Senate to Take Up Obama’s Jobs Bill This Month

The Senate will take up President Obama’s jobs bill this month, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today.

“We’ll do that this month,” Reid said from the Senate floor this afternoon. “I’m happy to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve this bill. But I hope the obstructionism Republicans employed the last nine months won’t continue.”

Obama said today during a meeting with his cabinet at the White House that Congress will vote on the American Jobs Act before the end of the month, adding that he wants the bill back on his desk and that he is “ready to sign it.”

“My expectation is … that now that we’re in the month of October, that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month. I’ll be talking to Sen. Reid, [Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, as well as [House Majority] Speaker [John] Boehner and [Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi, and insisting that we have a vote on this bill,” Obama told reporters today of the legislation he sent to Congress three weeks ago.

Reid faces an uphill climb in getting Democratic support for the bill. Many Democratic senators, including Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have expressed skepticism about the plan and suggested that perhaps the best way to take up the legislation is via the piecemeal approach, breaking up the bill and passing parts.

Since last month when Obama released the American Jobs Act, Reid has been noncommittal when asked when he would take up the president’s legislation, despite Obama’s insistence that the bill be passed right away.

“The floor’s pretty well jammed now,” Reid said two weeks ago, explaining why he hasn’t moved on the president’s bill since then.

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