Maybe, maybe not:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is rewriting a jobs bill after Democrats complained of too many concessions to Republicans.
Reid announced Thursday that he would cut drastically back on the jobs bill Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced only hours earlier, essentially overruling the powerful chairman.
The Finance Committee estimated that Reid’s proposal would cost approximately $15 billion.
The Baucus bill, which was estimated at $85 billion, included $31 billion in tax extenders that Reid has decided to leave out. A Senate Democratic leadership aide said Reid decided to drop the tax extenders after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to endorse the Baucus package.
I’m glad he is learning to not let Baucus screw up every god damned thing that goes through the Senate, and I’m glad he is saying to hell with the Republicans.
Now, could someone tell me exactly wtf he thinks he is going to accomplish with a piddling 15 billion dollar jobs bill with 9.7% unemployment in a $15 Trillion economy. Even if he gets everything he wants, this is so small it is laughable. You might get unemployment down to what- 9.67%. Heckuva job, Harry.
How do so many worthless human beings stumble their way into so much power? Where do I go to get Krugman in charge of the Senate?
(via Talk Left)
While “well begun is half-done,” half-done very rapidly becomes half-assed if you stop there. Moar jobz plz.
At least it shown some awareness that the Rebubs aren’t gonna vote for it anyway. The holdup is gonna be the fucking don’t have a clue Dems. Strip out the fucking tax rebates and extensions and add a ton of goodies for all the 50 states and set the governors on their reps and senators. Trumpet the goodies far and wide and hoot and laugh at the Repubs when they balk, and the worthless damn Dems as well.
The Bearded Blogger
Hey, Harry’s gotten some balls! Too bad they are really tiny ones.
Now if he could figure just out that 51 votes is a majority
Invest all 15 billion in public transportation, at least you get more bang for your buck than with highway construction/repair.
The idea is to be Doing Something About Jobs. It’s just politics. Harry Reid even said something obvious like, “The American people want to hear about Jobs.” So now they’re hearing the word “jobs” come out the Democratic Senate Majority Leader’s mouth. Harry’s done his job. Mission accomplished.
But, as you posted earlier, Republicans who supported the bill will soon raise doubts about the bill:
– Money will be funnelled through Obama’s campaign contributors.
– The bill will put white people at a competitive disadvantage for new jobs.
– Money from the bill will be used by pimps to hire more prostitutes.
The Bearded Blogger
@jeffreyw: Yeah, there are about a thousand good strategies dems could take/have taken vis a vis republicans. The important thing is to think about strategies to get dems to actually take these strategies. When they win, it is in spite of themselves.
Schumer for Majority Leader!
Dean for DNC head!
Lieberman for Republican!
Hoyer for Lobyist!
Bet a lot gets added onto the bill in the House. I think that if a bill starts small, it has a chance. The HCR was too large and the vultures picked it apart down to the bones.
It is a start. And if I’m wrong, I’ll just clap louder.
Hey it worked for Blackwater…..
So Reid cut the nonsense estate tax fix and whatever else Baucus stuffed in there, but where did the other ~$40 billion go?
IMO, the essential items for Congressional action are extension of unemployment insurance/COBRA subsidies and local/state gov’t aid. I keep reading about how Schumer and Hatch engaged on this buddy movie-esque adventure and are so pleased with themselves for devising this tax credit that makes small businesses hire workers if they blah blah blah. Lovely. But this should be in addition to, and not replacing these two base items, and I’ve seen reports that Reid is going to cut unemployment insurance. And I haven’t seen local aid discussed by the Senate for a few weeks now.
If Reid is smart enough not to take another trip on the Baucus-go-round, I hope he’s also smart enough to load up the bill with necessary items. If we’re going to go it almost alone, why half ass it? We’re gonna get the blame if this is too small, so let’s put what is needed in the bill.
@Tiparillo: People think you’re kidding….
