Reid puts his bill before bipartisanship

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“We have a bipartisan bill that will create jobs, according to the [Congressional Budget Office], immediately; not when the design’s done, not when the planning’s done, not when they hire people, but immediately,” Mr. Reid said. “I don’t know in logic what [Republicans] could say to oppose this, but in - we’ve seen since Obama was elected, they have opposed everything. They’re the party of no.”

Republicans and Democrats support the payroll tax cut proposal, but Mr. Hatch’s office was disgusted at Mr. Reid’s bid to ram the measure through while barring the chance to offer amendments.

Mr. Reid said that Congress is addressing the nation’s anxiety over the climbing unemployment rate and that the slimmer bill is the best way to do that.

“We feel that the American people need a message,” he said. “The message that they need is that we’re doing something about jobs. We have - we don’t have a jobs bill, we have a jobs agenda. And we’re going to move forward on that jobs agenda.”

The Baucus-Grassley bill contained the same provisions as the Reid bill plus an extension of tax breaks for energy efficiency, research and development and other initiatives. It also included the so-called “doc fix” to temporarily increase Medicare reimbursement rates, extended unemployment benefits and provided relief to pension plans to suffer significant losses in 2008.

The legislation would be paid for through eliminating tax benefits for certain biofuel producers, including so-called “black liquor” and cracking down on offshore tax abuses.

After the Baucus-Grassley plan was released, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama was “gratified to see the Senate moving forward in a bipartisan manner.”

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