Boxer: Senate’s First Jobs Bill Will Likely Be Small

Posted January 27, 2010 at 11:02am

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the first jobs bill the Senate takes up would likely be a relatively small, targeted measure that will not first move through any committees.Boxer reiterated that Senate Democratic leaders plan this year to move more than one measure aimed at job creation and reducing the 10 percent unemployment rate.She said the package had not yet been finalized, “so anything I tell you is not definitive.— However, she said Senate leaders were exploring a bill that would include an EPW proposal for a nearly yearlong extension of the Highway Trust Fund, some yet-to-be-defined small-business tax credits, and an extension of the Build America Bonds program that lends money for infrastructure to states and localities.“There are ways to put together a package through the leadership, so I think it’s just a question of timing,— Boxer said at a press conference on infrastructure jobs. She said she is unsure of exactly when that bill or another jobs measure would come up, but she said it would be “soon.—She said the tax credits for small business “could be for job creation. It could be for investment for other things, but we expect— some tax breaks in the bill.The liberal California Democrat added that the measure may also include an extension of unemployment benefits and an extension of a law that permits people to continue paying for their health insurance after they have left employer-provided plans.Boxer said she did not see any red flags in the tentative proposal that would cause GOP opposition, considering Democrats will likely need the votes of one or two Republicans to prevent filibusters. “Let’s see how our Republican friends react,— she said. “I don’t know what in that package they would find to be a problem.—