House Democrats are coming up short on a $15 billion jobs bill and won’t take up the legislation on Tuesday as Democratic leaders try to negotiate among various factions, according to a leadership aide.
The jobs bill, passed by a wide margin in the Senate last week, faces opposition from conservative Blue Dogs and liberal members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Staffers worked all weekend to move forward with the legislation but discussions are still ongoing with the conservative Blue Dogs. Ways and Means Democrats are trying to find ways to offset the $2 billion cost of the legislation, a necessary step to secure the votes of the conservative block.
And liberals say the measure pales in comparison to the $154 billion jobs bill the House passed last December.
"No one’s got any problem with what the bill does, but whether or not there’s a balance between tax cuts and investment," said House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, in a conference call of Democrats from both chambers.
Leadership has promised liberals that the legislaton would only be the first step in a series of jobs bills.
"We all would see that as round one of what we would exect to be a series of bills on jobs," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.