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Senate rejects Obama's jobs bill

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Senate rejects Obama's jobs bill

President asked lawmakers to 'put country ahead of party'

The Senate has voted Tuesday to block President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill.

Earlier in the day, Obama had called on lawmakers to "put country ahead of party" and pass his plan, aimed at creating millions of new jobs through government work programs and tax breaks for businesses.

The failure of the American Jobs Act in the Democratic-controlled Senate, though expected, was "a stinging loss at the hands of lawmakers opposed to stimulus-style spending and a tax increase on the very wealthy," the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP:

Forty-six Republicans joined with two Democrats to filibuster the $447 billion plan. Fifty Democrats had voted for it, but the vote was not final. The roll call was kept open to allow Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. to vote. The likely 51-48 eventual tally would be far short of the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive in the 100-member Senate.

With unemployment stuck at around 9 percent, Obama had spent weeks campaigning for the bill across the country and used virtually every public appearance to demand an immediate congressional vote.

In his weekly video address Saturday, Politico reports, he said: "If the Republicans in Congress think they have a better plan for creating jobs right now, they should prove it."

On Monday, he tweeted about the vote: “Make sure your Republican legislator knows you support it.”

The package includes spending for school construction and transportation infrastructure, payroll tax cuts for workers and small businesses, and tax credits for businesses that hire veterans.

Obama said it would "put thousands of teachers, police and construction workers back on the job," VOA reports.

But critics have said the plan to pay for the bill by increasing taxes on the wealthy would hurt investment and economic growth.

According to the AP, the White House and leaders in Congress are "already moving on to alternative ways to address the nation’s painful 9.1 percent unemployment, including breaking the legislation into smaller, more digestible pieces and approving long-stalled trade bills."

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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