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Unemployment Extension Vote Live-Blog

October 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With the jobless rate at 9.8 percent and rising, Senate Democrats have scheduled a big vote this afternoon to move forward with their bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 3548), which has been blocked by Republicans for the past month. I’ll be live-blogging the debate and the vote here and I invite you to help me out in comments section with capturing all the key quotes and information. The debate is scheduled to begin at around 5:30 pm ET with a vote taking place at 6:00, and it will be televised live on C-SPAN 2 (live online video here).

In the past month, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has repeatedly tried to speed up passage of the bill under a unanimous consent agreement. But Republicans objected each time and said that they were seeking changes related to the bill’s funding (and a few changes that are totally unrelated). More details on the process so far can be found on the OpenCongress Benefits Wiki.

Today’s vote is to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to an official debate of the bill. Invoking cloture requires 60 votes, and if it is approved the bill will move to the Senate floor for votes on amendments. Another cloture vote will likely be necessary to end the debate and bring the bill to a final up-or-down vote. The process will become clearer as the debate picks up, and I’ll be trying to keep track of it all here. Stay tuned!

4:30 p.m.: Reuters is reporting that bipartisan senators are very close to a deal for extending the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. No specifics out on the deal yet, but apparently it may be voted on tonight as an amendment to the unemployment bill. If it’s added, it is going to slow down the House’s action on approving the Senate’s amended unemployment bill.

4:47 p.m.: Senators are filtering back into the chamber and starting to give floor speeches on the unemployment bill. Sen. Cardin (D-MD) is up with a map of his state explaining why the Senate is changing the House bill to apply the extension to every state. Maryland’s jobless rate is a little lower than the national average — it’s around 7% — but individual counties within the state have rate as high as 10.8%. Under the House bill, those counties would not have been given the extension while a county in another state with a lower rate but a statewide average above 8.5% would get the extension.

5:03 p.m.: Here’s a link to the roll call details on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the UI benefits extension that the Senate passed last November. The motion passed 89-6 back then when the jobless rate was at 6.7%.

5:15 p.m.: Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) is up for what is probably the last speech before the cloture debate begins: Approximately 150,000 people have run out of unemployment benefits since the Republicans began delaying this bill 3 weeks ago. “We have the power and the ability to act. Let’s do it!” “Republican response to helping the unemployed is ‘No!’”

5:30 p.m.: OK, the debate on the cloture motion on the motion to proceed is officially beginning and it’s time for opening statements. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is up first. “Total cost for our bill $2.4 billion, payed for with an extension of the federal unemployment tax.”

5:40 p.m.: Via OpenCongress user JMatzelle57, breaking news:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced this afternoon, Tuesday October 27, that an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit and more generous net operating loss carry-back rules for money-losing businesses will not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. The unemployment insurance extension is still on the calendar and will be brought up as a stand-alone measure. HAI will provide updates as more information is released from Capitol Hill.

We’ll see if that’s accurate…

5:47 p.m.: Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) up: “Some of the people who are stalling the unemployment extension benefits were the same ones who rushed to the starting line last fall to see if they couldn’t hand hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks that ran this country into a ditch.”

5:50 p.m.: Really? No Republicans are going to speak on extending unemployment benefits? Vote’s in 10 minutes, it’s looking that way.

6:00 p.m.: The vote is underway …and it’s impossible to hear on C-Span how anyone is voting.

6:20 p.m.: Vote’s not quite over, but they’re well past 60 “ayes.” Here’s my running tally of the “noes” (13 so far):

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

6:26 p.m.: And that does it. Final vote tally is 87-13. The motion to proceed is agreed to.

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Displaying 1-30 of 344 total comments.

Spam Comment

chancemoney28 11/09/2009 4:48pm

Hi everybody.

Anonymous 11/02/2009 11:59am

So when will the new benefits start being paid out, mine ran out 3 weeks ago.

Anonymous 11/01/2009 10:01am

I have never blogged before, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!I raised 3 kids,one is serving in Afghanistan.I was down-sized from my $120K/year job in May 2008, I could not find anything even close to comparable because I did not have a degree.I returned to school to obtain my RN degree. In August 2009, my husband and I divorced after 20 years – now I find myself a single mom and full-time student with tons of bills. I do not qualify for any type of financial aid because of previous income. I have even tried donating plasma for tuition $, but they reduce my benefits. Similar to a lot of people out there, I am a hard-working, honest American who has paid into the system for almost 30 years. My benefits are going to run out in 3 weeks – all I am asking for is a wee-bit of assistance so I can finish school without losing my house or the ability to feed my son. I then plan on contributing back to the system for another 20+ years. PLEASE HELP THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP THEMSELVES!

