend more and more $ on cops. We already spend waaaay to much money on our criminal justice system.

    February 23, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    As the federal goernment cannot actually create jobs (other than expanding the federal government), they have to create an environment that allows those who do create jobs (mostly small businesses) to do so! How? Tax incentives!

    February 23, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Real-Repub

    All this is going to do is create more government beaurocratic jobs for the working middle class of American to pay for with increased taxes. The GOVERNMENT cannot create jobs except by making the business climate better. One cannot help the business climate by increasing taxes.

    February 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    Just like a Democrat, spending money that nobody has. "Let's just sink this ship and start over" is the battle cry of the Dems!

    February 23, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Dump the thing NOW.51 IS A MAJORITY,use it.

    February 23, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Ben

    Apparently these idiots haven't figured out tht government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does Just more money poured down the drain.

    February 23, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. matt

    funny, wasn't this part of what the two $700 gazillion bail out plans were supposed to do (note – the blame falls on both parties)? And if not, what kind of idiot voted for those plans without expecting job saving or creating. Oh well, just throw money at it – ain't their money, right?

    February 23, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Monkey wrench

    Golly Batman I hope this passes, all the States are running out of their stimu-less tax dollars to keep their phony baloney bureaucrats in their overpayed, non-productive, phony baloney jobs. Whatever would we do if the tax nipple dried up for them to suckle that sweet, sweet government tap of other peoples money? Ever wonder why the legal department lawyers for all this overstuffed bureaucracy never get laid off? Ever wonder why lawyers in DC are now dictating what a doctor, CEO, Banker or an insurance company can make? Who regulates the lawyers paychecks, oh I fell down someone must be at fault!? Oh, I guess that could only be done through tort law reform now couldn't it?

    February 23, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    Not sure why the Republicans would bother with a filibuster on this bill that neither does much or hurts much. The number of jobs it creates will have no impact on the unemployment rate but no harm in creating a few. The much larger bill that had wide bipartisan support would have created a lot more jobs. But Reid being the total idiot he is ripped it up and wrote his on bill.
    Why the Senate Democrats keep Reid in the leadership position is beyond me.

    February 23, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. inofritzn

    WASN'T Obamas first "stimulus" bill supposed to be about jobs?????????

    Why do we need another one when you fools claim less then half of the first one is spent??????????? scum-bags

    February 23, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Chee Hup


    i could have made that poster myself. For much less also!

    February 23, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. jm for sc

    Reid, the republican does not care about the 1.2 million that will run out of benefits. It will actually benefit their political goals of trying to make the president look like he is not doing anything.

    I bet the of the 30 republicans who voted against the bill does not even understand why they did it.

    February 23, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Pass the bill, then pass health care reform with a public option.

    February 23, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. ObamasRecordDeficit

    Ah, uh, ah, hum, uh, ah, um

    Who's the bigger Idiot?

    Wow, what a close race.

    February 23, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Charlie

    We need more people like SCott Brown to be elected in the next election. Congress (both DEM and GOP) is dysfunctional now. The veterans can't work together to do something good for people. ANd the president doesn't have the leadership to make them work. It is time to elect new fresh candidates.

    February 23, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Mike1952

    Why is this needed? I thought that $787billion "stimulus" was supposed to create millions of new jobs and save millions more. Oh, yeah, it didn't work.

    February 23, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Obama mama

    The jobs bill used to be called stimulus 3.

    As a business owner, I find it silly that legislators think that companies will hire based on tax incentives. No, we hire based on need. All your tax incentives are a waste of money. So, instead of doing the wrong thing and paying later, it is better to do nothing.

    And Obama is stupid if he thinks that people believe the 'jobs saved or created' garbage that he spews daily.

    February 23, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Paul C.

    The Republicans try to give the impression that they want to create jobs but then vote every thing. They vote against anything proposed by Obama and throw any road block to make him fail then they can ride to the rescue and begin another reign of terror. CNN should publish, at every opportunity, the names of the Senators who voted to stop the jobs bill.

    February 23, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Every senator who votes against the American people should not be returned to office. So far, 37 senate republicans need to be sent packing.

    February 23, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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