Monday, February 22, 2010

BREAKING: Jobs Bill Passes Senate!

This morning, it was looking uncertain... But now, it looks like the jobs bill will pass with at least 4 Republican votes. Since Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) is undergoing cancer treatment, Democrats are down to 58 votes at the moment and needed at least 2 Republicans votes to reach the 60 votes necessary for cloture and final passage.

So far, the GOPers crossing over to sanity today are:

- Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts)

- Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

- Susan Collins (R-Maine)

- George Voinovich (R-Ohio)

UPDATE (4:28 PM PT):

- Kit Bond (R-Missouri)

I'll update if any more of them cross over to support the jobs bill. But whatever the final count us, I'm sure Harry Reid must be breathing a sigh of relief right now... And he deserves it. :-)

UPDATE (2:58 PT): And the "Tool of the Day Award" goes to... Ben Nelson (D?-Nebraska)! He's the only "Democrat" so far (and hopefully it will remain that way!) to vote against the jobs bill. So I guess he likes high unemployment and no help, even for his own constituents?

UPDATE (3:16 PT): According to TPM DC, the final tally is 62-30 for passage. Oh, and Harry Reid was on fire today! :-D

"Work with us on this," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said moments before the vote. "Show us you're serious about legislating."

Reid also warned Republicans: Fail to support this bill, and the minority would "confirm their reputation as the 'Party of No.'"

And after the vote? "I hope this is the beginning of a new day here in the Senate," Reid said.

The bill, which is much smaller than some original proposals, would exempt businesses from paying Social Security payroll taxes this year after hiring from the nation's pool of millions of unemployed. The Build-America Bonds Act of 2009 would be renewed by the jobs bill. The scaled-down bill would also extend some tax breaks for small businesses, renew highway programs through December, and put $20 billion in the highway trust fund.

- UPDATE (4:28 PM PT): As I just added above, Kit Bond was the fifth Republican to cross over to vote for the jobs bill. I guess it doesn't hurt that he's facing a tough reelection fight at home. Heh. Oh yes, and the roll call vote has now been posted on the Senate web site.

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