October 17th, 2011
11:16 AM ET
The White House expects Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to announce the first Senate vote on a component of President Obama’s jobs bill that calls for providing aid to teachers and first responders.
“Our expectation [is] that the first measure will be teachers,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One Monday. “I do not want to get ahead of Senator Reid. It is up to Senator Reid. We have been in consolation with him. It is his prerogative and we are very pleased that he will be taking it up.”
Carney added he expects Reid to make his own announcement “very soon” with a vote following shortly thereafter. Reid's office has since announced the Nevada Democrat will announce his plans during a conference call at 2:30 p.m.
The comments come two days after President Obama specifically pushed that component in his weekly radio address, saying, “If they vote ‘no’ on that, they’ll have to tell you why. They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again. They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back. They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.”
Obama’s jobs plan calls for $35 billion allotted to states and localities to hire more teachers and first responders while preventing current ones from being laid off.
Other components of the jobs bill to be voted on include funding for infrastructure projects and extending cuts in payroll taxes. Carney said the White House did not value certain components over others.
"I wouldn't know which is better than the other. I think they're all effective,” he said. “The whole package is put together with urgent, early action in mind.”
– CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report