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Democrats eye new jobs agendaFri, 25 Jan, 2013 | Posted By: The Times Of Earth (TOE)

Democrats eye new jobs agenda The May jobs report paints a bleak economic outlook. | AP Photo Read more:

Senate Democrats are beginning to fear that the country’s increasingly dim economic outlook will cost them their seats in 2012 and are trying to craft a new agenda aimed at spurring job creation.

While there is no shortage of ideas of what a plan could include — from a payroll tax holiday to increased infrastructure spending — Democrats haven’t settled on the details or whether to craft one large package or push through a series of narrow measures. They’re also unsure how to sell their plans to the public or how to engage Senate Republicans.

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VIDEO: Obama on jobs in N.C.

VIDEO: DNC Chair on economy


“There’s no easy answer to this,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told POLITICO.

Fearing the economy may be getting worse, Democrats plan to soon unveil what they’ll call a “Jobs First” agenda — and the stakes are high. A bleak economic outlook, like the May jobs report, could cost Democrats their thin Senate majority and even the White House if they can’t make a strong case to an anxious electorate that their policies will create jobs.

Senate Democrats are now grappling with ways to gain an edge in the economic debate dominated by budget talk. For instance, in an attempt to woo Republicans, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the White House are open to extending a payroll tax break to stimulate the economy, but that has spawned unease from Democratic senators such as Maryland’s Ben Cardin who worry that it would drive up the deficit and unnerve liberals such as Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who are concerned it would deplete the Social Security trust fund.

Sen. Mark Begich has enlisted business officials to present senators with their ideas for bolstering job creation, and the Alaska Democrat wants his party to unveil a package full of proposals — like a boost in infrastructure spending and changes to visas to boost tourism — that one by one could be brought to the floor over the next several weeks.

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