Only five Republicans voted for cloture on Monday, but once passage was assured, the dam burst. Let the “RINO” cries issue forth!
“We’ve had so much gridlock,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), co-author of a key portion of the bill. Now, he said, “finally we have something” bipartisan to show the public.
The legislation is the first element of what Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has said will be a multipart “jobs agenda.” The measure includes a new program that would give companies a break from paying Social Security taxes on new employees for the remainder of 2010. It also carries a one-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund, an expansion of the Build America Bonds program and a provision to allow companies to write off equipment purchases…
“There are plenty of opportunities for bipartisan cooperation,” [Lamar Alexander] said. “Where we have trouble are these great big, comprehensive, 2,000-page, full-of-surprises, turn-the-country-upside-down pieces of legislation that cost so much. If the administration would stop biting off more than it could chew, I think we would have more progress.”…
“I think it’s going to depend on the nature of the bill and on whether he’s going to try to freeze out the minority party,” Cornyn said, adding that he would advise against reading too much into Monday’s vote: “Frankly, I just don’t think it was all that big of a deal.”
Here’s the roll. It was the funding for highway projects, I think, that made the difference. Republicans voting yes: Alexander, Bond (who’s retiring), Brown, Burr (up for reelection), Cochran, Collins, Hatch(!), Inhofe(!!), LeMieux, Murkowski, Snowe, Voinovich, and Wicker. We went over the politics of this the other day — it’s a relatively cheap fig leaf for jobs creation, so some Repubs used it to purchase bipartisan cred for themselves — but the true test will come if and when Pelosi and Reid go to conference committee to reconcile it with the House bill, which is literally 10 times more expensive. Will Scotty B bite the bullet and vote for that too? I’m guessing no, but his statement after today’s vote suggests anything is possible:
We need to put partisanship aside to put people back to work. This jobs bill is far from perfect, and ideally would include deeper and broader tax cuts. I supported this measure because it does contain some tax relief that will help Massachusetts businesses put people back to work. Right now, this is a tax-cutting bill. But if it comes back to the Senate full of pork, waste, fraud and abuse, I reserve the right to vote against it.
The Facebook response from fiscal cons has not been forgiving thus far. Follow the link and note the slogan in the sidebar. Exit question: You know who might have something to say about this later today?