As expected, President Obama's so-called "jobs bill," which would have spent $450 Billion (money we don't have) on recycled ideas (that didn't work the first time around) has been rejected by the Democrat-controlled US Senate. Harry Reid needed 60 votes to proceed to a vote, and he's fallen at least nine votes shy of that total:
The Senate failed to advance President Obama's jobs package, as Democratic leaders are expected to begin carving the $447-billion package into individual proposals that may have a better chance at passage. The Senate was still voting late Tuesday, but Democrats did not have enough votes to overcome a filibuster led by Republicans. Most Democrats supported the bill while all Republicans were voting to block it.
Senators rejected the legislation on various fronts. Republicans opposed spending more money to hire teachers or give workers tax breaks to spur the economy. Democrats largely rejected taxing the rich to pay for it. A new surtax on millionaires was proposed to pay for the bill. The new 5.6% tax, which would take effect in 2013, would fully cover the cost of the jobs act.
Democrats and the media -- but I repeat myself -- will frame this as Republicans obstructing the president's proposal. In fact, tonight's cloture vote was bipartisan. Every Republican voted against proceeding, as did two Democrats. As of this writing, the vote tally is 50-48 -- ten votes short of invoking cloture. Leadership is holding the vote open to allow Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to race back to cast a meaningless 51st vote. (Sen. Tom Coburn, who is recovering from surgery, is the other missing vote) Reid & Co. will try to spin this as "we had majority support for the jobs plan!" That will be a false narrative, and Philip Klein explains why:
Two Democrats up for reelection in 2012, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana, sided with Republicans in voting against the bill. And even though Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., voted to move ahead, he said he'd oppose final passage without changes. That was likely the case with other Democrats, including Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who told the Politico of the bill, "I do not believe it’s smart policy and it does not go where the real economic division lies in our country.” So really, Democrats are trying to have it both ways. Some of them will argue that this wasn't a vote in favor of the underlying bill, then Obama and the Democratic leadership will turn around and point to the 51 votes for cloture, and claim majority support.
Make no mistake: Democrats do not have even a bare majority of the chamber they control to pass President Obama's bill. Period.