Senate Democrats want to vote on the first installment of a jobs package as early as Monday, amping up the pressure on Republicans to get aboard. But for the moment, they’re not biting.
“We’ll have a vote on a jobs bill on Monday,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a press conference today.
There’s just one wrinkle: According to the Senate’s top vote counter, there is currently no Republican support for the proposal Democrats are putting forth–and with Scott Brown to be seated today as the 41st Republican Senator, they’ll need at least one member of the minority to come aboard.
“You need two to tango. And you need Republicans for bipartisanship,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).“Hope is prospective…we don’t have bipartisanship at this moment. I hope we’ll have it in a matter of minutes, hours, days.”
That sets the stage for a potential showdown between the two parties on the first major issue since the Democrats lost their supermajority, and put health care reform on the backburner.
“I watched the Democrat leadership’s press conference just now and what I learned is that there will be a vote Monday on ‘a bill,'” said Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “But that they don’t know what’s in the bill or how many jobs they expect it to ‘save or create,’ or when anyone beyond the Beltway will see it, or how much it will cost. They did have a nice sign, though, and a pretty handout, so they obviously gave this some thought.”