Reid Blocks Vote On Obama Jobs Bill: 'We Have Two More Weeks'

October 5, 2011 - 10:10 AM

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Republicans tried to force Democrats to hold a vote on President Obama's jobs-stimulus bill Tuesday, but they were blocked by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who said other matters take priority.

Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking on the Senate floor, noted that President Obama has been traveling across the country, calling on Congress to pass his jobs bill "right away."

“I think we should accommodate the President of the United States on a matter that he has been speaking about frequently over the last few weeks and give him his vote,” McConnell said.

Reid called it a political stunt. He responded that “'right away' is a relative term.” He said the bills the Senate is currently working on take precedence over the president's jobs-stimulus measure.

“I’ve said I’ll bring the American Jobs Act to the floor this work period,” Reid added. “We have two more weeks in this work period.”

The Associated Press reported that Reid and his fellow Democrats are rewriting Obama's $447-billion jobs bill to change the way it is funded.

Instead of imposing higher taxes on families earning more than $250,000 and on the oil and gas industry -- as Obama wanted to do -- Reid reportedly wants to impose a 5 percent tax surcharge on millionaires.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said Obama was open to Reid's changes.

"We offered a balanced way to pay for the American Jobs Act, but if Congress has a better idea that ensures that everyone pays their fair share, we're open to it," the AP quoted White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said.

Reid predicted that by the time the jobs bill comes to the Senate floor, almost all Democrats would be behind it.

(The Associated Press contributed some of the information included in this report.)