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Dems Shrink The Unemployment/Tax Extenders Bill Again, But GOP Still Says No

June 24, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

After consulting with lobbyists yesterday to see what it would take to win a few Republican votes, Senate Dems are back with their latest revision of the H.R. 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has already filed cloture on the revised bill, and according to the congressional record, “a vote on cloture will occur on Friday, June 25, 2010.”

Cloture is a procedural motion to overcome a filibuster that requires 60 votes to pass. According to reports, the Democrats have been within two votes of passing the cloture motion for several days now. This latest revision is designed to shore up support among Democratic and Republican moderates to win those crucial two votes. At this point, all indications are that it hasn’t worked.

So what has changed in the latest revision?

  • Slight softening of the carried-interest tax loophole closer — this revision makes a few “technical corrections” to the provision in the bill to raise taxes on hedge fund managers who for years have been exploiting a loophole in the tax code to pay the lower capital gains rate on their personal income instead of the regular income tax rate. The revisions would cause this provision to bring in about $500 million less in new revenues over the next ten years.
  • Phase-out of state Medicaid aid — Like the previous version of the bill, this latest revision would extend for six months a stimulus program providing federal assistance for states that are struggling to pay their Medicaid bills. This version, however, would gradually phase out how much the federal government pays out over those six months, reducing the cost of the provision by $8 billion.
  • Elimination of Advanced EITC — People eligible for the earned income credit currently have the option to use a program allowing them to essentially get advances on the credit by having less money withheld from their paychecks throughout the year. The latest revision would end this program, saving $1.2 billion over the next ten years. The savings are the result of eliminating the possibility of errors in how the program is executed.
  • $11.29 billion in reallocations — Lots of money moved from other programs to pay for the spending items in H.R. 4213. Here’s what the summary from the Finance Committee says is being reallocated: “These reallocations consist of $600 million in unobligated Recovery Act funds intended for improving broadband deployment across the U.S. and $260 million in Recovery Act savings from the lower cost of construction and repair on Defense Department contracts. Also included is $900 million from non-Recovery Act Defense Department unobligated balances which will expire on September 30, 2010, and are excess to current requirements. In addition, effective June 1, 2014, food stamp benefits will return to the levels that individuals would have received in 2014 under pre-Recovery Act law.”
  • New Medicaid pricing for certain drugs — Would make “inhalation, infusion, or injectable drugs that are not dispensed through retail community pharmacies” subject to pricing under the Medicaid “average manufacturer price” formula. This would result in Medicaid paying about $2.1 billion less for these drugs over the next ten years.

…The provisions regarding unemployment benefits appear to be untouched from the previous revision of 6/23.

According to my estimates (an official CBO estimate is not yet available), these changes would cut the deficit impact of the bill by about $22 billion, leaving just $33 billion unpaid for. Most of that $33 billion would be used for the extended unemployment benefits, which are designated “emergency spending” and not subject to congressional offset rules known as pay-as-you-go. Even with all these new cuts in the bill, reports are indicating that Republicans will continue to filibuster.

Here’s WaPo:

Senate Democrats were ready to throw in the towel late Wednesday on a months-long effort to deliver fresh aid to states and extend benefits to unemployed workers, saying Republicans had rejected their latest offer to pare down the size and cost of the package.

And Here’s HuffPo:

Democratic leaders in the Senate have apparently failed to win enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster of a bill to help the poor, the old and the jobless, despite making a series of cuts to the measure over the past several weeks to appease deficit hawks.

“It looks like we’re going to come up short,” said a senior Democratic aide on Wednesday evening. “It looks like Republicans are prepared to kill aid to states, an extension of unemployment benefits, and ironically, the Republicans are prepared to kill efforts to close loopholes that allow companies to export jobs overseas.”

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 59 total comments.

  • PolicyOgre 06/24/2010 8:29am

    The dems need to stop this compromising with the republicans thing. It gets them nowhere. They have the majority they need to shove things through. The republicans are going to vote “no” regardless becase it will win them more vote in november.

