Senate Democrats generally don't expect much in the way of support for their proposals, especially when it comes to the economy, but they though their new small-business tax cut bill at least had a shot.
The proposal is straightforward enough: small business owners would get a new tax incentive to hire new workers and/or increase payroll wages, on top of a break businesses claim on capital investments. An independent firm that specializes in economic modeling concluded that the Democratic proposal could create nearly 1 million jobs.
Today, a majority of the Senate supported the measure, but the modern Senate no longer operates by majority rule. Democrats couldn't break a Republican filibuster so the bill is dead.
Senate Republicans made good on their threat to filibuster a Democratic small-business tax cut bill today, ensuring the bill fell seven votes short of what it needed to move forward.
The Senate voted 53-44 to limit debate on the bill and move to final passage, but 60 votes were needed to overcome the filibuster. [...]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued Republicans would typically support the small-business bill save for their desire to deny the president a political victory ahead of the November elections. "There is no reason for them to oppose this bill other than to hurt President Obama," Reid said today.
Republicans said they felt the need to kill the legislation because Reid denied them the chance to water it down with a series of amendments.
And since procedural concerns are obviously more important than lowering unemployment, the GOP argument doesn't seem to surprise anyone.
Here, by the way, is the roll call. West Virginia's Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to vote with Republicans, while Nevada's Dean Heller and Massachusetts' Scott Brown, two vulnerable GOP incumbents, were the only Republicans to vote with Democrats.