Anonymous 10/29/2009 6:05pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 12:45pm

So just because of someone’s age they automatically don’t know what their talking about? How ignorant and self righteous is that? Yeah, he got his facts wrong but you’re going to demean him just because he’s 27?

Anonymous 10/29/2009 6:03pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 12:40pm

He/she was not telling people what jobs they should take. He was suggesting that sometimes under tough circumstances, people must lower their standards and expectations in order to meet the needs of their family.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 12:45pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:19am


Anonymous 10/29/2009 12:40pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 5:01am

jaydubduba… need to be quiet…I doubt you are supporting a family on a fast food job….you have no right to tell people what jobs to take…we are people who worked all our lives, for what we have…and we are trying to keep it!!!!! You probably do not have anything to lose, because you never had anything…SO PLEASE SHUT UP…..NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOU DEGRADING PEOPLE….

Anonymous 10/29/2009 12:34pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 4:56am

What ….you do not have any idea what you are talking about…I have worked all my life….babysat when I was 14 years old…if you know where all the jobs are…tell us list them!!! You must have nothing in your life…I have a mortgage…I need to pay that know where job is that will pay my mortgage??? Give me the name and number I will go to work today…you need to keep your stupid talk to yourself!!!

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:53am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 5:01am

You may be suggesting that white-collared workers like accountants, lawyers, etc. should go work at a Dennys and Arbys but the reality of it is that these people are “overqualified” and Dennys is going to give the available job to people who need the job and have similar work experience. There isn’t a job at McDonalds, Dennys, Arbys, etc. for everyone. And do you blame them – do you think the lawyer’s going to jump ship when the economy improves? Of course, he will.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:48am

What just happened on the senate floor? Republicans wanted to add three admendments and told the democratic speaker to bring it to the floor and vote this afternoon.He said you have sixty votes,just vote them down if you don’t want them. The democrate just walks away. I don’t understand why the democrats don’t just vote this thru.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:47am

do u live in a big city or small city jaydubya ? i live in a small town and what jobs r here r already gone so it depends where u live to where the jobs r think about it

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:46am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 10:43am

My thoughts exactly. Like Senator Reid said the other day, he can count on 2 fingers the numbers of Republicans who are on board for unemployment, health care, etc. Obviously, this party is so scared that Obama is actually going to make a big difference, they are attempting to stonewall everything they can. Reid also said the same Republicans who are against the unemployment bill are the same people who were beating down the doors to vote to give TARP money to the banks/car makers. Just goes to show where their allegiance is – big business. They have no clue about the middle class. I’ll never vote for a Republican either. I hope they all are shooting themselves in the foot right now with their lack of cooperation.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 10:45am

I have 1/3 a jar of tomato sauce, about 10 grams of salt, and 1/3 bag of flour.
Thank God for some of those cooking classes I had earlier this year in California. Barely scraping by. I guess its tomato dumpling soup again tonight. Twice daily, thats all I eat. Oh, and my lease is up Novemebr 1st. Luckly, I can stay with my 75 y.o. Mother in Florida, and my retarded brother for two weeks. “Oh JOY!” Then what? Pass the danm Bill. I’ll never vote republican again in my life.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 10:31am

did the ting pass yet or will it pass this week???

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:40am
in reply to networkgal Oct 28, 2009 10:58am

There are alot of other states like that. The idea behind it is that you collect tips that compensate you for the 2.50/hour that you’re getting paid.

I’m actually amazed that you would want to involve SEIU/ACORN in something like this. I guess corruption and lawlessness is okay with you?

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:36am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 10:16am

Extension of unemployment benefits will not fix unemployment. more jobs will fix unemployment. FDR, understood this. That’s why he formulated the “New Deal”.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:34am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 9:17am

It wasnt intended to be a put down. It was intended to point out that people shouldnt be standing around waiting for a hand out from a group of politicians who really could care less about you but rather care more about keeping their power.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:32am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 2:10am

It was a Republican President who pushed the first Stimulus Package mate.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:24am

To all you I’ve offended, I apologize. I understand that some of you are hurting. I’m sorry.

