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Members of both sides of the aisle are joining the chorus.

Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, offered an amendment to the $104 billion extenders bill that would redirect unspent money from last year’s $862 billion stimulus bill to let small businesses write off more investments and give them a capital-gains tax cut.

“True job creation doesn’t happen when the government adds jobs; it grows when small businesses are given the incentives to thrive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the top Democrat and top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are sponsoring the immigration bill to increase visas for entrepreneurs.

It’s sometimes tough to see how the jobs math adds up.

The administration has estimated that the $862 billion stimulus act would create up to 3.5 million jobs, which would seem like a bad deal if a $15 billion highway funding extension could create 1 million jobs alone, as Mr. Reid has said on the Senate floor.

Mr. Reid also has said a health care overhaul “would create 400,000 jobs a year,” and that his travel promotion bill “will create tens of thousands of jobs in the service industry.”

“It is a jobs bill, and that is an understatement,” he said.

Among the other job creators being touted, the beachfront historic site in the U.S. Virgin Islands stands out.

Democrats, arguing for the bill in January, said designating the site and spending the $40 million or more to acquire the land will transform it into a popular tourist destination.

“It will create jobs and help ease unemployment on the island,” said Mr. Rahall, the West Virginia Democrat who shepherded the bill through the House.

Dubious Republicans pointed out that the cost of a ticket from the U.S. to the island and the travel time make it unlikely that the new historic site would be a major economic draw.

“Let’s quit spending like crazy. Let’s sell off some of our assets, pay down our debt and let America find jobs again,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican.