Senate Democrats and Republicans joined together Thursday in a rare moment of bipartisanship, particularly on the jobs front, to pass a bill that repeals a tax on government contractors and encourages businesses to hire unemployed veterans.
Though Congressional Republicans flatly rejected President Obama's original $447 billion jobs bill, the two component parts which passed ahead of Veterans Day represented a victory for the White House.
Businesses will now receive tax credtis of up to $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans, provided those persons have been out of work for at least six months. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, was the lone member to oppose this measure, citing a 2002 GAO study that called into question the effectiveness of targeted tax cuts. DeMint voted for the overall bill in the end, however.
The bill also repeals a 3 percent income tax withholding on all federal and state government contractors for each payment over $10,000. The tax was set to go into effect in 2013.
For now, Democrats say they will set aside jobs measures to try to complete Congress' work on its annual spending bills. A Continuing Resolution (CR) will also have to be passed next week in order to keep the government running. One senior Senate Democratic leadership aide predicted to Fox Thursday that Congress was likely to pass a CR easily by November 18, when the current stop-gap spending bill expires.