The Economic Development Administration reauthorization bill had become bogged down with more than 90 amendments filed on it, the vast majority of which having nothing to do with the underlying bill.
For example, an amendment that would eliminate the 45-cents-a-gallon ethanol tax subsidy and a 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol was approved 73-27 last week, even though revenue provisions must originate in the House. The provision could still be attached to a future House bill.
Democratic leaders have grown increasingly frustrated over the stalled legislation and are portraying the Republicans as obstructionists who donít care about the unemployed. The Democrats plan to hold a news event Wednesday to call for the inclusion of job-creation measures in the deficit reduction deal being hammered out under Vice President Joseph Biden.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), meanwhile, said Tuesday that he was making progress toward moving to a bill that would eliminate 400 positions from Senate confirmation requirements.
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.