WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Republicans blocked a popular piece of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan -- one to raise taxes on millionaires to create or protect 400,000 jobs for teachers and firefighters.
The vote was 50-50 on Thursday evening, 10 short of the 60 votes needed to clear a Republican procedural roadblock.
The action came shortly before Democrats were expected to block a Republican bid to stimulate the economy by repealing a pending 3 percent business withholding tax.
The opposing positions underscored the difficulty of finding common ground on job creation, which is certain to be a key issue in the presidential and congressional elections in November 2012.
(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro)