5:58 PM EDT
Harry Reid, D-NV

Mr. REID. Mr. President, we in America today have a major problem, and that is jobs. I appreciate the bipartisan support of this bill; it has been bipartisan, but we need to get to this bill and pass it so we can start having small businesses take the tax credits that are going to be available in this legislation to allow the Build America bonds to be replenished. We need to make sure that the highway budgets go forward as quickly as possible.

I understand the efforts to divert attention from the issue at hand, but there is going to be plenty of time to talk about health care. Let's get this done. The bill we are on now--when we finish this bill, there is the FAA bill. There are amendments in that regard that have been offered. As we know, Senators can speak about any subject they want. But let's get off health care for a few hours and get jobs. This bill should go to the President tomorrow so people can start being hired.

For example, I have a provision in this bill that will allow $45 million that [Page: S1502]

has already been appropriated, to be reprogrammed--in fact, I use that term, but it will be directed by this bill--it will go to the transportation departments of Nevada, $45 million. The highway departments in Nevada will build things to create jobs. That is what we need to do.

We understand the concern people have with health care, but this is a jobs bill. I hope that tonight if my Republican colleagues want to talk about health care they will take a little consideration and understand that this is a jobs bill. But the jobs before us are dealing with this beautiful bill that has passed--bipartisan, a bill that will allow small businesses to take a tax credit if they hire somebody who has been out of work 60 days.

It will allow someone who has a small business who wants to buy a new machine, a new desk, new office equipment to write that off--not depreciate it but write it off. Of course, saving 1 million jobs with the highway bill and the Build America Bonds.