WASHINGTON -- United against Barack Obama, Senate Republicans voted yesterday to kill the jobs package the president had spent weeks campaigning for across the country, a stinging loss at the hands of lawmakers opposed to stimulus-style spending and a tax increase on the very wealthy.
Forty-six Republicans joined with two Democrats to filibuster the $447 billion plan. Fifty Democrats had voted for it, but the vote was not final.
The roll call was kept open to allow Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to vote. The likely 51-48 eventual tally would be far short of the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive in the 100-member Senate.
The demise of Obama's jobs package was expected, despite his efforts to swing the public behind it.
The White House and leaders in Congress were already moving on to alternative ways to address the nation's painful 9.1 percent unemployment.
"In the coming days, members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job," Obama said in a statement.
The White House appears most confident that it will be able to continue a 2-percentage-point Social Security payroll tax cut through 2012 and to extend emergency unemployment benefits to millions of people -- if only because, in the White House view, Republicans won't want to accept the political harm of letting those provisions expire.
White House officials are also hopeful of ultimately garnering votes for the approval of infrastructure spending and tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed veterans.