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Dems Lose Big on Unemployment Insurance/Tax Extenders Vote

June 16, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

After two weeks of solid debate — and two weeks of people having their unemployment insurance cut off because of congressional inaction — the Senate this morning took their first test vote on passing H.R. 4213, the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.” They failed miserably. The final vote count was 45-52. Sixty votes were needed to proceed.

The bill would, among other things, extend the filing deadline to November 30, 2010 for people whose unemployment benefits are expiring and are looking to move into the next tier of extended federal benefits. The current deadline took effect on June 2, and has already caused about 400,000 unemployed Americans to see their extended benefits end prematurely.

The bill also contains a handful of tax-credit extensions, dozens of tax cut provisions targeted at specific industries, $24 billion in aid for states struggling to pay for Medicaid, a 19-month delay of a scheduled 21% pay cut for doctors under Medicare, and more, for a total net cost of about $141 billion. Because $78 billion of that isn’t paid for with new revenues, the Senate had to vote on waiving their self-induced pay-as-you-go rule requiring all new spending to be fully offset. This motion on waiving pay-as-you-go is what they voted on today and failed overwhelmingly to pass.

No Republicans voted in favor of the motion, and 11 Democrats broke rank and voted with Republicans against it. Full roll call details can be seen here. We’ll have the roll call info up on OpenCongress soon, but for now you can view it here.

So, what’s the next step?

Carl Hulse reports that the Dems are putting unemployment benefits at the front of the chopping block:

Senate Democrats are exploring whether to eliminate an extra $25 a week in unemployment benefits, part of the economic stimulus legislation passed in 2009, as a way to cut costs and attract Republican votes for a stalled package of tax breaks, tax increases on the affluent and safety-net spending.

Top officials said that change would save billions of dollars over the next six months and could lead to approval of an overall extension of jobless pay by making the legislative package easier to swallow for lawmakers worried about deficit spending.

Among other changes under consideration is blocking a cut in Medicare fees paid to doctors for just one year rather than the 19 months approved last month by the House, which was already a reduction from the three years of relief sought earlier.

Taking out the extra $25 per month would save about $6 billion this year, and shortening the Medicare pay-cut delay would lower the cost of the bill by roughly $8 billion, though this should pretty much be seen as a gimmick because you can be sure that Congress will be back 12 months down the road to extend the patch again as they have been doing consistently since 2003.

Yesterday, the general feeling was that Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] and others believed that taking these items out and getting the bill’s net deficit impact down to $64 billion or so would be enough to round up 60 votes and get this bill out of the Senate. But I think the wide margin of failure in today’s vote may change those calculations. I think there is going to have to be a more thorough reimagining of the legislative package at hand, which, of course, is going to mean more delay and more unemployed people losing their benefits.

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Displaying 1-30 of 58 total comments.

Manstein16 06/16/2010 8:13am

Time to remove the doc fix, Dems. You’ll save money and deliver the very savings you promised Americans (and CBO) during the HCR debate.

eyesys 06/16/2010 10:51am
in reply to Manstein16 Jun 16, 2010 8:13am

This proves that the Senate is out of touch with the way that things really are out here in the world for the rest of us…I am an experienced professional and have only been able to secure a handful of unsuccessful interviews, after almost a year of trying to find a job. There is just too much competition – one employer told me that she had received well over 400 resumes for the position for which I was interviewing. This position only paid $12.00 an hour.

What am I supposed to do now? Sell my blood?

Maybe we should all camp on the Senate stairs and ask them to feed and clothe us, pay our rent and overdue bills that we are already behind on. Maybe they don’t remember what it’s like to suffer like this, or have had the good fortune of never having to experience it in the first place.

This was my last hope during a very desperate time – and now, well, I don’t even have that.

elleedr 06/16/2010 8:35am

I agree 100% with “general”. Please let me know when for the Million Person March of the Unemployed on Washington so that I can let many more of the struggling Americans barely able to paddle to stay afloat. I am writing down all the votes of “nay” and when election time comes to vote they will not get it from me, my family, my friends, ex-coworkers, anyone that I spread the word of these people that are destroying many families. What they fail to understand is that many of us have children that it effect.

tillie01 06/16/2010 9:36am

The way this system of Government works needs to change! There needs to be cuts in thier pay and benefits. Shorten terms to 2 yrs. If you work in Washington for the government you must be a resident. No more home away from home. You also drive your own car. We no longer pay for your car and home. Get rid of ALL the lobbiest!!!!!! We are filling their pockets. And they are filling greedy politicians pockets. No more lopping bills in together and trying to get them to pass. If we don’t change the system, the next new ones that come in will have that greed carrot dangled in from of them, and were right back to where we started. Look at what our Government and greed is doing to our country. Our oceans and eco system has been devistated!!!!!!!!! All in the name of GREED! Makes me want to throw up!!!!!!!

