Senate moves on jobs - but not state rescue - Feb. 13, 2010NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- States are looking to the federal government for more help balancing their budgets, but the Senate is not heeding their call.
Federal aid to the states was among the top priorities in an early Senate job creation bill, as well as in a $154 billion measure passed by the House in December. But it has fallen off the list as Senate Democrats look to craft legislation that will attract bipartisan support.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday unveiled a jobs bill that does not contain state aid. A Senate Democratic aide said Reid hopes to back a state aid measure in the future. Republican support, however, remains questionable.
Experts and state officials say they need to know now whether they'll get more funds. Governors are currently crafting their budgets and, for many, it will be their third year of contending with massive deficits due to declining tax revenues.
States are looking at a total budget gap of $180 billion for fiscal 2011, which for most of them begins July 1. These cuts could lead to a loss of 900,000 jobs, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com.
Don't expect any bi-partisan support soon.
It is still unknown whether a trimmed down jobs bill without aid to states will even pass.
Hatch Opposes Reid’s Jobs Bill - Washington Wire - WSJ:
I disagree, it is you who is abandoning bipartisan support....Reid surprised his colleagues by stripping the bill of various provisions, such as disaster relief funds for agriculture, leaving only the core job-creation elements, including the Hatch-Schumer proposal. Reid was reacting to protests from Democrats that the Baucus-Grassley measure included too many extraneous provisions designed to win Republican support, but Reid’s abrupt stripping down of the bill angered Republicans.
Democrats, who now have 59 votes in the Senate - one short of the 60 needed to overcome GOP filibusters - are hoping a handful of Republicans support the stripped-down $15 billion measure, whose elements are popular among lawmakers of both parties.
"Leader Reid’s surprising decision to abandon a bipartisan job creation bill is an ominous sign and contradicts the president’s call for both parties to come together. This is not how you legislate in the United States Senate and demonstrates a tremendous arrogance of power.”
I too, cannot understand why republicans are using the fillibuster on bills that I would label as centrist (and including their own proposals)...“His comments are puzzling at best,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Saturday. “After all, his payroll tax exemption is a key part of our package. There is simply no reason, except maybe for political reasons, that this slimmed-down bill focusing specifically on job creation shouldn’t pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Senate Republicans: Filibuster everything to win in November? | McClatchy:
hmm... So the states (who you are supposed to represent) don't want federal aid? Democrats can't blame you for not even voting on your own proposal?"It strikes me that Democrats are looking for someone to blame for their failed agenda that they can't even get Democrats, let alone the American people, to support," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a 33-year Senate veteran."
Budget cuts loom as Utah opens legislative session - BusinessWeek:
If Mark Zandi's estimates are correct, the vast majority of state layoffs are still to come. I doubt we can count on the senate to get any aid out in time with the way it is currently operating. So much for good governance. I just hope we don't pull a 1937 and start worrying about the federal debt too soon (oops).SALT LAKE CITY- Utah lawmakers returned to work Monday focused on looming budget cuts as the state remains in the throes of an economic recession.
Lawmakers will need to trim about $200 million from the state's $11.3 billion budget in the first few weeks. Once that's completed, they'll get to work on the upcoming budget year that begins July 1, in which there's a $700 million projected shortfall for state programs.
Premature Exit - Paul Krugman Blog - NYTimes.com
All I can say is, I am about fed up with the 110th congress.