Bill E Pilgrim
Ah, the transformation is nearly complete. Soon, our progressive potion will have coursed through his entire system, replacing every last remaining conservative blood cell. Next he’ll be praising Kos, Taibbi, and moving to Berkeley where he’ll rent a big house with friends and drive it across the country.
Actually, that Dead thing last night was kind of a giveaway…
I wonder if Reid is taking heart from some new polls out indicating Americans aren’t falling for the GOP line, try as hard as our media tries to push it.
Nate Silver of 538 this week.
“Republicans — Not Obama — More Often on Wrong Side of Public Opinion
and NYT/CBS poll today, Adam Nagorney article, where small majority of voters see through the political Kabuki — they lay blame on Bush, Wall Street and Congress, not Obama.
“Poll — Obama Has Edge over GOP with Public”
“Still, the poll suggests that Mr. Obama and his party have an opportunity to deflect the anger and anxiety if they can frame the election not as a referendum on the president and his party, but as a choice between them and a Republican approach that is far less popular with Americans and yielded results under Mr. Bush that much of the nation still blames for the country’s woes. That is what the White House has been attempting to do since the beginning of the year.
For all the erosion in support for Mr. Obama, Americans say Mr. Obama better understands their needs and problems and has made more of an effort to be bipartisan than Congressional Republicans, the poll found.
“It feels like an attempt to sabotage the majority and to regain control of power rather than working on a compromise that says, ‘let’s see what we have to do to get things straightened out,”’ John Smith, a Republican from Greenville, S.C., said in an interview after participating in the poll….”
Might this be why Halperin and Tweety and others are more willing to go after Palin, et al? They’ve realized they and GOP were the outliers.
(Some of us would call them “just plain liars.”)
@Gwangung: not all of us think he’s kidding. some of us are just waiting for the inevitable stimulus jokes. (ok, while weeping in the corner over the futility of it all but that’s getting to be baseline so …)
The Bearded Blogger
I guess this is technically true in the sense that republicans have a harder time running for office whenever democrats manage to make the government work for people, and all republicans are white, Steele being the exception that proves the rule
Baucus is actually worse than Lieberman and Ben Nelson, only he is so low key, that his corruption flys under the radar.
Can you recall ever seeing Baucus on a talk show? I can’t. While Joementum lives in tee bee studio.
Just think how much better off we would be if Rockefeller was Chairman.
Maybe Harry looked at the same numbers I crunched earlier today.
When Republicans have held the majority in the Senate in the last 30 years with the 97-99th, 104-106th and 108-109th congresses, cloture was invoked a total of 132 times.
When Democrats have held the majority in the Senate in the last 30 years with the 96th, 100-103rd, 107th and 110-111th congresses, cloture was invoked a total of 203 times.
In just the last two session of Congress (110th,111th) cloture has been invoked a staggering 99 times.
The most the Democrats ever invoked cloture in a session of Congress during this period was 34 during the 109th. The Republicans equaled that number in the 107th, obliterated that number with 61 during the 110th and have surpassed that number with 38 in the current (111th) with almost an entire year left to go and no end in sight.
Feel free to throw it in the face of the next moron that claims the Democrats behaved in exactly the same way the Republicans are now.
Well, if anyone complains about the size of the jobs bill, I suggest we go back to Sarah and the teabaggers, the GOP, the Blue Dogs and everyone screaming about Obama’s deficits and tell them to go ask the free market what they’re doing about it since supposedly they’re the solution to the problem of government.
@Gwangung: You mean not everyone saw this?
General Winfield Stuck
It will have a ways to go before a final vote and lots of amendments also. And by dropping all the wingnut welfare and other GOP provisions like extending the Patriot Act ettcc/
means he will likely get a filibuster, and knowing this Reid has likely decided to use budget reconc. to pass it like Ezra has recommended. And it needs to be free of non budget shit to get that done.
I’m not used to thanking McConnell, but I’m glad he put his partisan interests (more suffering!) over the GOP’s class interests (cut taxes on rich folk!) here. $130B in bribes to get $80B in job aid?
General Winfield Stuck
@Bill E Pilgrim: I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Your lament still applies, but The Hill got this wrong. Reid’s four items would cost $50 billion dollars, based on the Baucus/Grassley document and just totaling up what they had before. In addition, while the extension of the Highway Trust Fund costs nothing according to the SFC, it would provide about $20 billion for infrastructure projects that wasn’t there before. So if you’re charitable, it’s a $70 billion dollar bill. But it’s not $15 billion. The Hill got it wrong.
@The Bearded Blogger: True. But I’ve never heard of an unemployed Republican mucky-muck. They have wingnut welfare to get them through the hard times.
What Republicans you could say is that the CBO itself says that this bill will disproportionately benefit minorities. Left unsaid: … because minorities are more likely to be unemployed.
Cole’s (Can I call him Cole? John? JC?) recent post has reinvigorated my interest in politics. Instead of rooting for strong democratic bills that will improve our situation, I am now only predicting the most ridiculous talking points I can think of. It’s bound to be less of a disappointment.
@Tiparillo: How long before some libertarian calls for the repeal of prostitution laws as stimulative measure? Oof.
The Krugster supported NAFTA and the Cadillac Tax, which the Krugster lov’n blogosphere views as worse then poison.
The Bearded Blogger
@Martin: Nice! Anti-government populism is so schizophrenic…
@Tiparillo: Come on, everybody knows that filipino prostitutes are essential to the defense of FREEDOM!
Bill E Pilgrim
@General Winfield Stuck: Believe me, I live as far from Berkeley as one could get. Well, nearly. And that’s on purpose, being from there.
I just think the political transformation is interesting to watch. I always have, one of the interesting things about this place.
I lost any confidence in Reid after he folded to Bush on Iraq in 2007. And I think The Onion’s “I’m A Shitty Senator” article “written” by Max Baucus pretty much hit the nail on the head.
@Tiparillo: wait wait wait wait wait, I missed the whole “Morale Welfare Recreation” part when I read it. Is this the equivalent to “Lift American Spirits”?! (so that’s what the kids are calling it)
And who the fuck released the flying monkeys over there at The Hill? It’s like reading Red State over there in the comments.
General Winfield Stuck
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Yea, me too. But with what I’ve seen, Cole will drift a little or lot left at times for whatever reason, but is an ornery pragmatist at core level, and always returns to what makes sense wherever that falls on the ideological scale. It’s why I came and stay/
It would be nice, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
Wait, you mean the whole ‘partisanship’ thing where Obama’s continually open hand keeps getting swatted by the GOP isn’t a naive empty suit tilting at windmills but actually shrewd politicking to continue the narrative about the GOP being the party of nothing more than anti-liberal hatred? Zounds, I say! Zounds!
Here’s a great quote from the article:
@Bill E Pilgrim: Next, we break out the Wobblies Songbook:
“Well ya ain’t done nothing
if ya ain’t been called a Red.
If you marched or agitated,
then you’re bound to hear it said.
So you might as well ignore it
or love the word instead.
Cuz ya ain’t been doing nothing
if ya ain’t been called a Red.”
Steve Balboni dba T.R. Donoghue
Coincidentally a very smart, and may I add handsome, pundit and Balloon-Juice commenter just finished a post on the failure of Harry Reid in the health care debacle.
Bill E Pilgrim
@General Winfield Stuck: Me too, actually. Also he writes well.
I want a law that says any libertarian with a government or non-profit job cannot be paid a salary but must ask others to freely trade for his/her, no doubt valuable, work.
I think Reid should focus on pushing a bipartisan sense of the Senate that states that Americans should work.
meh. kinda done. Bushisms have passed their laugh-by date.
He’s a master of artful persuasion, that man. If I were Harry Reid, I would just stop speaking publicly.
He can be like the “stealth” leader. We’ll all be happily surprised if he succeeds at passing anything.
