U.S. House Republicans are calling on the Senate to take up what they say are jobs bills. Illinois’ senior senator says it will… but not all of them. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the Senate has taken up a few House measures, including trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. But Durbin says some of the House speaker’s ideas aren’t job creators at all.
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“What he’s calling for is the repeal of a lot of environmental regulation that is critically important,” he says. “Reducing air quality standards at a time when asthma and pulmonary diseases are on the rise across America, that’s hardly a way to create a thriving economy.” Durbin didn’t say which jobs bills the Senate will take up this week, if any. U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says he’s willing to support many parts of the president’s jobs proposal, but didn’t say whether House Republican-backed measures would be considered. “There are huge parts of the presidents’ plan that enjoy bipartisan support,” says Kirk. “If you cut up the proposal and move them, building bipartisan coalitions like we did with the Panama, South Korea and Colombia free trade agreement, you’ll get a good answer.”