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Democrats plan to unveil jobs strategy this week

By Ben Pershing
UPDATE 4:35 PM: Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed that Democrats planned to move forward with a jobs package that would include small business tax credits, a one-year reauthorization of the highway trust fund, money for Build America Bonds and some form of tax credit for employers who add new jobs.

On the last item, Reid specifically mentioned the Schumer-Hatch proposal to provide a payroll tax break to employers. The jury is still out on whether Democrats will be able to finalize details of a job tax credit program for inclusion in the very first jobs bill that moves in the next couple of weeks. But Reid stressed that his plan isn't just to move one measure. "We do not have a jobs bill. We have a jobs agenda we're working on," Reid said.

ORIGINAL ITEM: With President Obama's proposals in hand, Senate Democrats are crafting a strategy for moving a series of job-creation bills that they hope to unveil later this week.

Democrats were in the midst of writing a jobs measure last week when they decided to halt that process and wait for guidance from the White House. Obama detailed some of his plans in his State of the Union address and then provided more specifics Monday in his fiscal 2011 budget submission, which allocates $100 billion for a jobs measure.

Senate Democrats, who had been contemplating an initial bill with a cost of roughly $80 billion, now plan to move legislation in much smaller pieces but have yet to arrive at a price tag for the first bill, according to aides who requested anonymity to discuss an unfinished process.

The jobs measure has rapidly become the Senate's most pressing legislative item, as health-care reform has stalled and Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are eager to show voters that they will overcome legislative gridlock and address persistently high unemployment. Party leaders want the first bill on the chamber floor this month, with an informal goal of completing Senate action before the President's Day recess that begins Feb. 15.

"Ensuring that every American who wants to work can find a job is the top priority of the American people - and it's the top priority in President Obama's budget," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday.

Obama has proposed a tax credit of $5,000 for each new job companies create, and Senate Democrats were already developing their own version of a hiring tax credit before the president weighed in. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have proposed allowing companies to avoid paying payroll taxes for new employees for the duration of 2010. Leaders and committee chairmen are still working on the details of the program -- which some critics have suggested would be difficult to administer and susceptible to fraud -- and have yet to decide whether it will be included in this week's jobs bill.

Democrats do plan to include some combination of small business tax credits in the first bill. In New Hampshire Tuesday, Obama will tout a separate plan to create a new $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund. Aides said the Senate would examine that proposal but will not be prepared to move it right away.

The first jobs bill is expected to include a one-year extenstion of the legislation authorizing the highway trust fund, which will keep money flowing to infrastructure projects but put off a longer-term reauthorization of the measure being sought by some lawmakers and transportation lobbying groups. The measure will also include funds for Build America Bonds, which help state and local governments finance infrastructure projects.

Obama has called on Congress to extend unemployment and COBRA health insurance benefits, for bonus payments to Social Security recipients and for additional middle-class tax credits. Senate Democrats plan to move the unemployment and COBRA extensions, as well as extensions of some expiring tax measures, but have yet to decide whether to include those items in the first bill.

The House passed a $154 billion jobs bill on a narrow, party-line vote in December. That measure included many of the same items the Senate is now weighing, but with ballooning budget deficits much in the news, Senate Democrats are wary of moving anything that large.

Many of the individual proposals Democrats are considering are also popular across the aisle, but it remains to be seen how many Senate Republicans will be willing to lend the majority bipartisan cover for their plans. And Republicans have criticized Democrats' plans to use unspent funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to pay for a jobs bill, arguing that money should be returned to the Treasury instead.

Asked Sunday on CNN whether Republicans could work with Democrats on a jobs package, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "Well, look, as long as it creates jobs, we're willing to take a look at it. And we were responsible for governing before we got 41 votes. We didn't come here just to do nothing."

By Ben Pershing  |  February 2, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

You are right, PRRWRITER!

The only jobs we can expect Obama to "create" by taxing us more and further stealing from our children and grandchildren are "jobs" based on lies, gimmicks and smoke and mirrors, much like the jobs Obama has already "created" with the stimulus money in districts that don't even exist while unemployment soars!

And, worse yet, we can expect “green” government jobs as ACORN "community organizers" in charge of helping Obama lie, manipulate, intimidate, and coerce us into socialism/Marxism.

Nothing would boost REAL job creation and the economy more than Obama being impeached.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | February 4, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama’s budget demonstrates Obama’s “job creation” is another LIE. He said his number one goal for 2010 is to create jobs, but the horrendous tax increases in his recently released 2011 budget CONTRADICT this objective.

Higher taxes on businesses, upper-income taxpayers, and fossil fuels; an increased death tax; and new taxes to pay for health care would DESTROY jobs. Congress should reject these higher taxes and the rest of Obama’s business-killing, job killing, economy-killing agenda.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | February 4, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS IS A PROVEN FAILED THEORY?

