Democrats won a test vote in the Senate on Monday evening on a slimmed down $15 billion jobs bill, as five Republican Senators led by new Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) broke ranks and helped Democrats break what would have been a GOP filibuster.
Brown cast the very first vote on the motion to cut off debate on the measure, which needed sixty votes.
He was joined by both of the Senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Also voting with the Democrats, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO). Both Bond and Voinovich are retiring this year from the Senate.
The final tally was 62-30. A final vote seems likely on Wednesday, which would send the measure back to the House. It's unclear what Democrats there will do with the bill, since the House approved a $154 billion jobs measure back in December.
"The American people want to see Washington put aside partisan differences and make progress on jobs, and today the Senate took one important step forward in doing that," said President Obama in a written statement released by the White House after the vote.
"I'm grateful to the Democratic and Republican Senators who voted to support these investments in infrastructure and small businesses."
Not all Democrats were thrilled to vote with their party, as they complain this plan is too small to have any effect on the economy.
Remember that last year, Democrats advanced a $787 billion stimulus package - this is only $15 billion.
And also remember that the House version is over ten times the size of this Senate plan, making it hard to figure out exactly what Democrats will do with this bill.
A final vote is expected on the plan in the Senate on Wednesday.
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