Bipartisan Blight IV: The Shrinking Jobs Bill

Robert Borosage

"Yesterday, we took a step, a strong first step toward putting Americans back to work, but … it’s a first step. This is the beginning, not the end," Senate Majority Leaded Harry Reid said, hailing the pending passage of a $15 billion jobs bill, as five Republican Senators, led by newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, joined to break the reflexive Republican filibuster.

The Christian Science Monitor suggested Reid had discovered "the secret for moving legislation" — proceed in piecemeal fashion, focusing on measures that have broad popularity. Next up, a thirty day extension of unemployment insurance, and then a second jobs bill focused on "a tourism promotion bill, a series of measures to help small businesses, and a package of popular tax-credit extensions, including an extension of unemployment benefits."

Is this the measure of bipartisan success — passing legislation that scarcely measures up to a gesture? Next, they’ll celebrate bipartisan cooperation in creating jobs by joining together to expand the presidential libraries of Bill Clinton and George Bush (well, maybe not).

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