WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ Democrats in the House Wednesday muscled through a year-end plan to create jobs, mixing about $50 billion for public works projects with another almost $50 billion for cash-strapped state and local governments.
The unemployed would get continued benefits. But conspicuously absent from the plan were President Barack Obama's recently announced proposals to give Social Security recipients $250 payments, a tax credit for small businesses that create jobs and a program awarding tax credits to people who make their homes more energy efficient.
In a statement, Obama said the House measure offers "productive ideas to respond to this great need" for jobs across the country, while urging lawmakers to do more."Some may think standing by and taking no action is the right approach, but for the millions of Americans still out of work, inaction is unacceptable," Obama said. Not a single Republican voted for the plan, which passed on a 217-212 vote after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked the floor for an hour. The measure now goes to the Senate, which won't consider the measure until next year and which generally has a smaller appetite for such deficit-financed economic stimulus measures. Given increasing anxiety among Democrats over massive budget deficits and the party's poor marks with voters for its free-spending ways, the measure could face a tough road. Some 38 Democrats voted against the plan, mostly moderates and junior members elected from swing districts.