LoL. Maybe our senators is learning.
This bill can’t take too long to pass because that would screw over people getting unemployment benefits. The draft bill extends the end date for benefits from February 28, 2010 to May 31, 2010. If the bill comes in late, even if the benefits are extended in March, people don’t get retroactive payments for the weeks not covered.
Wait, you mean Max Baucus couldn’t deliver Republican support.
Seriously, guy’s a joke. Yank him from the committee. I wish Darth Vader were around to say, “You’ve failed me for the last time!”
Oh, yeah, this came over the wire:
Where Will the Jobs Come From?
So which is it. Democrats should learn how to whip?
Or they should puss over…
Kudos to Reid for whipping.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
I’m also from Berkeley, and moved about as far from it as possible. But only because I couldn’t really do what I do there, and earn my nut.
Sure it’s full of punchable hippies. (And they’re old and trusting, so you can in 3 or 4 good shots before they drop their groat cake and think of ducking or running.)
But the weather’s nice. And the architecture. And food. And stuff.
I wonder if Michelle Malkin will be blogging about her experiences on the “front lines”.
@DougJ Is it time for another “Jon Stewart is Teh Ghey because he’s a comedian and I want Edward Roscoe Murrow running Comedy Central” post?
Just curious. Not to say you’ve been hit trolling the last month. But it would be irresponsible not to ask which puppies were molested. By Mother Theresa. Also, too.
I’m just kinda thinkin’ that this whole bill is more about optics than actual legitimate job creation … CALL ME CRAZY!
Pliable idiots in office is a feature, not a bug.
With the CU decision, this will get worse, not better.
Isn’t that usually written “Filipina prostitute”? Or is there something Erik Prince isn’t telling us?
Also, I believe the correct vernacular is “Are Our Majority Leader Learning.”
Ash Can +2 because I’m up to here with housework
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
But if Reid is scotching the “bipartisan” bill won’t the 41 seat majority refuse to support Reid’s bill, no matter how small it is? Politics is so complicated.
It sounds like the GOP has lost credibility, and with that loss of credibility it has lost some power as well. If there isn’t a chance that GOP votes are gettable, then there is no reason to compromise. None, nada, zilch. The reason HCR was delayed for months was due to the flirtations from the likes of Snowe and Grassley (EWWWWW). Now that the GOP has gone from hard-to-get to frigid cold, there is no upside for Dems to work with them. There probably never was, IMHO.
This turn of events will deeply disappoint some Dems that really want GOP cover.
Bill E Pilgrim
@eastriver: To be precise you moved to the East River, I would imagine ;)
I’m really only teasing with all of this, in both directions ( John and Berkeley.) I loved living there, not sure I could now, but just in a been there done that sort of way. I like visiting still a lot.
I never believed that would happen, and told BTD I would praise his predictive powers if it did… so here goes: BTD has a keen understanding of the inner workings of Teh Congress.
@mr. whipple: Good link Mr. Whipple. Thanks.
Yea, give the position to Krugman and I’ll take his column. Tell him we need a $1T stimulus bill. And I mean $1T, not a penny less. Then from his perch at the Times, I will proceed to write columns about the amount and how inadequate the amount is. I will convince everyone it is too small before it even passes. I’ll also remind folks as the recession wears on how if Krugman had listened to me, everything would be swell now. But no, he wouldn’t listen and he just accepted what the Senate sent him to sign. He didn’t even try to get a larger stimulus. We’re all doomed and it is all Krugman’s fault. I’ll still be writing and complaining a year after it passes! In fact, I’ll write everyday for no pay. Sorry, a little animosity for Krugman built up here.
Interesting comment. And maybe the end game all along. I never believed the “Obama as ineffective” meme.
LOL on Berkeley and groat cakes.
@cat48: three cheers
@kay: It’s worse than what I’d said. Here’s the the full quote.
You’d have to be some sort of cynical conservative super genius to see through that one.
