With help from the GOP, the U.S. Senate is poised to vote on a jobs-creation bill. The $15 billion measure could come to the Senate floor for a vote later this week. Five Republicans and 57 Democrats voted to break a filibuster of the jobs bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he hopes this is the beginning of a new day in the Senate. Republican Senators Christopher Bond, R-Mo., Scott Brown, R-Mass., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, voted to move the measure. Senator Ben Nelson, D-Neb., voted against the move.
Reid lost the public support of several Republicans after discarding the $85 billion jobs package negotiated by Senators Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in favor of a narrower bill favored by liberals. The bill does not contain an extension of the $31 billion package of extensions of expiring tax breaks, including the biodiesel tax incentive eagerly sought by Senate Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., complained that Republicans were not allowed to offer amendments to the latest jobs bill, even though they also have proposals. McConnel says those ideas should be considered.