XvxRAINxvX 06/16/2010 9:49am

Question… if this gets passed will it be retroactive? And also why don’t they work more on just passing the unemployment extension rather than all the other things in the bill???

general 06/16/2010 8:22am

WTF these guys have alot of balls sitting there fat and happy while we the people suffer. Worried about deficit spending thats a joke while they fund to wars we have no business fighting.Get off your asses and help the people that put you there or we Will take you out when it comes time to vote there are many more of us than rich people who you seem to bend over backwards to help.Maybe a March on Washington of the Millions of Unemployed is in order think about that!

jryanitpro 06/16/2010 9:06am

I am appalled at how us ordinary Americans are being shafted while they try to attach their pet spending. God I hope to hear something positive soon. How come the headlines seem to want to reel us in. Yesterday we hear a deal is struck, now it is gloom and doom again. This on top of being promised that they would deal with this before the Holiday they just took. Even when I work I can not get paid weeks off because of the economy. When are they going to feel the heat that regular people feel. That’s the problem in a nutshell. They are so far removed from what reality is for so many Americans.

tiredofbeingtired 06/16/2010 10:01am

This is just sad. I see so many people that really need unemployment benefits extended. They are out every day searching for jobs, spending up their savings, willing to take any job even though they probably have more education than the individuals walking all over them in Congress. It’s’s horrible and they should be voted out of office. We can help people in Haiti, people in foreign lands, heck we can bail out Greece for gods sake, but we can’t take care of those in our own backyard? How much sense does that make? Perhaps we should all move on foreign land and perhaps some assistance would come.

tweetybird499 06/16/2010 9:49am
in reply to general Jun 16, 2010 8:22am

I agree! I am flat broke, but I would find the money for gas to be there. Maybe these idiots would get the point that we are not messing around with the same people come November.

elleedr 06/17/2010 6:21am

Do you know what is really sad? I’ll tell you what is sad. My husband has worked all his life over 40 years and has never been unemployed. The company that he worked for laid him off of work two days before Christmas 2008. The funny part about this story is after they laid him and others off, they give the other employees overtime. What sense does this make? Congress better be thankful they don’t have a regular joe in congress cause if it was me I would be fining companies that are moving their companies oversees, hiring illegals and working overtime. If the companies are working overtime common sense will tell you that they need more employees, so why lay off. Crack down on these companies that are trying to be slick and maybe the economy will start to build back up. I know that many companies are hiring illegal immigrants and checking any papers to see if they are for real or not. How many jobs would be opened up then for the true Americans that need it? Think about it…

sofia_24 06/17/2010 10:14am
in reply to hollyreece Jun 17, 2010 7:41am

Senators Hutchinson and Cornyn from Tx, I voted for you, but this time around you will not have my vote!! Get it together you are ruining lives!! Have consideration for the people!!

Shockedandappaled 06/16/2010 8:46am

I agree!! You know if we the people had known that these a**holes were going to screw us then they surley could be in the same situation that many of us are in! This is all CRAP!!! Maybe they will take us all in when we lose our homes because they didn’t pass this damn extention!! NOT!!

sldhouston 06/16/2010 9:06am

Power in numbers people! COME NOVEMBER, REMEMBER THEM… REMEMBER THIS DAY. Spread the word, post, use the internet to your advantage, GET THE WORD OUT! Vote “nay” for these people who continue to play with the lives of American people. You can spend billions in an effortless war but when it comes to us in America, this is what we get? Thanks Congress. See you in November!

NewYorker82 06/17/2010 8:04am

There is nothing more important on the table than the unemployment extension. All that is attached to this is not equal to the urgency of the millions of people that are in great need (all of these People 99ers included) This money goes right back into the economy, pay taxes on it, all of the people are people who were working, people with education, skilled workers, committed to families/communities. What is so difficult about passing this? Nothing should be on TV except these guys talking about how they want to screw the American people and we can rerun these statements over and over when they run for office. What they are underestimating is the voting power behind this inexcusable action.

elleedr 06/17/2010 8:13am

If you are apart of the American unemployed or share the same views as the unemployed and want to have a peaceful march on Washington to show that we do need our unemployment or in support of unemployment, email me at This has to be done, a peaceful stand needs to take place soon to make a difference. Before a lot of Americans lose the little bit that they do have. We didn’t ask for the economy to be this way and it is not our fault that we can not find jobs all at the same time. We worked all of our lives and now that we need help, the people in congress is saying no! We are the ones that help pay for wars, national disasters, and the congressmen paychecks. Now they are telling us that they cannot pass a bill so we can feed and house our families. What is more important the “Oil Spill” or the unemployed and their children. I don’t think so, it’s time for a peaceful march, email me at, to make a peaceful stand now.

