This afternoon (Nov. 3) the Senate voted on whether to proceed on two bills, each promoted as a “jobs” bill and neither of which was expected to pass.
The Democrats put forward the Infrastructure section of President Obama’s jobs bill, which would have put hundreds of thousands of construction workers, engineers and contractors back to work while repairing structures which have been allowed to deteriorate, and to prepare workers for transportation jobs in areas of shortage. This would have been paid for through a tax of 7 cents per $100 of income over $1 million in a given year. This bill was defeated 49 to 51, with 60 votes needed for passage. Forty-nine members of the Senate chose to give millionaires seven cents rather than providing jobs to the unemployed and stronger roads and bridges for our nation.
The Republicans, in response, put forward a bill to extend the Surface Transportation Act by two years, at the current level of funding. They would have paid for this by rolling back environmental regulations and cutting some 200,000 jobs including firefighters and police, and would have rescinded $40 billion in unspent federal funds - resulting in additional layoffs of public workers.
Once again Congress chose the millionaires, actually the top 0.2%, over the common good.