Senate Democrats readying new jobs package
Senate Democrats are getting ready to build another jobs bill:
Senate Democrats are crafting a job creation bill that would boost funding for small businesses, public services, infrastructure projects and energy efficiency programs.
An aide to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Democrats are looking at proposals in those four main areas. But the aide said that senators have yet to finalize their specific proposals.
Durbin, who is writing the bill with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), has said the Senate will take up the bill soon after they return later this month from the holiday break.
They are considering new transit and highway spending and efforts to help stave off public employee layoffs, as well as a new tax credit for businesses hiring new workers and a program providing incentives for homeowners to retrofit their homes, according to a source off Capitol Hill.
As of now, we don't know the price tag for this bill and we don't know how the cost is being offset. Legislators remain anxious to avoid charges of deficit spending, economically wrongheaded as that might be. But if you're not going to increase the deficit, you're going to have to find ways to pay for the spending. That means the bill can't be very big, because there's not much money lying around at the moment. And a smaller bill means fewer jobs. But Durbin and Dorgan are smart guys, and the unemployment numbers are very bad. So we'll see what they come up with.
Photo credit: By Jay Mallin/Bloomberg
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