The White House is pushing for Congress to take up an aid package for state and local governments, marking the administration's first effort to break up the president's jobs proposal into individual provisions for votes.
Speaking with reporters this afternoon, White House spokesman Josh Earnest and economic policy aide Jason Furman indicated that Obama first wants a vote on approximately $35 billion for aid to help keep teachers, firefighters and police officers at work.
The president hinted he would prioritize the aid in his weekly address Saturday.
"I'm urging Members of Congress to vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets and firefighters back on the job," he said.
Earnest said that the administration would call on lawmakers to "pass the bill this week," even though the House is on a weeklong recess.
Senate Democrats had not fully determined the way forward Sunday afternoon, but Reid told reporters on Wednesday that the individual components of the package could be offset through tax increases on people earning more than $1 million per year. Senate Democratic leaders previously proposed a 5.4 percent tax increase for upper-income tax filers to pay for the $447 billion cost of the full proposal.
Democrats could seek to set up a test vote on the standalone aid package by proposing it as an amendment to a "minibus" appropriations measure that the chamber is expected to consider Monday.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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