By Libby Casey
Alaska’s U-S senators voted with the bulk of their parties on a jobs bill yesterday. Democratic Senator Mark Begich voted for it, while Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski voted against it. Five Republicans including the newly elected Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and one Democrat (Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska) crossed the aisle with their votes.
The $15-Billion bill is significantly smaller than bipartisan legislation proposed earlier this month.
The bill includes a $13- Billion social security tax break, and would give employers a $1-thousand tax credit for each new worker who stays on the job for a year.
Senator Begich’s office put out a press release saying the legislation would help small businesses expand and hire workers, and jump-start infrastructure projects. Republicans say they weren’t given a chance to offer amendments, and some supported a bigger bill that would extend expiring tax breaks.
Yesterday’s vote was to move forward on the bill. The senate will now debate it and a vote on the actual content of the bill is expected later this week. The House passed a far more massive jobs bill late last year.