Jobs Bill Hangs in the Balance

Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:05pm

It remains unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has secured enough votes to begin debate on his stripped-down jobs bill, but Democrats weren’t wasting time Monday accusing Republicans of blocking it for partisan gain.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sought to cast the Monday cloture vote to bring the targeted jobs package to the floor as an effort to stop GOP obstruction. “I’m proud that our first vote this afternoon will be to end a Republican filibuster,” Whitehouse said. “At this point, there’s no reason beyond politics to obstruct” the bill.

Similarly, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), calling the bill a bipartisan package, urged Republicans to “end the paralysis” that has become the order of the day in the Senate.

“Enough with the procedural games. … I can’t imagine anyone in a community in my state that would support a filibuster of a jobs bill here in Washington, D.C.,” Merkley said.