COBRA Extension Likely Part Of Senate Democratic Jobs Plan
The Wall Street Journal: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today said he plans to move the " first part of a job-creation package next week." In discussing the measure during a Capitol Hill press conference, Democratic leaders were short of specifics "but pledged to make the issue of job creation their top priority in 2010." A senior Democratic leadership aid told the Journal that, among other elements, the "initial package could include a job-creation tax credit, an extension of unemployment insurance benefits and federal health-insurance subsidies for jobless people" (Boles, 2/4).
Los Angeles Times: "But the political question hovering over the newfound push is whether it comes too late to quell growing voter dissatisfaction with how Democrats are handling the economy. ... In the short term, the victim of the Democratic pivot is likely to be the controversial healthcare overhaul, which has been shelved indefinitely as House and Senate leaders attempt to figure out a way forward." Although Senate leaders would not offer a pricetag for the measure, their list of its components includes "another extension of unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits" (Oliphant, 2/4).
The Hill: "Reid said he would bring the first of several jobs bills to the Senate floor on Feb. 8 and hopes to pass it through the chamber by Feb. 12, when lawmakers are scheduled to start the Presidents Day recess. ... To vote Monday to proceed to the jobs bill, Reid would have to file a motion to cut off a Republican filibuster on Friday or Saturday. That gives Democrats a day or two to find a GOP partner" (Bolton, 2/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.