Harry Reid Scuttles Baucus-Grassley Jobs Bill In Favor Of His Own
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stunned many of his colleagues by doing a sudden about-face on the $85 billion jobs bill.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) worked for weeks with Reid’s blessing and frequent involvement to craft an $85 billion jobs bill, a measure that seemed destined to break the partisan logjam that has ground the Senate to a halt.
But as Baucus, Grassley and President Barack Obama were preparing to celebrate a rare moment of bipartisan Kumbaya on Thursday, Reid stunned a meeting of Senate Democrats by announcing he was scrapping Baucus-Grassley, replacing it with a much cheaper, more narrowly crafted, $15 billion version.
Baucus, Grassley and the White House were all set to go, and had no idea this is what Reid was going to do.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley later said that Reid had decided Thursday morning to push his package and had entered the lunch meeting with the intention of offering those gathered a choice between Baucus-Grassley and his own stripped-down bill.
“In the end, this is the direction the caucus decided to go,” said Manley, who emphasized that many of the elements stripped from the bipartisan measure will be appended to later bills
But not everyone sees it that way, and the opportunity for a stronger, more-inclusive bipartisan bill that would have done more to create jobs and offer tax incentives is being squandered.Click here for reuse options!
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