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Partisan Jabs Over House Bipartisan JOBS Act

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats are preparing their own version of a popular House-passed jobs bill.

The aide also said that writing a new version in committee would be faster than taking up the House bill because of the number of time-consuming procedural votes that would likely need to be taken to overcome objections to the House measure.

To overcome a blockade or filibuster mounted by even one Senator, the chamber must wait 30 hours before voting on whether to cut off debate and another 30 hours after successfully securing 60 votes before it can vote directly on the motion to proceed, the measure or an amendment.

But Republicans are wary of the Democrats’ bill because it is unclear what will end up in the measure, despite Democrats’ insistence that they are trying to write a bipartisan package.

At a press conference Thursday, Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said the Senate bill would include more consumer and investor protection initiatives.

The House bill “is filled with good things and leader Reid has said we will move a similar bill in the Senate,” said Schumer, who also heads the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications unit.

“Our bill will have more consumer protection, investor protections, but it will be similar. We are not standing in the way of their bill because it originated over there,” he said.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who is chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment, said that finding the right balance between consumer protection and ease of capital formation has been his guiding principle.

“We want to make sure they are properly balanced,” Reed said of the package. He added that if the balance is off, it could dissuade investors and defeat the purpose of the bill.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he initially had some concerns with the bill, but he now has “fewer issues” as the process of drafting the measure has continued.

Levin did not provide many details but said he is concerned about removing restrictions on how capital can be raised, a provision in the House bill.

He explained that one of his issues is “whether or not you can raise capital on the Internet; whether that could turn into a boiler room type of operation.”

The White House so far is attempting to stay above the fray, declining comment on the legislative wrangling Friday. But the White House’s endorsement of the House bill did leave room for more tweaking to come.

“The administration looks forward to continuing to work with the House and the Senate to craft legislation that facilitates capital formation and job growth for small businesses and provides appropriate investor protections,” the administration said in its Statement of Administration Policy.

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

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