Lincoln Lambastes Reid’s Decision to Abandon Bipartisan Jobs Package

Posted February 12, 2010 at 1:10pm

Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on Friday denounced Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to abandon a bipartisan jobs bill in favor of moving a narrow set of largely Democratic proposals.

Lincoln — one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents this cycle, who had secured $1.5 billion in agriculture disaster funding in the bipartisan proposal — argued that Reid’s approach represents an effort at single-party rule and called on the Majority Leader to shift gears.

“Most Americans don’t honestly believe that a single political party has all the good ideas. We’re not going to accomplish anything until we start governing from the center,” Lincoln said in a statement. “I hope the Majority Leader will reconsider. This bill was carefully crafted to achieve significant bipartisan support and contains several important measures to spur business growth and encourage new hires.”

Despite growing GOP support and approval from the White House, Reid on Thursday abruptly pulled the plug on a bipartisan jobs bill authored by Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Rather than the sweeping spending and tax proposals included in the $81 billion Baucus-Grassley plan, Reid has opted for a much smaller $15 billion proposal that focuses largely on Democratic job creation ideas.