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Dems Fail Again to Get 60 on the Unemployment Bill

June 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Democrats tried once again last night to overcome a budget point of order against their unemployment insurance/tax extenders bill, this time on a pared-down version, and failed 56-40. Sixty votes were needed. Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] and Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT] joined all Republicans in voting down the bill.

The path forward from here is unclear to say the least. Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] tried after the failing vote to pass each piece of the bill — the unemployment benefits, the doc-fix, the Medicaid money — as stand-alone measures by unanimous consent. But, each time, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] objected, citing deficit concerns. McConnell then offered to pass by unanimous consent a version of the bill that would be paid for with stimulus funds, but Reid objected to that.

The reason the Dems don’t split off pieces of the bill — say, the unemployment benefits section — and try to pass them separately with a full debate is that it would give Republicans an opportunity to stall all Senate action for a week or longer. The Republicans may not necessarily oppose the unemployment benefits extension or the doc fix, but they will filibuster and force an extended debate in order to eat up precious Senate time that the Democrats want to use for other things this session, like energy legislation, responding to Citizens United, and immigration reform. Sen. Tom Coburn’s [R, OK] move yesterday to employ the “clay pigeon” procedure and force votes on dozens of contentious amendments illustrates the kind of tools Republicans could use on each piece of this bill if the Dems tried splitting it up.

Under Senate rules, in order to bring the revised version back up for another vote, Reid would have had to vote against the cloture motion on the budget point of order yesterday. He didn’t, which indicates that we are going to see a deeper retooling of the bill to hit the floor next week. Most likely, the Dems will remove the $24 billion in state Medicaid aid, which would bring the total net deficit impact down to $31 billion. After last night’s vote, Nelson explained that he voted “no” because parts of the bill are still not paid for. “I want to see it all offset,” he said. It seem unlikely that lowering urn-offset spending to $31 billion would win over Nelson, so the Democrats are probably looking at winning over a few moderate Republicans, namely Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA].

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 120 total comments.

  • jgpt777 06/18/2010 8:18am

    THESE SENATORS THAT KEEP VOTING AGAINST EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT, DON’T GIVE A DAM ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHO ARE WAITING FOR THE MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE, GOOD AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVE, IT IS NOT THERE FAULT THEY GOT LAID OFF, BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS SO BAD.
    THESE SENATORS GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT LAUGHING AND SAYING, F—K THOSE PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT, THEY SHOULD GET OFF THERE LAZY A— AND GO FIND A JOB. “THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE”.
    AND THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR EVERY ONE JOB THERE IS 7 APPLICANTS AND THERE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CURRENTLY EMPLOYED.
    I KNOW THOSE WORTHLESS SENATORS READ THESE COMMENTS, WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO RESPOND? ESPECIALLY McCain FROM ARIZONA.(F—KEN LOOSER-YOU NOT FOR THE PEOPLE, LIKE YOU SAY)
    AND tom coburn FROM OKLAHOMA, GO HOME AND SCREW YOUR SELF, STOP YOUR DELAY TACTICS ON EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT.
    ALL THE AMERICANS THAT WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVED AND ARE ON UNEMPLOYMENT, I SAY LETS “UNITE”

  • Comm_reply
    keriann 06/18/2010 9:53am

    i have a couple questions…
    so is it set that nothing else will happen until next week?
    and what is everyone’s honest opinion, do you think we will get our extensions by next week?

    thanks…i’m trying to stay positive and look for some sort of piece of mind til monday

  • Comm_reply
    auntmartha 06/18/2010 11:59pm

    Hi Keriann,

    I am right there with you. We have to stay positive and active.

    We have all this technology its about time we use it.

    There are millions of us and a congress of them.

    We elected these poeple and it is quite clear that we need unemployment extented NOW.

    We have 48 hours to find a clear, positive way to say that this is unacceptable and that in whatever form possible Unemployemnt Extentions need to be passed.

    How dare they play with poeple’s lives like so many pieces on a chess board.

