Now that Republicans have successfully blocked debate on President Obama’s full jobs bill, Senate Dems plan to break it into pieces — force tough votes for Republicans on issues they’ve supported in the past like infrastructure spending and payroll tax cuts. But all those things cost money or deplete revenues, and in this austerity-obsessed Congress, nothing will pass unless its paid for. So Dems will present the GOP with a stark choice: side with the unemployed or side with rich people.
At his weekly Capitol press briefing Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explained that the cost of each jobs proposal will be offset “with the tax that the vast majority of the American people support. That is, taxing just a little bit people making more than a million dollars a year.”
That leaves Republicans to choose between supporting bipartisan jobs legislation or violating their tax pledges. Which do you think they’ll pick? To short circuit this plan, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to hand off the responsibility for advancing jobs legislation to the deficit Super Committee — and let them figure out how to pay for it.
“There are government actions that we can take,” McConnell told reporters. “We may take some of these on a bipartisan basis before the end of the year. Some of them are probably going to be considered by the Joint Select Committee.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.