Senate to vote on $35 billion jobs bill this week

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seen during a news conference on debt ceiling legislation, on July 27, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin , Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Patty Murray also attended. The United States remained on course Wednesday for a potentially calamitous default, with US leaders still unable to find common ground on a deal that would let Washington borrow the cash it needs to pay its bills. Getty Images/Karen Bleier

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Getty Images/Karen Bleier
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will take up and vote on a $35 billion teachers and first responders jobs bill this week.

"We are going to make sure there is a vote on our bill this week," Reid said. "To make sure that we do that I'll protect ourselves by filing cloture tonight unless we work something out and have a vote. "

At this point the vote would most likely occur on Friday unless Democrats could reach an agreement with Republicans to vote late Thursday.

Reid's remarks came at a boisterous jobs rally attended by several hundred teachers, fire fighters, police officers and union members on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon. Vice President Biden and Democratic Senators also addressed the crowd.

The measure is a $35 billion aid package for state and local governments to help avoid layoffs of teachers, fire fighters and police officers.

Democrats plan to pay for the legislation with a 0.5 percent surtax on millionaires.

The new jobs proposal is unlikely to get the 60 votes necessary to move forward in the Senate. It is unclear if all 53 members of the Democratic caucus will vote for the bill. Democrats would also have to get at least seven Republicans to support the measure, which is unlikely to happen.

Republicans have been opposed to the president's jobs bill and the Democrats' economic agenda, saying it's more of the same that doesn't work - borrowing, spending, over-regulating and raising taxes.

Mr. Obama's $447 billion Jobs bill failed to advance in the Senate last week on a procedural vote. Democrats plan to break up that bill into as many as five different measures and move those smaller pieces individually.

  • John Nolen

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