  • Comm_reply
    hlwritz1 06/24/2010 7:18pm

    I can’t say much more than what has already been said. I am one of the many unemployed who recently had my unemployment benefits cut off. Since I have been unemployed I have been busting my butt in school and will graduate with a degree in Human Services with one more semester to go. I plan on dedicating the rest of my life to help people like us who are struggling to make it. I have been using unemployment and student loans to support myself and my kids while I get through school.

    The decision to not pass this bill effects us more than just financially! Thank you Dems for continuing to push this bill, I pray to God that you are successful.

  • Comm_reply
    daredevil 06/27/2010 8:53am

    I Have seen many of my good friends having to cut back over time due to unemployment and they are way too proud to ask for help. A few of them have been looking for work for almost 9 months and yet no luck in our area. How ever I have found my self having more and more cook out and inviting my friends over because I know that it helps them out. It may not be much but as long as I have the money I will continue to feed them once a week. It is not a hand out I am being a friend. Since I know they depended on there unemployment Benifits and know that they are gone due to this littl Debate in congress. I have seen my friend sell off little by little there things. There TV’s there recriational toys, there Jewlery and I am sure the wifes Dimond Ring is next. Times are hard for everyone of us and it is ever more so. for the Thousands of Americans that are Jobless. I hope that congress get on the ball and does what is right for this country.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/27/2010 9:40pm

    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/we_demand_an_immediate_passage_of_bill_hr_4213_extension_of_unemployment_benefits

    A UNANIMOUS REPUBLICAN bloc, against the bill for extended unemployment benefits. Congress that rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in Oct2008. Congress 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.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that American 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 that could put millions back to work. 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… change.org

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/29/2010 11:16pm

    To the 1.2 million jobless americans I thought you would be glad to know that the Republicans let the Democrates get the Small Business Bill through.

    How many Small Business loans will be approved to the jobless workers who are looking at the option of doing a business start up? NONE
    -Poor credit and/or unemployed need not apply.

    Everyone knows that banks, retailers, small or big businesses have the legal right to not interview or hire applicants if they have had any negative information on their credit history report. So on top of everything else the unemployed are trying to keep up with they must be sure to keep a high credit score standing while they are unemployed, in order to have at least a chance to get interviewed after completing MOST companies on-line application and required background information checks.
    - It’s not always about experience, but about the criteria businesses/agencies use to screen applications for employment.
    GOP WILL ONLY BAILOUT WALL STREET

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 6:54am

    • It’s the Republican party who is busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations.
    Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for ALL its’ displaced hard working Americans.
    • 9.7% unemployed = 1.2 million Americans, and 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time. The BP Oil Corporation’s irresponsibleness is adding to lost jobs and lost lives.

    Yesterday, President Obama’s discussed what was happening with corporations, the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed. Watch his entire interview on CSPAN. He gets it.

    CNN and FOX only report on self-interested, with their main story and topics cycling 24 hours. Go to CSPAN
    CSPAN: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/29/HP/A/34826/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx

    wwww.change.org

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 10:42pm

    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

  • jhonesmith002 06/24/2010 8:37am

    I’m not Mr. Dr., but it seems remote. The Democrats promised the AMA that they’d opposite the Medicare cuts contained in the HCR governing in change for its reason; they’re already behind on that particular debt (technically the cuts possess already expended into validity, though they’ve yet to occur in exercise). If they disparity the “doc fix” from the unemployment governance then they’ll requirement to bump a disjoint case of politically favourite legislating to hogtie it to, a move that would aver weeks or level months. Needless to say, the AMA is already form

  • Spam Comment

  • Comm_reply
    nanaof3 06/24/2010 7:07pm

    Where are you from? This post makes no sense at all. Please go and learn the english language and then share your thoughts so that the rest of us know what you’re talking about.

