Pelosi said she hopes the Senate will take up the jobs package quickly in January so President Barack Obama can sign it into law before he delivers the State of the Union address. It is a bill that creates jobs, that meets the needs of those who are unemployed and puts us on a path to prosperity, she said at a press conference unveiling the bill, officially dubbed the Jobs for Main Street Act.
Some top aides were grumbling, however, that the slow pace of Senate action and the lack of White House involvement means House Democrats are going home without tangible help for constituents struggling to find employment. No one is at the table with us, so were acting alone, one leadership aide said. This doesnt help the American people who dont have jobs.
The Defense measure also carries two-month patches for a number of items, including the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Surface Transportation Act, flood insurance and small-business loans, among others.
A grab-bag of tax breaks set to expire at the end of the year appears likely to be left off the end-of-year legislative train. At press time, staff were still discussing how to handle an extension of the estate tax, which expires at the end of the year.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.