Senate Dems to push Obama's jobs bill again

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

Jump starting the U.S. economy will again be on the front burner in Washington this week. The Senate will vote on a $60 billion bill to rebuild aging infrastructure. It's the Democrats second try to pass the president's jobs bill, piece by piece.

CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that the Democrats next attempt at job creating aims to spur construction hiring. The legislation they seek includes a $50 billion dollar bill to build and repair U.S. highways, railways and airports, plus another $10 billion to create an independent bank aimed at attracting private investment for infrastructure projects.

"My plan says, let's hire construction workers and put them back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and fire stations all across the country," President Barack Obama said.

Democrats want to pay for all that with a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans: A .7-percent increase in taxes on all personal income over $1 million.

That tax hike will likely doom the bill, just as it did when Democrats held a vote on a different chunk of the president's jobs bill last week.

Every Republican senator - and three Democrats - voted against a $35 billion bill to help state and local governments avoid laying off 400,000 teachers, firefighters, and police officers.

"The question is whether the federal government ought to be raising taxes on 300,000 small businesses in order to send money down to bail out states for whom firefighters and police work. They are local and state employees," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Republicans say Democrats need to come up with some other way to pay for these elements of the president's jobs plan because a tax hike will never get their support. The president is going to be back out promoting the plan this week. He's headed to Denver on Wednesday.

Democrats continue to bring up tax hikes on the wealthiest because, they say, the country's on their side, and they point to polls that show that three-quarters of Americans are comfortable with these tax hikes on the very top earners in this country. But Republicans argue these bills are designed to fail so the president can try to pin the bad economy on them when he runs for reelection.