For the third time in four weeks, Senate Republicans voted in unison to block jobs legislation, which the Obama administration and Senate Democratic leaders have made central to their agenda.
Two caucusing Democrats joined Republicans in the 51-49 vote to stop the bill, S. 1786, which would have spent $60 billion on transportation infrastructure programs and paid for it with a new tax on income earned above $1 million.
Debate over the legislation throughout this week ranged from partisan questions on whether millionaires could afford a modest tax hike to general consensus on the need to create jobs and rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
Passions flared highest on Thursday morning as it became clear that Obama’s legislation, which Democrats have insisted is bipartisan, would once again fail to attract a single Republican vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quarreled in a back-and-forth, with each accusing the other of engaging in political theater rather than working for Americans.
In the end the measure failed because of that pay-for provision, which would have levied a tax on those earning more than $1 million a year.