Reid strips bipartisan ‘jobs bill’, cuts Unemployment and COBRA extensions from bill…
Smooth move Harry. I am sure the unemployed people and folks who need the COBRA subsidy will appreciate your newfound ‘toughness’ on spending. Especially since you found your cojones against members of your own party on an actual bipartisan bill.
FDL! while complimenting Harry, notes he tossed the UE and COBRA extension:
...Reid set aside the social safety net spending, extending unemployment benefits and the COBRA subsidy, into a separate bill. That would net another $25 billion. Reid has promised to take that up later in February, after the Senate recess….
Politico notes that Reid pulled the rug from under the WH’s big bipartisan jobs bill announcement (headline calls WH ‘stunned’) and pixxed off his caucus at the same time:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led colleagues and the White House to believe he supported a bipartisan jobs bill — only to scuttle the plan as soon as it was released Thursday over concerns it could be used to batter Democratic incumbents, according to Senate sources.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) worked for weeks with Reid’s blessing and frequent involvement to craft an $85 billion jobs bill, a measure that seemed destined to break the partisan logjam that has ground the Senate to a halt.
But as Baucus, Grassley and President Barack Obama were preparing to celebrate a rare moment of bipartisan Kumbaya on Thursday, Reid stunned a meeting of Senate Democrats by announcing he was scrapping Baucus-Grassley, replacing it with a much cheaper, more narrowly crafted, $15 billion version.
Sounds like members of the Dem caucus were pretty pixxed too:
…But people who were in the room painted a somewhat different picture, saying Reid’s proposal was met with a mixture of confusion and outrage from senators upset about having their pet projects redacted – even after Reid promised to include their proposals in subsequent jobs bills.
… And Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin argued passionately that, if lawmakers plan to extend corporate tax breaks, they should also extend employment insurance. “[Reid’s] trying to keep it simple,” Harkin said emerging from the meeting, “but what I think ought to be in the package is unemployment insurance for one year.”..