Democrats Predict GOP Won’t Filibuster Next Jobs Bill

Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:21pm

Senate Democrats said Friday that they expect to easily pass the third piece of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) jobs agenda early next week.

During a conference call with reporters, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) argued that the GOP won’t stand in the way of the one-year extension given the political fallout from Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) failed filibuster of a short-term extension to unemployment benefits.

“The filibuster is not going to be able to stop this bill. … I don’t think all the Republicans are going to want to stand together” and fight the package of popular spending items, including a one-year extension of unemployment insurance benefits and Medicaid payments to states, Levin said.

The conference call came just hours after the Labor Department announced that the nation’s unemployment rate held steady last month at 9.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Reid said Friday that after the Senate completes the benefits extension bill, he plans to bring up legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Act.

Although that measure does not include any clear job-creation provisions, Democratic aides say Senators will try to make the case that it fits into their jobs agenda.