Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some Democrats Balking at Obama's Jobs Bill

Mary Landrieu Senate portraitSenator Mary Landrieu

Republicans have focused their attack on the tax increases that would help pay for the spending components of the bill. But Democrats are divided over their objections, which stem from Mr. Obama’s sinking popularity in polls, parochial concerns and the party’s chronic inability to unite around a legislative initiative, even in the face of Republican opposition.

Some are unhappy about the specific types of companies, particularly the oil industry, that would lose tax benefits. “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.

A small but vocal group dislikes the payroll tax cuts for employees and small businesses. “I have been very unequivocal,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon. “No more tax cuts.”

There are also Democrats, some of them senators up for election in 2012, who oppose the bill simply for its mental connection to the stimulus bill, which laid at least part of the foundation for the Republican takeover of the House in 2010.

Senate Democrats would certainly relish the idea of bringing numerous bills to the floor to fail — like those that would benefit first responders — potentially embarrassing the opposing Republicans. However, if Democrats end up dumping some of the more controversial methods of paying for the infrastructure and other big-ticket items in the bill — and most of them annoy Republicans or Democrats or both — either the administration or the House and Senate will still be stuck finding another way to pay for them.  

Source; NY Times          
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