  • jgpt777 06/24/2010 8:55am

    PEOPLE ARE ABOUT TO BECOME HOMELESS AND NEED TO FEED THERE FAMILES,
    OBAMA….PLEASE PASS A PRESIDENTAIL ORDER TOO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT, AMERICANS NEED THE ASSISTANCE TODAY. 4TH OF JULY IS APPROACHING SOON, PLEASE DON’T LETS AMERICANS BECOME HOMELESS BEFORE OUR NATIONS BIRTHDAY ARRIVES.

  • general 06/24/2010 9:22am

    10 percent unemployed means 10 percent of the vote not to mention family and friends.We have the power to get rid of all these guys vote vote vote them OUT!Put them out of a job that we pay for. Go to change.org and sign all petitions related to this outrage.They spend our money without asking everyday but when it comes time to take care of the American people they throw us under the BUS well its time for them to be thrown under the bus.Unemployed Unite they caused us to lose our jobs through their irresponsable economic policies we can’t let this go we can’t forget.These selfserving individuals in Congress have to go!

  • general 06/24/2010 9:35am

    One more thing lets not forget that it was a Republican administration that put us in this intolerable situation.

  • Comm_reply
    gac458 06/24/2010 12:39pm

    It was a republican president with the democrats in control of the House & Senate for most of Bushs last term in office. Laying this at the feet of the republicans is just guilt by omitting the leaders in the House and Senate that sat on their asses and allowed the ecomomic clalmity to eventually happen.
    Look at the inaction of the current President and explain how he has done anything but hurt the future of this great nation. He is just another politician looking to be famous for his political office. It is always about blaming a one political party or the other, when actually we are the one’s who elected these people so we are the cause of most of our problems. Everyone, including me, bears some responsibilty for the mess we are in, not just in Washington but in every nook and cranny of our country. We all made the collective bed we are now forced to lay in. Maybe everyone who cares about our country should start considering making changes come November!

  • Comm_reply
    skrapper 06/24/2010 1:33pm

    gac458: I agree with you about making a change come November.
    Problem has always been Dems. vs Republic.. DUMB and DUMBER, is the truth.
    So like everyone tells me “YOU PICK THE LESSER OF 2 EVILS.” That’s Old Thinking. It really is time for a change! Vote for the Independent, Liberal,
    Whatever. But don’t put these GREEDY S O Bs back in. Show them we are sick and tired of all there lies, and Bullshit.
    If you really want to represent your country! Then Volunteer! After all it is a Privilege.
    So vote for the Millionaire Nerd that is a successful President of a Company.
    I no I will be voting for 1 that’s running for Governor in Michigan. GL.

  • HGAH_7 06/24/2010 10:11am

    I am looking at a lot of these Rep. Senators profiles and a lot of them claim to be so called “Christians.” Well Riddle me this Mr. or Mrs. Christian Republican how can you claim to be a Christian (a Follower of Christ) and let people suffer. Psalms 41:1 says, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor the Lord will remember him in the time of trouble.” Comes to show how much of a Christian you are. Only what you do for Christ will last, not what you do for Politics. Which is what the majority of you Rep. Senators are all about..Politics. The majority of you that are saying no to the Unemployment Ext. Bill are from the South a.k.a “The Bible Belt”. Let me tell you this Mr. or Mrs. Hypocrit so called Christian Republican Senator you are making Christians look really bad. How can you sit up in Church hearing the sermon of Jesus and how he unselfishly gave to help the less fortunate then vote “No” to help the needy. Please, Please pass this bill because guess what?..Jesus is watching.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/24/2010 8:47pm

    “I am looking at a lot of these Rep. Senators profiles and a lot of them claim to be so called “Christians.” Well Riddle me this Mr. or Mrs. Christian Republican how can you claim to be a Christian (a Follower of Christ) and let people suffer. "

    Considering you’re asking them to take a disproportionate share of money from one group to give to another, how about “Thou shalt not steal” as a possible conflict?