How many of you know that mindless government spending, earmarks, pork, pet projects, etc are an application of Keynes' flawed theory?

How many of you know 75-85 % of all new jobs are created by small businesses in the USA?

How many of you understand that small businesses needs a reliable source of capital at reasonable interest rates as most a ARE NOT public companies who can sell stocks and bonds. Who knows what current interest rates are for small businesses? Would it surprise you that they are MORE than 15/20/25 times the prime rate?

How many of you can accurately tell what the TOTAL SPENDING by BUSH, then OBAMA and now OBAMA again was to support small businesses. Come on guys the bills totaled trillions. What % did small businesses get? Would it surprise you that it is LESS than 10/5/2%

How long are you going to let these ignorant barbarians in Congress & the White House continue to pillage, rape and burn this country to the ground?

Saved jobs are B/S , government jobs are wealth transfer and NEW JOB creation is over whelmed by the increasing unemployment!

Posted by: PRRWRITER | February 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS IS A PROVEN FAILED THEORY?

How many of you know that mindless government spending, earmarks, pork, pet projects, etc are an application of Keynes' flawed theory?

How many of you know 75-85 % of all new jobs are created by small businesses in the USA?

How many of you understand that small businesses needs a reliable source of capital at reasonable interest rates as most a ARE NOT public companies who can sell stocks and bonds. Who knows what current interest rates are for small businesses? Would it surprise you that they are MORE than 15/20/25 times the prime rate?

How many of you can accurately tell what the TOTAL SPENDING by BUSH, then OBAMA and now OBAMA again was to support small businesses. Come on guys the bills totaled trillions. What % did small businesses get? Would it surprise you that it is LESS than 10/5/2%

How long are you going to let these ignorant barbarians in Congress & the White House continue to pillage, rape and burn this country to the ground?

Saved jobs are B/S , government jobs are wealth transfer and NEW JOB creation is over whelmed by the increasing unemployment!

Posted by: PRRWRITER | February 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

A far more effective way to create jobs would be to stop punishing employers with taxes, regulations and the kind of economic uncertainty the president and Congress produce with every new spending plan. With an uncertain and unpredictable economic future, few new jobs will appear.
Every dollar seized from the private sector means one less dollar for real hiring and growth.

Posted by: Trucker49 | February 2, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Please give us a break. When is the Washington Post going to get smart? Today's Democrats are a disgrace. They can't wipe their noses correctly. Everything they touch goes down the toilet.
Their leader Obama is incapable of telling the truth on or about anything and is a complete fraud. The American people were stupid and fooled easily by the main-stream media and the Democrats in 2008, not anymore. No matter what the Post does to protect and support Obama, it will not work now.

Posted by: walterndebby | February 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

WHEN IS THIS "BLACK, RACICAL, RACIST, USELESS, INEXPERIENCED PIECE OF SHXT AND HIS ""HACK"" COHORTS GOING TO WAKE UP.
HE AND THEY ALL "SUCK".

Posted by: otisplumber | February 2, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats are creating a "JOB BILL" the WE should expect them to spend more money we do not have.
It is idiocy on a grand scale to think that "They" can buy prosperity with money borrowed!
We should be very afraid for our childrens indebtedness.

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

FELLOW AMERICANS, WAKE UP!!!

OUR COUNTRY AND WAY OF LIFE ARE IN PERIL!!!

www.AMERICAWAKEUPNOW.net

IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE!!!

Posted by: AMERICAWAKEUP | February 2, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The only jobs that the Dems know are the ones having to do with the hand and the mouth; see Barney for the "how-to" manual.

Posted by: apberusdisvet | February 2, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hope the jobs program is better than the health care disaster.

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 2, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Tax the foreign imports,put people back to work making these same products(so they can pay taxes) problem solved.Does are government not know this

Posted by: littleugh | February 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has absolutely no clue about how to solve the jobs, deficit, economy issues of the day. It seems that Obama is caught in a neverland of "what do I do" regarding the current financial situation in America. Neither Obama nor his minions have any idea about anything regarding the financial well being of this country. They, the supposed experts are lost in a maize of money, period..... They have a theory about how finances are to work but get lost from the batters box to first base. We have a totally rudderless President. Obama cannot and will not fix anything. He is impotent.

Posted by: davispope | February 2, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama's back on the campaign trail, making
more speeches..talk, talk, talk.
Doesn't he have a budget he's supposed to "be going through, line by line"?

Posted by: ohioan | February 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It's easy for the GOP to slam the president's agenda from afar, but they will soon be on the record as opposing job creation measures that most of the country desperately wants. The Dems are listening, the GOP is not.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 2, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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