Senate Passes $17.6-billion Jobs Bill by 68-29 Margin

The Senate today passed by a 68-29 margin a $17.6-billion measure intended to spur hiring nationwide, sending the bill to the White House for the president's expected signature.

Once the bill becomes law, it would mark the first significant piece of job-creation legislation to pass since President Obama and the Democratic Congress earlier this year declared that they would "pivot" and focus on reversing widespread unemployment.

The Senate cleared an $18 billion jobs bill for President Obama's signature Wednesday, a down payment on what Democrats hope will be a significant election-year investment in boosting the economy.

The measure passed 68-29, with 11 Republicans joining all but one Democrat present -- Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) -- in support. The bill had already passed the Senate once but the House tweaked it, requiring the second Senate vote before it could go to the White House. President Obama has praised the legislation in the past and plans to sign it.