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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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Comments

Displaying 241-270 of 344 total comments.

  • cantfindajob 10/27/2009 1:31pm

    need to send lots of messages to the ’dirty 13" and let them know how we feel…and let them know we will be trying to get them out of office

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:31pm

    These pigs are ridiculous. I CANNOT believe this matter has taken so long. Its nauseating. Sorry if I spelled things wrong, hunger makes me crazy.

  • NYER566 10/27/2009 1:31pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    CANT REID JUST STAND UP AND SAY LETS VOTE IF THERE ARE NO PEOPLE AGAINST IT?

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:32pm

    i think i’ll use my first check to send them a thank you card!

  • NYER566 10/27/2009 1:32pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    YES WHO HAS A LIST OF THE 13?

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 1:33pm

    It is at the top of this blog!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 1:33pm

    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. 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.

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:32pm

    I have to write and say “thank you” now. At least we have movement on this constipated process. LOL

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:49pm

    There is still a couple hurdles though but I beleive it will happen amen…

  • Jans1116 10/27/2009 1:33pm

    Awww, I love Casey.

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:33pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Orin Hatch should never have been ‘hatched’, imho. :-)

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:33pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Thank you Donny.

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:35pm

    My Google education says next they vote in the seante, then the house votes, Obama already said he’ll sign it. So hopefully we can start claiming soon. Sucks it’s not retro though, I think it should be – out of the dirty 13’s hide.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:57pm

    My understanding was that HR.3548 did, in fact, have verbiage that made retroactive payment required. It’s important that everyone who’s benefits did run out still made their calls to file for a 2 week period even though their monies were exhausted. The main issue here, aside from the clearly politically motivated brinkmanship the GOP is playing at, is the numbers of unemployed people who have exhausted their benefits is more likely between two and three times the reported numbers. So many have already fallen off the radar that it is conceivable that the national unemploy. rate is 15 to 18% and the number of ‘under employed’ is near 30+%. The solution resides in the conversations, depression as they may be, that bring enough people to the point of yelling, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”…then maybe our friends in the GOP will do something in true spirit of the office they occupy: Serve the peoples’ will.

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 2:00pm

    My state of OHIO won’t allow me to keep claiming it says no current weeks can be claimed. They told me when I called not to file once I ran out of extensions they would contact me if and when this bill passed. I will of course be calling them the day it is signed by Obama so they don’t forget about me. I also was told it isn’t retro…Where did you see it was?

  • Comm_reply
    Democrator 10/27/2009 2:14pm

    Repulicommies have more money that we know! They don’t care about us or our children. And that I have been out of full time work for over 27 months! With a few very far and between part time temp jobs to help keep my family in a home. I’ll bet that every item I had to sell over the past 2+ years is owned by a repulicommie. My ipod, iphone, wii, tv and my truck that was paid for. I’m 1 month behind in my mortgage and ran out of Unemployment benefits 3 months ago. If this bill in not law by Niv 1st. I’ll be adding another home to the market for the Repulicommies Pinkos to buy up. What ever happened to Helping your fellow AMERICAN!

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:37pm

    what do you mean when you say it isnt retro??

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 1:40pm

    you won’t get paid for weeks that have passed. no money til it is signed by Pres.

  • tx2step 10/27/2009 1:39pm

    Mr. Cornyn just got an e-mail! Atleast Kay B. Hutchinson went our way – thanks Donny for keeping us totally informed!

  • tx2step 10/27/2009 1:40pm

    Taylor and or Nancy – where are you?

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 1:41pm

    Taylor is on 1699 still

  • Comm_reply
    leo55262 10/27/2009 1:42pm

    this is what Taylor said on 1699…
    Now they will spend the 30 hours (hopefully less) trying to reach a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate and limit amendments. Because both parties have unrelated amendments, hopefully they will be able to reach an agreement or their non-germane (unrelated) amendments would be thrown out if they have to invoke cloture on the bill.

    My concern is the 13 Senators who voted no. They could filibuster the bill too, forcing another cloture vote.

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:40pm

    crapp, why don’t they just go ahead and vote!!!! Please, anyone know what’s next.

  • Bassmaster2009 10/27/2009 1:42pm

    According to wikipedia….

    After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:

    • No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.8
    • No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
    • No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
    • All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
    • Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
    • The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
    • No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.
  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:43pm

    I think they’re runnin out their clock, done at 7 tonight? Go fig! Why not screw the taxpayers a bit more by skating out early.

  • shead 10/27/2009 1:46pm

    Why is Casey talking about pension, I thought unemployment extensions are now a seperate bill?

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 1:55pm

    What does all this mean..I ve been follwing this for weeks and Im still lost

  • Democrator 10/27/2009 1:59pm

    REPULICOMMIES that voted no! Remember these guys have homes, cars, and loads of your money in their pockets. They don’t care about you or anyone that is not wealthy. If you can’t line their pockets your not worth a plug nickle.

    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. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
    Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
    Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

  • NikkiMarieO 10/27/2009 2:02pm

    I cannot imagine that some of these men are stalling such action to be taken. There are hungry families, children in need of winter coats and roofs over their heads, while Republicans dispute over details. How about we stop your salary and stall and stall saying ahhh lets just discuss the fine details for a few months and leave you without income, freezing all of your accounts? A big reason that the economy is even in the state it is in is due to Republican BUSH and his billions and billions of dollars spent a year chasing oil in other countries (supposedly protecting us). The amount of monies earmarked regularly for petty causes without even having to be approved makes me sick to my stomach while babies go hungry and heaters get turned off. I too will never vote Republican again after this… EVER. Weed out the old fogies and get some young blood in that actually care about PEOPLE instead of money hungry devils.

  • DagoChick 10/27/2009 2:06pm

    i sit here in tears, devastated by the fact the same individuals we voted into their cushy jobs really don’t care about us. halloween is this weekend and i can’t get my kids costumes for their school parade. i can’t even think about thanksgiving because my son’s birthday is right after! then there’s xmas. those fat cats on capitol hill sit there secure in the fact that they have money in the bank. they have good credit. they can pay their bills and put money in their kids pockets. we’ve borrowed money from so many people, they hate to see us coming! i’ve had to create a tab at the corner store because i’m frequently short on cash. they have no idea what it is to be on your last roll of toilet paper and no money to speak of. i’ve already watched my dream car get repossessed. my credit is shot. i couldn’t borrow money for a stick of gum! just give me my benefits already because no one is hiring and i worked hard for those benefits! cough ’em up!

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