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Democrats Ready Campaign Fodder for Floor Votes

House and Senate Democrats are planning to bring up a handful of bills next week that they believe will play well on the campaign trail — and then to dash out of town at the end of the week to campaign for the midterm elections.

The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. Monday and hold an unusual live quorum Monday evening on the Democrats’ latest jobs bill intended to keep jobs in the United States. The bill would punish companies that move factories overseas while offering financial incentives if they move factories to the United States from abroad.

Senate Democrats, who last week punted voting on tax cuts before the elections, are using the anti-offshoring package as a last attempt to draw contrasts with Republicans heading into the election.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill that will be the legislative vehicle for the continuing resolution keeping the government operating past the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

A cloture vote on proceeding to the jobs bill would occur Tuesday morning, and if it fails, it would be followed by a cloture vote on proceeding to the CR.

The House isn’t scheduled to return until Wednesday morning, and Democratic leaders plan to adjourn Thursday after clearing the CR.

House Democratic leaders also plan to make keeping jobs from going overseas a focus before they leave. On Friday, they announced plans to bring a bill targeting China’s currency manipulation to the floor.

“While a multilateral approach to addressing this issue is preferable, we cannot wait any longer to level the playing field for U.S. businesses and protect American manufacturing jobs,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Friday in a statement.

The bill, which Democrats are including in their “Make It in America” agenda, aims to make it easier to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), at a Friday press conference, also left open the option of voting on a tax cut bill despite the Senate’s decision to delay. She is under pressure from moderates who want to avoid a vote and from the party’s liberal wing, which has been pushing for a big fight over tax cuts for the rich to try to rally the party’s base.

Pelosi and Hoyer also announced they would bring a bill to the floor providing health care and compensation for people physically injured during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or during response activities or debris removal following the attacks.

“It is our hope that we will have a strong, bipartisan vote to pass this critical legislation,” they said.

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