The Ticket

Top Senate Dem: We don’t have the votes for Obama’s jobs bill

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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Durbin (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

President Obama has called on Congress to pass his $450 billion plan he says would help create thousands of jobs--but the man in the Senate responsible for gathering up Democratic votes said Obama won't be able to rely on his party to push the bill through.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the chamber's Democratic whip, told Chicago's WLS Radio on Thursday that while the president will face resistance from Republicans, he'll need to focus on his own party first.

"The oil-producing state senators don't like eliminating or reducing the subsidy for oil companies, " Durbin told WLS Radio, "There are some senators who are up for election who say I'm never gonna vote for a tax increase while I'm up for election, even on the wealthiest people. So, we're not gonna have 100 percent Democratic senators. That's why it needs to be bipartisan, and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen."

He added that among Senate Democrats, there aren't enough votes "at the moment" but that they would "work on it."

There probably won't be a vote until late October, at the earliest. As of this writing, there hasn't even been an official bill introduced in the House that puts the president's ideas into legislative language.

But the White House says they're confident that Congress will vote on the plan by Christmas.

"I will buy everyone in here a drink if, by the end of this year, there is not action on the jobs" bill, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told the press corps.

One thing you can be sure of: We in the Washington press corps will hold him to it.

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