If this is how he campaigns, we’re not going to have to worry about Senator Reid next year
It would be a good time for the administration to start some fulminations about war profiteering since they now have the all-important sex angle that will keep the attention of the media for a full five minutes.
@cat48: Make it a $1.3T stimulus bill so that Joe Lieberman can confidently knock off $0.3T.
We call Cole all of those things, and far worse when he’s especially cranky or bullheaded. But John has come clean and stated that he prefers Jane Coale.
@dday: Thanks for the clarification. How big is the House bill, by this same accounting?
Maybe this is sort of like a down payment towards a bigger jobs bill/stimulus proposal, or sort of like a kid touching his foot in the water before he jumps in. Suppose they start to rely on just themselves instead of them and five or so Republicans who aren’t nuts and pass it. There will be the usual Sunday-show pearl clutching, but the tanks won’t roll through the streets, and the market will do what it does. But the world will not end, and realizing this, Reid tries to pass something bigger.
Unlikely, yes, but not impossible.
Let’s see a show of hands:
Everyone who read the entire article excerpted above — all one pages of it — raise your hand.
Me. Why, is there going to be a quiz?
@inkadu: Good idea – you know that it’s negotiation 101 to start higher than you want so you end up with exactly what you really wanted. This always works according to people who never won elected office or ran a business.
The poor thing. He sounds like one of our county commissioners. He’s not…slick, that’s for sure. I bitch about Reid constantly, but it’s frustration rather than real disdain.
I read an article about him in the New Yorker a long time ago. He had a really difficult early life. It was interesting, but that hardscrabble upbringing only adds to the mystery.
I can’t figure him out, really. For a while I pursued this half-ass theory where he was corrupt, so subject to blackmail (!) I watched Reid and McCain re: Abramoff and the whole thing stunk to high heaven. Something was going on there. I actually watched the whole hearing, it was weirdly riveting, because there was this whole subtext of “let’s make sure and not find anything actionable”. I have never seen anything quite like it. A hearing held to avoid a finding.
But, ultimately, it’s all frustration and conjecture and I can’t figure Harry Reid out. I don’t know what the hell he’s about.
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
From The Hill article:
Fuck you Baucus. Fuck you with a barnacle-encrusted rusty anchor.
I’m actually not sure what I think about the article but there was quite a bit more to it than the paragraph excerpted above. The Hill doesn’t write a lot of their stuff with civilians in mind though. They seem to assume the reader knows a lot of subtext they don’t provide. I’d be interested in hearing the impressions of anyone else who actually read it, particularly if they who could fill in any of the blanks. I’m just not very interested in discussing it with anyone who didn’t read it.
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
You mean to tell me…that…that…eleventy-dimensional chess may be…real?
Well, if that’s the case, then I want–nay, I demand–my unicorn, damn it!
Now I can’t stop. More Harry Reid!
“We’re going to do a bill that has four things in it: has a Build America bonds, which has been so dramatically successful. We’re going to do the highway bill extension for one year, which will save a million jobs. We’re going to do the — Section 179 small-business tax program, which, in effect, allows people to (inaudible). That’s going to be in one package, that we’re going to move together. And then when we finished that, we’ll move on to the tax extenders and all the other stuff.”
Winning, that’s what.
Now as to who he’s winning for, well…I can’t help you there.
You tell me if I’ve got my hand raised or not. Then we’ll talk.
Billy Tauzin resigning as big Pharma’s chief lobbyist. Hmmmm.
NYT: “Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman, is resigning as president of the drug industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America amid internal disputes over its pact with the White House to trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul.”
He of the supersonically fast swinging door, from congress to lobbying in warp speed.
Berkeley is quite a schizophrenic place. Lots of hippies, but also a lot of geeks and careerists at Cal. On football Saturdays, Berkeley doesn’t look all that different from Tuscaloosa or Chapel Hell.
