Could snow rescue jobs bill?
Today was supposed to be the deadline for Democrats to bring a jobs bill to the Senate floor.
But this weekend's epic snowstorm shuttered Washington, turning the roads into snow banks and shutting down staples of normalcy -- like the Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution -- that rarely close. With many lawmakers having trouble returning from their home districts, Monday votes have been canceled.
Which is apparently a good thing, according to Politico, because negotiators are apparently having a hard time hammering out a compromise anyway.
“Nothing’s agreed to until everything’s agreed to,” said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who’s leading the negotiations. “We can be very close, and it can collapse because something went haywire.”
The first proposal -- for a $100-billion infusion of TARP-financed funds -- fell into trouble when Republican Scott Brown -- arguing that the first $787 billion had not created one new job -- won election in Massachusetts, robbing Democrats of their 60-vote margin
Now all sorts of ideas are on the table. Democrats are talking about tax credits for small businesses; Republicans led by Alabama's Jeff Sessions are talking about cracking down on immigration, on grounds that illegal workers rob Americans of jobs. And compromise is difficult, with Republicans threatening to filibuster any use of TARP refunds.
But hey, the weather service is predicting another five to 10 inches of snow for Tuesday, so maybe the Dems will get another reprieve.
-- Johanna Neuman
Photo: A U.S. Capitol made out of snow stands near the real thing. Credit: Associated Press