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Senate Blocks Two Partisan Jobs Bills

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said a Democratic bill to provide $60 billion for transportation infrastructure funding was designed to give jobs back to construction workers.

“Republicans and yes, some Democrats, don’t think we should be taxing job creators, particularly at a time when 14 million Americans are looking for a job — and that we’ll vote against any proposal that does so,” McConnell said.

In a back-and-forth on the Senate floor Reid said he believes that it makes sense for more well-off people to pay a little more in taxes.

“I do not believe that we should be concerned about a piece of legislation that asks the richest of the rich to pay a few pennies of their vast fortunes to put people like my friend back to work,” Reid said. “That’s what this is all about.”

The Republican proposal would extend the current highway bill – which funds infrastructure projects – for another two years. The measure also would curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to make rules and regulations, which Republicans have argued have exacerbated the recession by hamstringing small businesses.

The bill is paid for by directing Office of Management and Budget director Jacob Lew to rescind $40 billion from unobligated discretionary funding.

“The rest of the American people can decide which approach they prefer: our proposal, which doesn’t add to the deficit, doesn’t raise taxes, empowers the states to make decisions on the local level and is designed to gain bipartisan support,” McConnell said. “Or the Democrat’s top-down approach, which perpetuates uncertainty, raises taxes on businesses at a time when we should be giving them more reasons to hire not less, and which was designed in coordination with the White House political team to fail.

“These are the two approaches on display in the Senate today. The choice should be obvious,” McConnell added.

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