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Congress: House passes jobs bill

"The House passed the Senate's $15 billion jobs bill in a 217-201 vote on Thursday," The Hill writes. "Lawmakers voted to approve the package, which provides a series of tax credits for job creation and other stimulus measures, after Democrats struggled to pass a rule for the legislation."

The New York Times adds, "The Senate passed the bill last week on a bipartisan vote. But because the House altered the measure, the Senate must approve the revised bill before President Obama can sign it into law. The Senate is expected to take it up again next week." 

The Times also links the Rangel, Massa, and Paterson news -- along with Edwards and Spitzer. "The ethical woes facing Democrats are piling up, with barely a day passing in recent weeks without headlines from Washington to New York and beyond filled with word of scandal or allegations of wrongdoing. The troubles of Gov. David A. Paterson of New York, followed by those of two of the state's congressmen, Charles B. Rangel and Eric J. Massa, have added to the ranks of episodes involving prominent Democrats like Eliot Spitzer, Rod R. Blagojevich and John Edwards."

"Taken together, the cases have opened the party to the same lines of criticism that Democrats, led by Representatives Nancy Pelosi, now the House speaker, and Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, used effectively against Republicans in winning control of the House and Senate four years ago." 

An abortion fix? "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation," The Hill reports. "Stupak has said that 12 lawmakers who previously backed healthcare reform legislation in the House could withhold their support if the Senate's abortion language, which was largely upheld by the president's fixes, remains unchanged."  
"Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted Thursday that the Senate would pass a one-year extension of unemployment and other benefits measures by early next week," Roll Call reports.  
"The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.)," Roll Call writes. By the way, check out Pelosi's response: "There had been a rumor, but just that," Pelosi told reporters Thursday at her weekly news conference. "A one-, two-, three-person rumor that had been reported to Mr. Hoyer's office and reported to my staff, which they did not report to me because, you know what, this is rumor city. There are rumors. I have a job to do, and I've been doing just that."