GOP considers blocking jobs bill it agrees with

GOP CONSIDERS BLOCKING JOBS BILL IT AGREES WITH…. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would, by all accounts, like to see the Senate take up a jobs bill when members return to the Hill on Monday. Senate Republicans intend to block Dems from even bringing the proposal to the floor for a debate, and Reid does not yet have the votes to stop them.

But the amazing part of this is that Republicans actually like what’s in the modest jobs bill. GOP leadership aides met behind closed doors yesterday with more than 100 corporate lobbyists to discuss strategy, and according to Roll Call, Republicans are leaning on waffling members to block consideration of a stripped down, $15 billion jobs package for reasons that have nothing to do with its merits.

Given the divisions within the GOP Conference — and the fact that Republicans have largely backed most of the bill’s provisions in the past — leadership aides told lobbyists that the GOP plans to attack Reid’s bill over process, rather than policy.

More than 100 lobbyists representing the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and other associations attended the meeting with staff from the offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Grassley.

“The feeling is they aren’t going to say anything in opposition to the bill, except to say it’s incomplete,” a lobbyist who attended the meeting said. “They are not opposed to the bill, they just believe their rights as the minority have been abridged.”

The GOP’s willingness to reject the ideas they support continues to be almost impressive in its scope.

Reid wants a clean bill and an efficient process, so he’s pushing for a vote on a jobs bill with no amendments. Republicans have decided that Reid’s approach hurts their feelings, so they’d rather play partisan games.

It’s worth emphasizing that GOP opposition is not yet unanimous, so it’s still possible to see some constructive movement on Monday. But like everything else in the Senate that Republicans broke, this is looking awfully ugly.