Udall, Bennet quiet on millionaires surcharge idea

Colorado’s senators generally welcomed a proposal that surfaced Wednesday to modify President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, but neither endorsed the change specifically.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., unveiled plans to change Obama’s proposal, announced in a joint session of Congress last month, by ditching revenue provisions the president suggested and offering instead a 5 percent surcharge on people who make more than $1 million a year.

The American Jobs Bill has a price tag of $447 billion.

Reid offered up the idea a day after he derailed a call by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for an immediate vote on the president’s proposal.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., meanwhile, pointed out that the Senate had gone 889 days with passing a budget.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Obama is offering a “practical and reasonable proposal that includes ideas from both sides of the aisle” and that the proposal deserves fair consideration.

“But I’m willing to consider any plan that would create jobs — I don’t care if it’s proposed by a Republican or a Democrat — we need to stop fighting and get the job done,” Udall said in a statement.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., “is open to a wide array of options to ensure this jobs bill is paid for” said his spokesman, Michael Amodeo.

Cooperation among the parties will be necessary to move the bill forward, Amodeo said, noting that Bennet wants to address long-term, structural challenges in the economy, such as reforming the tax code and getting the nation’s fiscal house in order.

The Senate is late to the party, Tipton said, pointing to the failure to adopt a budget.

“Additionally, more than a dozen pro-jobs bills passed by the House this session are languishing in the Senate,” Tipton said in a statement. “Inactivity in Harry Reid’s Senate is nothing new; it is, however, unfortunate.”

There has been some job-growth legislation that has passed, Udall said, pointing to a measure that passed the House with Tipton’s support that would change permitting for ski areas on U.S. Forest Service land to allow for year-round recreation.

Tipton and Udall both said the measure would boost tourism and increase employment in mountain communities.


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