After invoking cloture on the jobs bill on Monday, which would prevent a filibuster, the Senate passed the bill yesterday in a vote of 70 to 28. Thirteen Republicans joined 55 Democrats and two independents to vote for the bill, with Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska the only Democrat to vote against it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged that there is still work to be done: “We need to do more and we understand that. The road to recovery is a very long one. Today’s progress is a small step forward but an important step forward.” Democrats must now reconcile the differences between the $15 billion Senate bill and the much larger $154 billion House jobs bill.
Next on the jobs agenda, Senate Democrats intend to introduce a travel and tourism promotion bill that would create 40,000 new jobs in the service sector and 240,000 other jobs. Reid said he would also propose a Federal Aviation Administration bill that would create “thousands” of jobs. Democrats will also advance a package of short-term extensions of expiring tax credits, increased federal Medicaid assistance to states and a small-business assistance bill.