Reid Loads Up Senate Agenda

Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:45am

Fresh off the passage of a $15 billion jobs bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday mapped an aggressive legislative agenda for the coming weeks during which he hopes to pass a series of bills as part of a broader Democratic jobs agenda.

During a press conference following the Senate’s 70-28 passage of Reid’s first jobs bill, the Democratic leader said he hopes to pass a tourism promotion bill, a package that includes tax extenders and extensions of COBRA health insurance and unemployment insurance benefits, a full reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and a small-business jobs bill that will partially use leftover Troubled Asset Relief Program money to fund its programs.

Reid also said he expects Republicans to relent on objections to passing a short-term extension of unemployment and COBRA insurance, as well as some tax extenders, as soon as today, while leadership aides said Reid would likely end up filing cloture on the tourism bill this evening.

Senate Democrats hailed passage of the first jobs bill in a series as a demonstration of the party’s commitment to addressing the economy and unemployment.

Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) noted that “because we have a jobs agenda and not just a bill, we’re going to be at it, and at it, and at it.”

“Focus[ing] on jobs, and in a bipartisan way, is what the American people want us to do.”