Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 4, 2010

JOBS BILL.... The good news is, Senate Democratic leaders talked up a new jobs bill this morning, and intend to push the legislation quickly. The bad news is, no one seems entirely sure what's in the bill.

Senate Democratic leaders outlined an ambitious, yearlong jobs-creation agenda Thursday, but with just four days before they hope to hold their first floor vote on a package, they have yet to outline the elements of their first bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped to introduce a bipartisan bill as soon as Thursday afternoon and hold the first votes on the measure Monday. He added that he wants to pass the bill before Senators leave at the end of next week for the weeklong Presidents Day recess.

What we learned this morning was basically about the leadership's commitment -- they're serious about a jobs bill, would like to hold a vote as early as next week, and have reached out to Republicans, who may or may not allow the Senate to vote on the jobs bill once it's complete.

That said, we don't know how much the package will cost, how it would be paid for (in a Republican-led Congress, such a question wasn't asked), and how many jobs it intends to create.

There are, in other words, a few kinks to work out.

We do have a sense of what kind of measures may be in the legislation.

[T]he first package is likely to include a one-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund, a small-business expensing tax credit, a continuation of the Build America Bonds program and a tax credit for businesses that hire new employees this year. [...]

The jobs bills that Democrats will pursue ... are likely to fall into discreet categories. Besides the tax incentives in the first bill, Democrats expect to consider measures focused on small-business lending and expansion, creating "green jobs" through energy-efficiency programs, funding transportation, water and school infrastructure projects, and providing money to states for teacher, police and firefighter hiring.

Also this morning, the Senate leadership released a new video with commentary from economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder, both of whom talked up the idea of a jobs bill, what should be in it, and why it deserves at least some GOP support.

Keep in mind, January's employment numbers are due out tomorrow morning. If they're less than stellar, as seems likely, this should, one hopes, give lawmakers a stronger incentive to take bold action. We'll see.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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Comments

I don't think the Interstate Highway System came about because of the need for jobs, but it sure provided plenty. And we have been reaping the benefits ever since. (I remember U.S. Route 1, running from Maine to Florida, as a narrow, 35MPH "Highway.")

For every dollar spent on modernizing our aging infrastructure, 100 dollars are returned, over the next 50 years.

(Like a good Republican, I made that number up. Who has time for research when there are points to be made?)

Posted by: DAY on February 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

What is it with this country. No one's sure what's in the bill. Are you fucking kidding me. Just read it. If it's not done yet read it when it's ready. What we pay these dillweeds for if they can't it least take the time to delegate an aid to read the bill.

Posted by: Gandalf on February 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are not interested in doing anything that will improve the lives of people who work for a living or who wish they could. They are interested in creating the most hellish environment possible in order to prolong and exacerbate the consequences of the Tweedle Dick/Tweedle Dumb regime.

The GOP (Greedy Oligarchs & Psychopaths) will destroy the government, the country, the environment, and our common future in order to hobble the Democrats until they retake power.

Posted by: Boolaboola on February 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

"...give lawmakers a stronger incentive to take bold action."

You can rest assured that my republican legislators will take bold action!

They will boldly oppose anything and everything that The Chosen One and the democrat party propose.

They will boldly take efforts to increase unemployment, as it provides them another arrow to aim at the Obama target.

Our republican goal is to save our country from the most formidable enemy every faced. A greater threat to American security has never been faced that at these times. Compared to the current threat, Hitler was a wimp and the USSR was merely a bump in the road.

And, after we defeat this horrible menace known as Obama and the democrat party, we republicans will rightfully return to our place as unchallenged rulers of the United Corporations of Amerika!

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on February 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or could Harry Reid teach slow learning to slow learners? Hoping to introduce a Bipartisan bill? Has some other political party just formed and been recognized, or is he talking about the Republicans, who are guaranteed to vote against anything introduced by the Obama administration unless they say up-front, "This is a purely Republican intiative, crafted by Republicans and in which we had no say whatsoever"?

Perhaps he just continues, rather pathetically, to pretend that bipartisanship is actually possible, or says the word without realizing he said it. But it shouldn't be fooling even the most ignorant by this point.

Posted by: Mark on February 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

The bad news is, no one seems entirely sure what's in the bill.

That's not "news", that's SOP.

Posted by: marketeer on February 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or has this blog become the most garishly ugly wall of advertising in the whole of the blogosphere?

Posted by: Michael on February 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and Harry Reid continue to be firm believers in bipartisanship!

From the Unabridged Dictionary of RepublikanSpeak:

Bipartisanship - when the dumbocraps give everything to the rethugs that they want in return for being spit on.

True Bipartisanship - when the dumbocraps give everything to the rethugs that they want and apologize for taking so long to do so.

Posted by: SadOldVet on February 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

What we pay these dillweeds for if they can't it least take the time to delegate an aid to read the bill. - Gandalf @ 12:55

Ha! The aid with corporate interests wrote the damn thing. Dillweeds have limited time so have to devote most of it to spin.

Posted by: Kevin on February 4, 2010 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I hope it includes $178 billion or whatever it is to preserve jobs at the state and local level.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

what prevents a company from laying off workers, waiting some period of time, then rehiring new employees and claiming the tax credit? is there a provision?

wasnt the $787 billion suppose to create jobs?

Posted by: skeptic1 on February 4, 2010 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

How do we create jobs? Here is the answer! http://www.editurl.com/9yx

Posted by: Brian on February 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
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