And did you know Susan Bayh was a cheerleader at Cal?
Right. Winning what and for whom?
We just don’t know. So, he can stop talking, completely. He’s not helping clarify our goals!
Seriously, I actually think they could make something good out of the jobs bill, despite how thin it is. They wanted GOP cover on the health care bill for numerous reasons. They don’t need cover with this, and having them join only helps the other side politically. The GOP should have to vote against a jobs bill. The job picture is slated to improve slightly, and Democrats will take credit. No reason to hand the GOP that.
You mean you’re glad he used his (senator-sized) bully pulpit this once?
For the benefit of the non-tax geeks in the congregation,
(1) Section 179 is a provision in the internal revenue code that allows businesses to take a current deduction for the cost of a limited amount (last time I looked, the cap was $15K/yr) of business equipment that would otherwise be capialized and depreciated over several years.
(2) the term “extenders” refers to a group of tax benefits, some of which benefit primarily small businesses and some of which primarily benefit big multinationals, that for a variety of reasons have never been made permanent parts of the Code and have to be renewed annually. The extenders package is must-pass legislation, and as a result the majority party typically attaches it to something that the majority party really fucking hates. Which makes Baucus’ behavior in attaching it to a crappy jobs bill especially despicable. Props to Reid for borrowing asiangrrl’s rusty pitchfork and using it on Baucus.
@Xenos: Wobblies’ Songbook? There’s a golden oldie. Can I get a side of FDR-style economics with that?
Thanks so much. I’m glad that Reid is going after Baucus.
I heard the Baucus “deal” on the radio and was pissed. Not so much for the substance (which sucks all by itself) but for the idiocy of making concessions to bring Republicans in. This is one time they absolutely don’t want or need Republicans.
Let them oppose a jobs bill. We want that.
@cat48: No even better, propose an $800 billion stimulus, then as soon as that price, which freaks out a country that shits its pants whenever the government spends large amounts of money, is proposed, bump the required money up by $100 million per week until it’s well over a trillion and you got a newly minted Democratic President who has to decide if he can turn around and say “I know I said $800 billion, but I actually meant $900 billion.” then the next week say “No, wait, actually $1 trillion,” then the next week be like “Actually, you know, let’s go with $1.2 trillion”
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
@Elizabelle: He’s banked the big bucks since he left Congress and can now retire to his super secret private island with his hairless cat,
@Elizabelle: I love the way the NYT phrased the filibuster question:
Earth to NYT, “procedures” don’t “effectively require 60 votes” — REPUBLICANS do.
Et Tu Brutus?
I’m with Cole here; this is just pissin’ in the wind bullshit. How the hell is a $5,000 per new employee tax break gonna help drive up actual employment? Say I hire someone for a starvation wage=$15,000 a year, and I get my 5,000- still have to lay out 10g’s- but my business is off 25% total, due to the fact that, regardless of what that business is, the ultimate driver is consumer spending, which is completely in the toilet. Why? No more easy consumer credit, no more inflated home valuation leading to bogus equity that allows the consumer to acquire loans, etc. this not to mention the accelerating rate of defaults on both consumer credit and home loans, further tightening credit- and neither which is being realistically addressed by the current administration. Nuthin’ but another dog and pony show in service of the next election cycle is what I see in any of this.
Your nearest firearms and ammo store I suppose.
@Et Tu Brutus?:
It won’t. This bill is a piece of shit and D.U.M.B. First, its not a 5,000 tax credit for businesses that hire new employees. Its a payroll tax credit (6.5% up to 105,000 salary). So, it you make $105k, your employer saves a little over 6 grand. If you make $10k, your employer save $650. No one is going to hire an employee they don’t really need to save such a small amount of money. The only companies that will benefit are ones that were going to hire anyway and it drains money out of social security.
He is not learning if is limiting himself to changing the filibuster rule only if he has 67 votes, which was reported separately yesterday. The Dems are perfectly happy being powerless, feckless and clueless.