Monday, February 22, 2010

The Daily Strike-2/28/10-Jobs Test Vote

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Make sure you catch this morning's entry to learn about the President's new health care proposal. We can confirm that the proposal is intended to be a package of fixes to the Senate bill. If the Democrats can't get a Republican vote, they intend to move the package of fixes through reconciliation. For a great rundown of what is in the compromise bill, see this graph by the great Igor Volsky. The thing I'm most disappointed in is that the White House has abandoned the idea of a national health insurance exchange in favor of state exchanges.

JOBS VOTE: Any time the Senate does anything these days, there should be a major celebration. Today, the Senate voted 62-30 to begin debate on a $15 billion jobs bill, the contents of which we wrote about this morning. The bill is chalked full of Republican ideas, like a tax holiday for small businesses and money for the highway fund. Yet, only 5 Republicans voted to advance the bill. Two of them, Senators Bond (MO) and Voinovich (OH) are retiring. The other Republicans who voted to advance to the bill are Snowe (ME), Collins and Brown (MA) (!). It looks like Mr. Scott Brown may fall out of favor with conservatives quicker than we thought. Senator Ben Nelson, who somehow still calls himself a Democrat, voted against debating the bill. 7 Republican Senators and the ailing Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) did not vote.

The bill will be debated in the next couple of days, and will likely pass in the next couple of days. There is no word yet on whether there will be any amendments. At the very least, this modest jobs bill has a very realistic shot of becoming law in the near future. Perhaps this will get the President some momentum to enact bigger, more substantive jobs measures.

THE HOUSE: The House came back into session today to consider a couple of suspension bills. They will do more of the same tomorrow. See this morning's entry for more information on this week's House schedule.

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow! Leave comments!

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