$200 Billion Jobs Bill Stalled in House
A $200 billion jobs bill that includes extending unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies through the end of the year is still stalled in the House.
Democrats want to pass it this week, but they are stuck over a provision that would prevent doctors from seeing a reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates in the first week of June.
House Democrats don't want to vote on such a costly bill (it adds $134 billion to the deficit) if it's not going to pass the Senate. It also raises taxes for some businesses operating overseas. There are $40 billion in new taxes overall.
The House bill would stop the reduction in reimbursement rates for 3.5 years, but House aides say it's looking like they can only do it for two years if it is going to pass the Senate. Negotiations are continuing on the issue.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid called House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and told him the Senate could do two years -- which should make members feel more confident that the Senate could get the 60 votes they need for passage if that change is made.
Cutting the "doc fix" (which keeps reimbursement rates from being cut) would be a relatively easy way to bring down the bill's total price tag.
When asked if they can bring a bill to the floor today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would only say, "possibly."
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