    Keriann you are not alone. Keep the Positive Mind. We are all together. They have to listen to us.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 9:46am

    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.
    WWW.CHANGE.ORG

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:26pm

    Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
    Read all about it:
    The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
    Full Story:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:26pm

    GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
    We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
    How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

    President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
    If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

    http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/08/HP/A/35248/Pres+Obama+Remarks+at+Fundraiser+for+Missouri+Senate+Candidate+Robin

  • Comm_reply
    twokidstosupport 06/19/2010 5:05am

    Anyone that can make it to DC June 22-24 please try to. We are organzing a major effort for the unemployed to be heard. Please Come!!!! This bill needs to be passed quickly or the economy will completely collapse and we will be the next 3rd world country. I am proud to be an American and believe we can get back to the days of “PROUD TO BE AMERICAN” and “MADE IN THE USA”. Congress needs to wake up before it’s too late and everyone is unemployed and 1776 is repeated.

  • Comm_reply
    RichGilmore 06/19/2010 5:51am

    Jgpt777, Your hostility is pointed at Republican senators, yet, they have said for over a month that they will not vote for any bill “that” adds more to the deficit. The Republicans are the minority party right now. They do not have the power to keep this bill from going through, 10 democrats voted against this bill 3 TIMES! I am hoping that the tax credit for first time homebuyers that was amended to this bill also passes. Harry Reid agreed that this bill could be split out but didn’t want to do that because there is pork in this bill he wants pushed through, and he said on Friday 6/18 that he was unwilling to do that. Tom Coburn is called Dr. NO because he promised US that he would not go to Washington and get caught up in the spending frenzy that our great grandchildren are still going to be paying for. You are obviously in a bad spot needing the unemployment measure to pass; I get that! I think I would be questioning why the majority won’t let this measure stand alone?!

  • Comm_reply
    mnt 06/19/2010 9:48am

    Guys at this point regardless of what party we represent… republican/ democrates lets stick together on this issue. I’m 54 years old and have worked since i was 14 years old. I lost my job sept. 2009 and starting collecting unemployment insurance in Dec. 2009. OK.. 6 months later i’m still unemployed and broke… If i don’t get unemployment or find a job i’m in big dodo.

    Keriann, I don’t know what is going to happen next week. But I sent the Senators of Georgia my resume asking them to help me find a job. How about we all send our resumes to our senators.. I promise you I am not LAZY. I wish we all could meet them Monday morning or afternoon when the decide to back to work

  • Comm_reply
    JonathanSauchuk 06/19/2010 6:14pm

    mnt, I agree with you. I also lost my job in Dec 2009 at Verizon Wireless when they shut down the call center I was the director at. six months later I am also still unemployed and wondering how to make rent, utilities, and food for myself and my 11 month old son. My wife is working(thank god) but she doesnt make enough for us to live on. with my unemployment and her salary we have around $75.00 left after paying bills. Now with going on second week of no unemployment benefits and rent due in 12 days, I am afraid we might not have anywhere to live. I just hope that the senate can work together soon and pass this bill. They seemed to be able to pass the “doc fix” ok on friday, why not unemployment benefits extenstion??

  • Comm_reply
    jgpt777 06/21/2010 9:36am

    TWOKIDSSTOSUPPORT AND MNT:

    THANK YOU FOR THE GOOD INFORMATION, PLEASE TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME, AND STAY POSITIVE.

  • Comm_reply
    dwalker6996 06/21/2010 6:32am

    Here is the contact info for the Senate members that voted against unemployment and COBRA on 6/17/2010 are listed on the following sites

    March on June 22-24 details- unionofunemployed.com
    worlnewsvine.com, jobs4americanow .org,

    Petition:
    http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/vote_hr_4213_opponents_out_of_office_in_november

  • Comm_reply
    tidlucky 06/21/2010 8:29am

    I live in Nevada and was laid-off in 2009. I applied for and was receiving unemployment benefits. Nevada being #1 in unemployed I decided to retire early.

    I am a plumber and I applied for my local union pension and for early reduced (2 years) social security benefits. I was informed by my union that I am approximately 120 hours shy of receiving my pension. If I am unable to work the hours, I will lose my pension. There are over 800 plumbers on the out of work list, bottome line is, I will lose my pension.

    Nevada has a®candidate Sharron Angle running against(D)incumbent Harry Reid that wants to end social security and medicare, amongst other ridiculous things.

    To make this sad story short, honesty, hard work, and being a patriotic citizen are not qualities a person can be proud of these days. The only thing I see in my golden years is pushing a shopping cart and holding a cardboard sign begging for money.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/22/2010 6:05pm

    So let me get this straight…

    You pay into and participate in a system that’s entire foundation is the legalized plunder of other people’s resources for a certain amount of time (your working life up until now) and thus you are entitled to a cut of that plunder in perpetuity?

