"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Senate Democrats Again Facing Defections On Yet Another Partisan Stimulus Plan

November 1st, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Politico reported last night, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared Monday that Democrats are the only ones ‘fighting to create good-paying American jobs.’ But he again could face a handful of defections from his own party when he brings the next jobs bill to the floor this week. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a moderate Democrat who’s facing a tough reelection next year, said he’ll take a look at the latest jobs proposal — a $60 billion package to help rebuild aging infrastructure — but continues to have concerns about the fact that these bills have been funded by raising taxes on the rich. ‘I have some of the same concerns about the way it’s paid for,’ Nelson told POLITICO on Monday night. Sen. Joe Lieberman, a retiring Connecticut independent who caucuses with Democrats, has argued the government can’t keep spending more money at a time Congress is wrestling with the deficit. And he said he had no desire to complicate the task of the congressional supercommittee, which is charged with producing a plan by Thanksgiving to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit. ‘I have the same concerns as I have before,’ Lieberman told POLITICO on Monday night. ‘These are programs that I normally support, but I think the main event now is the supercommittee and I don’t want to make their job any more difficult.’ . . . It’s unclear if [Sen. Jon] Tester [D-MT] or [Sen. Mark] Pryor [D-AR] will vote for cloture on the infrastructure bill, the next piece of Obama’s jobs plan. . . . Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who is retiring in 2012, said he would vote to proceed to the bill, but wouldn’t vote for the bill itself because he objects to the pay-fors. ‘I’ve consistently said we should not raise taxes on ordinary earned income. I don’t believe that’s the way to pay for this,’ Webb told POLITICO.”

And last week, The Hill pointed out, “The bill includes $10 billion for a national infrastructure bank, even though Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said last year she would ‘never’ support such a proposal. . . . Boxer is one of two Democrats who in the past have criticized the policy components of the bill, the second installment of Obama’s jobs plan. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) opposed a similar infrastructure-heavy stimulus proposal last year when he was in the midst of one of the nation’s toughest Senate races. Bennet says he won’t block bringing the bill to the floor, but he’s not making any commitment to support its passage. . . . Bennet will also have to reconcile his past opposition to a central component of the jobs package. Last year, during his reelection campaign, Bennet pledged to oppose a $50 billion infrastructure package Obama recommended to spur economic growth. ‘I will not support additional spending in a second stimulus package,’ Bennet said at the time, according to the Denver Post.”

So even before Reid moves to take up another political stimulus bill that raises taxes, he’s already facing bipartisan opposition. At least 3 Democrats object to the tax hikes included in this latest stimulus, and at least two have issues with the underlying policy measures.

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