“Jobs” Bill Headed for Passage

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Finally, some bipartisanship: Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) joined all but one Democrat present in voting to defeat a GOP filibuster of the Senate’s “jobs” bill. The legislation will now move to a final up-or-down vote, scheduled for Wednesday. Jon Chait has the definitive take on why this happened:

It tells you that these [GOP] Senators recognized that the legislation is essentially symbolic, and therefore a good time to burnish their moderate credentials rather than spend political capital to advance their party’s agenda.

Exactly. While it’s all well and good that Democrats and Republicans could finally get bipartisan agreement on something, a couple billion dollars in payroll tax cuts isn’t going to solve the nation’s unemployment crisis. At around $15 billion, the so-called “jobs” bill represents around one-tenth of one percent of the total output of the American economy over the year ahead, and less than one-half of one percent of total federal spending over that period. It doesn’t get much more symbolic than that.

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.