Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led colleagues and the White House to believe he supported a bipartisan jobs bill — only to scuttle the plan as soon as it was released Thursday over concerns it could be used to batter Democratic incumbents, according to Senate sources.
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.
"Grassley and three to four Republicans would have voted for it, but all the other Republicans would have beaten the living s—t out of us [during the 2010 midterms], claiming the bill was too bloated," said a Democrat who supported Reid's decision, explaining the leader's logic.
It is all politics and all about the 2010 elections. Democrats are worried and rightly so, but it is too little, too late at this point.
November must seem like a freight train heading right towards them. Funny thing is, the only thing stopping them from moving out of the train's path, is their own party leaders.
Sen. Reid kills Baucus bill, narrows focus of jobs legislation after complaints
The complaints, of course, came from liberals upset that there were concessions made to Republicans.