I did get my facts wrong, I sincerely apologize for that.

With all of that said, the bill is STILL unfair and unbalanced. Please let me explain why.

The unemployment problems do not only extend to states with unemployment rates of over 8.5%. There are people out there in states with unemployment rates that are lower than 8.5% who are having just as hard of a time as those who are in states with unemployment rates of over 8.5%. How right is it for Congress to say that You, the software developer, in Maine(8.5%) gets 20 weeks but if John Doe, another software dev, in Conneticut (8.4%), tough luck, you only get 14 weeks. The point is, that people are having a hard time finding a job no matter what the unemployment rates are in the country. The extension needs to be equal for all. Period.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:13am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 6:28am

yeah, you’re right I was wrong. I apologize. HOWEVER, extension of unemployment benefits needs to be equal. Period.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:06am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 9:17am

Yeah, it does stand for UNITED States of America? So why is it that Unemployment Extension isnt EQUAL for all states?

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:05am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 7:55am

Yes, it has been amended, and I was wrong about that. HOWEVER, the bill STILL supports extending unemployment compensation further out for those states with higher unemployment rates. The unemployment extension needs to be EQUAL for all states. 20 for all or none. Period.

Ever heard of the term “Equal Treatment under the Law”? That extends to states too.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:01am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 7:40am

I see you’re too much of a coward to login, instead you log in as Anon. That’s Pathetic. Atleast when I say you people are pathetic, I’m not afraid to hide who I am.

Full of myself? No, the difference is that I understand the importance of getting work at all cost. Something you obviously dont understand.

And no, I’m not a Republican. I’m someone who believes that the people of this country should stop sitting around expecting a hand out for the government and start thinking for themselves and taking care of themselves. As you already said, the Government, particularly Congress, doesnt care what you’re going through.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 4:56am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 4:07pm
  1. I am not from the republican party
  2. I garuntee I’ve been in a worse situation than you. The difference is I bucked up and got a job that was less than ideal… know what it was? I cleaned toilets at the local high school. Even then, I was making around $400/month
  3. Yes I do have a job, BUT I was unemployed as of two months ago. With that said, I knew full and well that I might have to pick up a job at the local fastfood joint in order to support the family. Possibly pick up two jobs.
  4. I honestly feel for your situation, HOWEVER, can you honestly say that you started looking at jobs like that? A job is a job mate.
tnf483 10/29/2009 4:31am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 10:23am

REALLY! I am struggling as so many others are also. I am SICK AND TIRED of Republicans!! I always vote Democrat. Republicans seem to be cold-hearted, money hungry, ignorant, and self-centered! I am fortunate, I guess you can call it that, enough to live in my parents’ basement and live off what they provide for me until I collect again or EVEN BETTER, GET A JOB! I am an educated person, and always worked hard for my money. I can’t even get a lousy job at a local Taco Bell because I am AMERICAN!!! WTF! LET’S GO! PASS THE BILL ALREADY! I feel sorry for the many people who can’t afford a decent Thanksgiving dinner – Republicans will be enjoying their GOURMET Thanksgiving dinners for sure without a care for the less fortunate!! Come on! Show some compassion and pass the bill!!!!!!!

Anonymous 10/29/2009 4:27am

Look you rotten little parasites that keeps telling everyone to get off there butts and find a job, There are no jobs to go to and if you do get an interview you get turned down because you ARE OVERQUALIFIED!!! Yeah that’s right dummies OVERQUALIFIED!! To even clean toilets and if you do luck out and get an interview you get told the position has been filled!! THAT’S RIGHT DUMB ASS FILLED!! Because we are taking whatever we can get!! So go on you’re merry little way there buddies and keep you’re rotten thoughts to yourselfs!! One more thing, It was never in my husband’s and my plans to have to raise our little girl on food stamps unemployment and medicaid!! UNFORTUNATELY we like so many others have no choice at this point, AND YES we both had very good jobs until we had to move in DECEMBER 2007 because my husband lost his $20.00 an hr. job!SO Try listening instead of judging!! ROTTEN PARASITES!!!

Anonymous 10/29/2009 3:05am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:01am

i hope you live a thousnad years and all your desires come true

Anonymous 10/29/2009 3:03am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 10:23am

a november thanksgiving with no home,meal or warmth..

Anonymous 10/29/2009 2:10am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 8:36am


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