House Democrats Face Revolt on Jobs Package

Posted February 25, 2010 at 8:16pm

A revolt from the Congressional Black Caucus and other House Democrats threatened to block a $15 billion jobs package that they considered insufficient and misdirected.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said discussions would continue Thursday on what to do about the concerns of the CBC, liberals, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and others.

But CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) predicted the bill would not come up this week.

“I don’t think it’s going to come up tomorrow,” she said. “I don’t think the votes are there.”

She dismissed the $15 billion package built around a jobs tax credit as “not a jobs bill,” and said a variety of items needed to be included, like money for infrastructure and a youth jobs program, with funding targeted to areas with high unemployment and poverty rates.

“We want a comprehensive jobs bill that is going to create jobs,” she said.

Likewise, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said the package was too meager to support. “It’s a non-starter for me and it’s a non-starter for a lot of other Members,” he said.

Oberstar has been trying for more than a year to pass a major infrastructure package built around transportation, and has largely been frustrated in his efforts.

Tory Newmyer contributed to this report.