Democrats Mull Breaking Up Jobs Plan
Senate Democrats are mulling breaking President Barack Obama’s job-creation program into pieces and moving forward with individual components of the plan following what is expected to be a defeat of the entire package in a vote on Tuesday, aides said.
No final decisions have been made on the timing of any such move, nor on what aspects of the plan would be brought forward as individual pieces of legislation, the aides cautioned. One aide said Democratic leaders may decide to hold more than one vote on the plan in the coming weeks to further emphasize Republicans’ opposition to it.
The strategy was discussed at a meeting at the White House between the president and Senate Democratic leaders on Friday. Democrats are planning to meet with the party’s Senate lawmakers on Wednesday where aides said the idea would be discussed further.
Mr. Obama lent public support to the strategy at a news conference last week, calling on lawmakers to move forward with pieces of his plan given their reluctance to pass the entire package.
The Senate is to vote on the entire $450 billion legislation on Tuesday evening after lawmakers return to Washington. But as Democrats would need at least seven Republicans to support them in the procedural vote, the legislation is almost certain to be defeated. Not even the party’s entire 53 members favor the bill, although they may all vote to allow debate to formally begin on Tuesday in a show of party unity.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Friday the plan would increase federal budget deficits by $6 billion over the next decade.
The bulk of the cost of the legislation would be offset by the introduction of a 5.6% tax increase on people who earn more than $1 million a year…