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Friday, October 21, 2011

Senate Rejects New Obama Tax Bill And Reject Republican Bill That Had Bipartisan Support

By Susan Duclos

Senate Democrats once again brought a $35 billion proposal to the Senate floor yesterday which was a piece of Obama's original, rejected, larger, so-called "jobs" package designed to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters in cash-strapped states but would also have raised taxes.

Tax and spend, spend and tax. Always the Democratic answer.

Republicans were united against any measure that raises taxes and two Democrats, Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), along with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) rejected the bill. (50-50 roll call found here)

Republicans then offered a bill which again was part of Obama's larger $447 billion so-called jobs bill, that received the support of 10 Democratic Senators but failed to reach the 60 vote threshold that would bypass a filibuster. That vote was 57-43. (Roll call here)

Via The Hill:

The Senate also voted on and narrowly rejected, 57-43, a Republican alternative that would have eliminated the 3-percent withholding tax on federal contracts.

Republicans offered the bill, another piece of Obama’s jobs package, to show they are willing to find common ground on some parts of the president’s agenda.

Ten Democrats defected to vote with the Republicans to bring the bill just three votes short of the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed.

The ten Democrats voting with Republicans were: Sens. Al Franken (Minn.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.).

Under current law, government contractors must pay up front 3-percent of federal contracts as a down payment on future taxes. Republicans planned to offset its cost by rescinding un-obligated balances at federal agencies, a pay-for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) once proposed to offset the repeal of a controversial reporting requirement of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

A Senate Democratic aide said Stabenow offered the offset before congressional leaders reached a deal setting spending levels for 2012.

Democratic leaders refuse to acknowledge the possibility of creating jobs via legislation that provides revenues in ways other than raising taxes and Republicans are united in not agreeing to raise any taxes that would push businesses further away from hiring and expanding.

The Democrat's bill received no bipartisan support and had two Democrats and one independent voting against it and the Republican bill had bipartisan support with 10 Democrats voting for it.

Who are the obstructionists now?