However, the president himself advocated breaking his larger jobs bill into separate bills after the Senate blocked the package this month. Besides a Senate vote on a GOP-offered repeal of the withholding mandate, the Senate voted on a proposal to provide $35 billion to keep teachers and first responders from being laid off. Both items failed on procedural votes.
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.