Dems plan next move on Obama's jobs bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, with Majority Whip Dick Durbin D-Ill., left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., partially obscured at right
Associated Press
Associated Press

Senate Democrats unveiled their next move in carving up President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill and voting on it piece by piece.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Friday the next up portion of the jobs package would be a $60 billion proposal to rebuild the nation's aging and crumbling infrastructure.

"This legislation would create hundreds of thousands of constructions jobs rebuilding our roads, buildings and infrastructure," Reid said on a conference call with reporters.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Reid on the call to promote the plan. "America's ready to go to work. I think we've had enough speeches," LaHood said. "What we need is some action."

The latest measure would provide $50 billion for roads, bridges, rails and air projects and $10 billion in seed money for creating a national infrastructure bank - an independent bank which would help provide loans for projects in hopes of spurring and attracting more private investment in infrastructure initiatives.

The bill would be paid for with a 0.7 per cent millionaires surtax - a tax on income over 1 million dollars for the wealthiest Americans.

The legislation is not expected to get the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate, given Republican opposition to using any tax hikes to pay for the measure. There are also a few Democrats opposed to the millionaires surtax.

Reid plans a vote on the bill when the Senate returns from their week long scheduled recess. "The week of November 1st - the week of Halloween," Reid said. "This bill will get a vote that week."

Today's announcement came just one day after Republicans scuttled a $35 billion measure in the Senate to provide aid to states and local governments to avoid layoffs of teachers and first responders.