U.S. millionaires and billionaires should pay more taxes to help fund President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs program, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid declared Wednesday.
Reid made the comments in a Senate speech before Democratic leaders announce a new funding plan for the jobs bill later in the day.
``Democrats have listened to the American people, and they have been very clear: It is time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share to help this country thrive,'' Reid said.
Obama's proposals to create jobs with a mixture of stimulus spending and tax cuts has drawn broad support among fellow Democrats in Congress.
But a number of them, along with most Republicans, have opposed his proposed tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for it.
Reid plans to announce an alternative way to fund it that a senior party aide said has strong support among Senate Democrats.
A White House aide welcomed Senate Democrats crafting a fresh way to pay for the president's program. ``If Congress has a better idea that ensures that everyone pays their fair share, we're open to it,'' said spokesman Dan Pfeiffer.
Regardless, Republicans are expected to have enough votes in the Senate to block the measure, preventing it from even being sent to the Republican-led House of Representatives for consideration.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, dismissed the new Democratic funding effort.
``Republicans have identified areas of common ground where we can work with the president and Democrats to create a better environment for job creation. That should be our focus, not desperate tax hike gimmicks floated to cover up divisions within the Democratic caucus,'' Steel said.