Senate Democrats introduced an $85 billion jobs bill on Tuesday that offers tax relief to businesses, especially those on Main Street, according to a wire from the AP. The bill will enact many policies that are attractive to both Democrats and Republicans, who are both engaging in a rare act of bipartisanship.
For the most part, the bill expands on already existing policies, like extending current unemployment coverage to May 31 instead of the end of Feb.
The bill is also less radical than the reforms that President Barack Obama originally requested. For example, instead of a $5000 tax credit for each new hire at a small business, the new bill allots $1000 per new hire. And although the bill does not offer a $250 to Social Security recipients, businesses will be exempt from the Social Security payroll tax if their new hires were unemployed for 60+ days.
But despite the deviance from the president's wishes, the L.A. Times reports that Obama encouraged the bipartisanship efforts on the bill, reminding senators to transcend petty politics for the greater good.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are trailblazing the way to compromise between the aisles. But the recent snowstorms hitting the East Coast have slowed down the progress.
There are still many wrinkles in the bill to be ironed out, but both parties are optimistic. Both Democrats and Republicans are well aware of their constituents anxieties.
"The sooner we could get the parameters of the final package the better," said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.