President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Democratic-controlled Senate Tuesday night despite a White House push that accelerated in the 11th hour.
The bill received a simply majority of 51 votes but fell short of the necessary 60 to end debate. Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana were the only Democrats to vote against the bill. Both of them are facing tough re-election campaigns next year.
Now that it has failed, both the House and Senate are expected to turn this week to approving U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, one of the few areas of agreement between Republicans and the administration on boosting the economy. And Senate Democrats are looking at ways of breaking the jobs bill into pieces that would be easier to pass.