Democrats Press GOP to Lift Objections to Jobs Bill

Posted October 26, 2009 at 2:45pm

Senate Democrats criticized Republicans on Monday for slowing consideration of an unemployment benefits package and vowed to raise the issue in future legislative debates. “We continue to see objections on simple items where there should be agreement,— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said during a conference call with reporters. “This has become a tactic to keep from getting work done, and it’s something we’ll be talking about more and more.—Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) also participated in the call. Republicans maintain they want to take up the unemployment bill, which would extend benefits an additional 14 weeks, but not before Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agrees to consider a handful of GOP amendments on the floor. Among those are an amendment by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to extend the popular homebuyers’ tax credit. Republicans also want to debate amendments dealing with immigration and the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, among others. “I think I’m fairly confident in saying it would not take much more floor time, if any, to pursue the underlying bill, which almost everyone supports in a form that would encompass the opportunity to offer eight amendments,— Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor Monday. Reid filed a procedural motion last week to move forward on the bill. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the motion Tuesday. “We could have done this last week,— Stabenow said. “But if there’s no agreement, we’re forced in