  • sofia_24 06/18/2010 8:39am

    I am praying for you all who are waiting on an extension!! My neighbor recently had her light cut off, as a single mom with three kids she is depending on this to pass. Why oh Why do you torment people in such a way!! Shame on you Congress!!

  • Moderated Comment

  • Comm_reply
    chelly 06/19/2010 12:24pm

    I wondered the same thing. Why is there no news coverage about the unemployment benefits situation. It’s obvious that congress does not think this is important, but I’m surprised that the media is not talking about this!

  • bonilleu 06/18/2010 8:49am

    This is unbelievable and unacceptable. I am a college graduate, from a prestigious university, and obtained a job with a great firm as an HR Supervisor. After 3 years, not once calling out, I was laid off. I have been applying to jobs for the last 6 months and have had many unsuccessful interviews. My unemployment just ran out and I am eligible for Tier 1; however, I am unable to collect because Congress won’t pass this Bill. I have no one to help me, given that everyone I know is enduring the same economic hardship. I was surviving check to check and now I am scared I won’t have a roof over my head, no running water, no light, and no food. There is a 3 month wait for a homeless shelter. Please, I am down on my hands and knees help us out. We are hard working people and you have cut our lively hood. I am scared every day. Please, please pass this Bill as soon as possible. I have already written letters to my senators and I have no idea what else to do.
    -A worried citizen

  • Comm_reply
    JBROKE 06/18/2010 2:27pm

    All Senators who support this plan of forced starvation of constituents should be removed from their benefits. Wages should fall in line with constituents($10/hr),paid only when on the job, fired if miss one vote, forced to send out 1000 resumes to look for work (Do you think they can type? Or would they be sucking up that hefty $300 deficit-inducing cash while not looking for work?). Healthcare benefits off the table after term is up. Costs too much. Replacement easy: Vote no if Democrats say yes. Vote yes if corporate welfare. Look to India for bigger pool of candidates.

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 06/20/2010 5:58am

    I couldn’t have said it better, a couple of 100yrs. back every one of those, sleazy, spineless,sucbus, would have been in the stocks, for treason.

  • Comm_reply
    jgpt777 06/21/2010 9:39am

    JPOCALIPS1:

    THAT A GOOD IDEA…LET GO ROAST THOSE WENNIES…LOL
    SOUND GOOD, I LOVE A GOOD AMERICAN HOT DOG.

    PLEASE TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME..THAT ALL WE CAN ALL DO,,AND REMEMBER THERE WILL BE BETTER DAYS… IN THE FUTURE.

    HANG IN THERE,,,WERE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT

  • craines 06/18/2010 8:56am

    We hanging on by a thread here, if they don’t pass this I wont be able to pay anything I will have to stop paying everything!

    CR

  • bonilleu 06/18/2010 8:57am

    I also want to add, I appreciate the way Donny Shaw has been continously reporting on this issue. I visit this website several times a day, for updates, and find it comforting that Mr. Shaw always takes the time out to respond to questions and write articles on the topic.

    Thank you!

  • craines 06/18/2010 8:59am

    Thanks Mr Shaw

  • elevation10152 06/18/2010 9:03am

    Simply disgusting !

  • Moderated Comment

  • Rationalview 06/18/2010 9:09am

    Does Congress think that only Deomocrats are unemployed? Just like cancer, unemployment asks no questions and strikes members of all religions, races and all political parties.

  • tweety65 06/18/2010 9:17am

    Amazing!! We, middle america, are suffering due to the blatant acts of greed by the banks and wall street. It did not take much thought to use taxpayers dollars to bail them out. How about, Dear Senators, demand the banks to pay back the billions in bailout money and give to the American people that are spiraling downward at their hands. We would still have a job if they did not falsify appraisals, income, switch and bait…. sell these loans as AAA ratings to unknowing investors (our retirement plans. We lost everything, pensions, 401K, annuities, jobs and homes. But hey, the banks and wall street bought insurance, so they received a bailout, AIG for all of the defaults and foreclosures…. They rack it in…… AND HERE WE SIT!!!!!!!!!!!

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