House Dems. promise new jobs bill before Christmas break

The focus on the Hill is now jobs, jobs, jobs:

Democrats hope to pass jobs legislation through the House before lawmakers leave for Christmas on Dec. 18, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has asked key committee chairmen for ideas on job creation, which Hoyer (D-Md.) said could be wrapped into one bill.

“It’s my hope we will adjourn by Dec. 18,” Hoyer said in his weekly session with reporters. “I would certainly hope we would move something on jobs before that.”

Hoyer declined to give a dollar figure for what Democrats are planning, but he said he expects Democrats will at a minimum extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance assistance for the unemployed.

Other options include aid to states to preserve public-sector jobs, tax breaks for creating jobs and spending on public works like highways, he said. Democrats have consulted extensively with a group of economists, but Hoyer said there have been “differences of opinion” on what tactics are most effective.

If Democrats have any hope in 2010, they better put aside those “differences of opinion” and get a good, solid jobs bill ASAP. Too often, on Capitol Hill, “differences of opinion” means the Blue Dogs and conservatives are being cranky. That hasn’t worked so well for the party this year. They should have done a bigger stimulus earlier this year, but too much compromise weakened that legislation’s punch. And, it was those “differences of opinion” among Democrats that slowed down health insurance reform so badly. And, it’s still not done.

Markos has some sage advice for Hill Democrats who are freaking out over the polls and the economy:

2010 will be a base election. Any Democrat hoping to meet a fate similar to [Virginia’s Creigh] Deeds’ should follow his campaign plan and abandon the party and its agenda. No one doubts Republicans will be energized. Failure or success next year will come down to whether our side turns out.

The Democrats on the Hill need to fulfill the party’s agenda on jobs and other key issues, not abandon it.

Perhaps, the President could exert some leadership here.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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