WASHINGTON — Hours after it was reported that Democrats were abandoning a jobs bill before it was introduced, party leadership insisted that Democrats will stand behind the legislation if it is brought to the floor in the coming weeks.
“We’re not going to get 100 percent of our caucus, but believe me, if it’s up to the Democrats to pass the president’s plan, it’ll pass,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), majority whip, told reporters on Thursday.
Democrats huddled for about an hour and a half with White House officials — including top economic adviser Gene Sperling and top political adviser David Plouffe — on Thursday afternoon to discuss the ins and outs of the American Jobs Act, which was sent to Congress on Monday. The bill would combine targeted tax cuts with state-specific spending in education, infrastructure and school repair.
People who left the meeting expressed usual optimism that it would pass, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) saying he wants to see the president continue to “sell it” across the country. Obama has appeared in Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina to speak about the plan and is slated to give a speech next week along a bridge that connects Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) home state with House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) neighboring district.
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