By Tim Leeds 

Sens. Baucus, Tester split on jobs bill vote


Montana's Democratic U. S. senators parted ways on President Barack Obama's jobs bill, with Sen. Max Baucus voting Tuesday to advance to a vote on the bill and Sen. Jon Tester voting against.

The vote to end the filibuster failed 50-49, with Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., switching his vote to a "nay" to preserve his option to recall the bill later.

In a press release following the vote, Baucus said that what is needed is less talk and more action.

"Montanans and American workers and small businesses need action, and they need it now, " Baucus said. "The president's American Jobs Act is a good step in that direction. It gives tax cuts to workers, giving them the relief they need. Our jobs deficit and our fiscal deficit go hand-in-hand, and we can't solve one at the expense of the other.

"Basic fairness and common sense also say everyone should contribute their fair share, and that includes millionaires and billionaires, " Baucus added. "Our crumbling roads and bridges need upgrades and that can put folks back to work right now, building a stronger America. We've got to get to work creating jobs and not let politics get in the way of economic common sense. "

But Tester said in a release that there were too many elements he disliked in the bill, and that they outweighed what he liked about it.

"We shouldn't be sending billions of dollars in bailout aid to states, " he said. "And I can't support tax gimmicks that do little to create jobs and fail to address a much bigger underlying problem: The need for a big, broad and bipartisan plan to cut the deficit and to make sure we can pay our bills and rebuild our economy. "

Tester said he wants to see investments in critical infrastructure, education, research and development, along with "significant but responsible cuts to government spending. " He added that he wants a "wholesale reform of our tax code to make sure that millionaires and billionaires and corporations pay their fair share, " while making taxes more fair for working families, and ensuring the future of initiatives like Medicare and Social Security.

"This measure does none of those things, " Tester said. "It is an expensive, temporary fix to a problem that needs a big, long-term solution. "


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