  • Comm_reply
    general 06/25/2010 3:05am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Talk about having your head up your ass when was the last time you saw the sunshine???????

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/25/2010 11:37pm

    Maybe if you use a few more question marks I’ll give you an answer.

  • Comm_reply
    kolinskydc 06/28/2010 4:26am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I am not sure if you insinuating that extending benefits is comparable to stealing or not. These people have worked and payed into the system, so how would giving them back a fraction of what they have payed be the same as stealing. That claim is idiotic. People who don’t work and have kids to collect welfare, foodstamps and rent subsidies and those who fake disabilities are the ones who “steal” but no-one has a problem continuing these programs.

    People who work for years, pay taxes which pays government salaries, government programs and aid to other countries DESERVE UI benefits when they find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 10/01/2010 10:06pm

    I never wanted to enter the system, yet I am forced to. Money is taken from my paycheck for unemployment insurance I neither want nor need. This bit of money signifies a finite portion of my lifespan; unless society somehow owns me, this definitely constitutes theft. By what right do you lay claim to my time and energy?

    “People who don’t work and have kids to collect welfare, foodstamps and rent subsidies and those who fake disabilities are the ones who “steal” but no-one has a problem continuing these programs."

    I have a problem with these programs for the same reason. Private charities can provide those services without the implicit threat of force. I would argue that they do a much better job of it as well.

    “…when they find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own.”

    That’s a hell of an assumption. If they use your logic and vote accordingly, they’re partially culpable.

  • Reader7 06/24/2010 10:53am

    I wonder if these Congressmen know or care about the immediate direct suffering denying this bill causes to so many American families.
    When are they going to stop debating saving birds and 5 star general’s careers, and focus on helping human beings who can’t find liveable wage work and I might also add, voters. Not to mention the impact on the economy when so many people lose what little assistance they had and can’t spend.
    I may actually lose my house next month. When I’m homeless I’ll not only thank my employer for outsourcing me, but my special gratitude will go to several Congressmen for their wise lesson in frugal spending.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/24/2010 8:49pm

    Private charity would be a viable option for you if you weren’t constantly in support of government theft from those who would give.

  • Comm_reply
    general 06/25/2010 3:10am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Are you commenting from one of those small rooms in gitmo?

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/25/2010 9:08pm

    That doesn’t even make any sense.

  • grannio 06/24/2010 12:01pm

    Another day goes by………….. NO VOTE Could someone explain to me What a cloture vote is???? Also why does “our” President sit on his hands??

  • Comm_reply
    grannio 06/24/2010 12:06pm

    Another day goes by…………. NO VOTE Could someone please explain to me what a cloture vote is?? Also why does our President sit on his hands???

  • Comm_reply
    rottenbird125 06/24/2010 12:47pm

    you can look it up on the internet.

  • Comm_reply
    HGAH_7 06/24/2010 2:03pm

    There are 100 Seats in the U.S. Senate. The Democrats have the majority in the Senate because they have 59 of those seats and the Republicans are the minority because they have 41 of those seats. There is a debating strategy of unlimited debate in the Senate if a Democrat doesn’t want a Bill passed proposed by the Republicans or if the Republicans doesn’t want a Bill passed proposed by the Democrats called a Filibuster. It is used to weary down the opposing party to get them to give up on trying to pass their bill through congress. A Senator that tries to Filibuster can talk for as long as they want too. They can sing a song. They can read a book. They can just babble and babble until the cows come home. A Cloture is a Vote in the Senate, that could come from either party, to limit each persons debate to 1 hr. therefore preventing a filibuster and therefore helping the bill to pass. 60 Votes out of 100 are needed to bring about a cloture in the Senate.

  • gac458 06/24/2010 12:41pm

    Inaction means job security for elected officals. If you never take a stand for anything you can never be accused of falling on the sword for it either!

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