homelessca 06/16/2010 2:42pm

Ok now what? I have been unemployed for 13 months. I interview every day for fast food even. I will not make 100k a year again, I know that . I just need something,stood in line for 3hrs tody to interview for $8.00 hr part time catering job. Since this did not pass, I just recieved my last check $450.00 monday, so do not quailify for 3rd ext. I have sold everything thing, Car/furniture/bike/tv’s ect. Went through all savings, quit making 4k amonth house payment in sept. House with no running water, being sold on court house steps 7/5. No where to go and no way to get there and no family. Single white male, so do not qualified for any hand outs, so I guess down to a homeless shelter on 7/5. Oh wait, already tried that. They have a several month waiting list. I guess I will be in the park with others like myself, or possible tent city some where. I,am sick, with all the taxes I have paid for 35yrs. Thanks America. OFF THE GRID NOW. WILL VOTE AGAIN IN NOV.

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:50am
in reply to eyesys Jun 16, 2010 10:51am

Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat sevaral proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.

jgpt777 06/16/2010 10:02am

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brown (R-MA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Risch (R-ID)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Webb (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

stoley1 06/16/2010 10:20am

Please take the time to bombard these politicians with emails…and be SURE to remember them at election time!!! It’s the only message we can send them!!

genner 06/16/2010 10:07am

Come on SENATORS, motion to pass UNEMPLOYMENT NOW!!! Worry abot the mumbo jumbo later! I haven’t heard about any doctors who are gonna lose their home if this bill doesn’t pass!!! The unemployment extension should not have been included in this bill it should be it’s OWN bill…

meldanley 06/16/2010 6:05pm
in reply to unemployedinillinois Jun 16, 2010 2:37pm

They don’t work any days per year they argue and strut for 4 days and take 7 off to clean their tail feathers

CuttieBiteMe 06/16/2010 6:32pm

I agree with all of you!!! How can we wait til November??? I get my LAST unemployment check tomorrow…rent due on the first…single mom with two kids…and I have worked since i was 15 yrs old…I can not tell you how many applications/resumes I have filled out…and I’ve only gotten ONE call back…ONE…in over a year….

What do i tell my boys…when there is no roof over our head…no food to eat…no where to go?? How can these people sit up there and wonder how we ar going to “Pay it Back?” I’ve not seen one damn article on how we are financing the war in Iraq..yet we can throw away Trillions of dollars…not to mention men…..we will invest BILLIONS to scrub oil off a shit eating seagulls..(dont’ get me wrong..I care about the planet…but priorities people!).yet when it comes to the families…the desperate…broke…depressed…and needy American people…WHERE IS OUR GOVERNMENT THEN??

stoley1 06/16/2010 10:35am

I am going down the list and emailing every single one that voted against this.

Chris51 06/30/2010 10:59pm
in reply to Manstein16 Jun 16, 2010 8:13am

The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

alpryor00 06/17/2010 5:04am

I think this is crap!!Come on and sign the damn bill!! Take the extra $25 and get this passed,there is alot of us that are in need of that money. You all are wearin your fancy suits,going home to your nice houses not worring about losing them while millions of us are barly living day to day!

SmokinBull 06/17/2010 6:27am

That guy with the purple tie, in the photo above, looks pretty happy over the decision. I would like to wipe that smile off his face. What a bunch of greedy assholes. They really dont give a crap about all of us who are suffering, while they get GIANT paychecks and sit on their fat asses all day and accomplish absolutely NOTHING.

general 06/17/2010 7:10am
in reply to FIreTiger3986 Jun 16, 2010 7:14pm

I agree 100% the time is coming sooner than they think greece was nothing compared to what we can do you know there are 10 million of us unemployed because of the greedy business these senators are trying to protect it time for action!

hollyreece 06/17/2010 7:41am
in reply to ladob1028 Jun 16, 2010 1:06pm

I’m in the exact same situation as you are. Unemployed since Dec 2009, now totally cut off with no extension after many fruitless job applications. Missed the deadline by “one week”. Shame on the people who voted “nay” and shame on one of my own state’s senators for “Abstaining”. It’s like he’s saying “I don’t care one way or the other”. Get it together Byrd!

Chris51 07/03/2010 10:14pm

Why don’t our Senators get that there is a great need?

The job market is broken.
The corporate executives are not going to give up their year-end profit bonus by adding jobs/payroll to their companies.

Here are a few stories on our jobless nation:

Job recovery hits a wall

Job gloom at all time high

7.9 million jobs lost- many forever

Jobless claims spike

Thousands at risk for losing unemployment benefits

sofia_24 06/17/2010 10:07am
in reply to genner Jun 16, 2010 10:07am

Thanks for posting this up!!!

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