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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 31-59 of 59 total comments.

  • Blogger 06/24/2010 1:09pm

    There’s plenty of blame to go around for this. The Democrats are throwing up their hands, acting like there’s nothing they can do about the Republican filibuster. Too bad the Dems don’t control Congress. Oh, wait …

    Meanwhile, when the auto or banking industries need a handout, Congress falls all over itself trying to get it to them. And for those of you talking about “welfare” or “govt handouts”, let me tell you this: I get unemployment because I used to have a job. A job that went overseas. A job where they took taxes out of my paycheck to pay for things like unemployment. That’s why they call it unemployment INSURANCE, it’s money my former employer and I paid to the govt. in case I ever lost my job. Unemployment is also taxable, in fact, I owed the IRS almost $1000 this year.

    Oh, and for those of you who “know someone” who’s living the high on unemployment, I’ll say that I believe you about as much as I believe people who say they’ve seen Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster.

  • optic1 06/24/2010 1:10pm

    I think it is time to just let them know, that if they do not act on the unemployment bill. Then the 10% of us that are unemployed will vote NO come election time. Let’s give them a taste of unemployment. I don’t care what party their with.

  • Seneca12 06/24/2010 1:34pm

    They should do as Senator Snowe suggested. Separate out the unemployment extension and vote on it now. Tonight. Not tomorrow, or next week. Tonight.

    Both sides are being stubborn. And they should add the $25 weekly supplement back in and just vote on it and be done with it.

  • Blogger 06/24/2010 1:36pm

    The bill failed again, it’s over. The Dems said they’re moving on to other things.

    See you at the shelter, or on the street.

  • handout 06/24/2010 1:36pm

    The unemployed have received extension after extension and would like it to go on forever. You are suppose to save for a rainy day and not expect the gov to bail you out. Some people have received benefits for 2 or more years. Stop asking your children to bail you out.

  • Comm_reply
    Transparent 06/24/2010 7:25pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Handout, I wonder how long you have worked side by side with the inept people we the true americans of this country voted into office. You are a piece of work.

  • Seneca12 06/24/2010 1:43pm

    I don’t know if you all heard Senator Snowe speak about HR 4213 this afternoon. I caught part of it.

    Senator Snowe (Maine) presented good reasons for voting no on the 4213 bill as it is right now. She’s interested in protecting small businesses in this and who can argue with that?

    She offered a very reasonable compromise, though. For today, just separate out the unemployment extension and she will vote yes on it. No doubt several other Republican senators, of not all Republican senators, will vote yes with her.

    They should just do it.

  • Comm_reply
    Transparent 06/24/2010 7:22pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    You should move to another country because you do not belong here and this I say with a smile.

  • Seneca12 06/24/2010 1:44pm

    I don’t know if you all heard Senator Snowe speak about HR 4213 this afternoon. I caught part of it.

    Senator Snowe (Maine) presented good reasons for voting no on the 4213 bill as it is right now. She’s interested in protecting small businesses in this and who can argue with that?

    She offered a very reasonable compromise, though. For today, just separate out the unemployment extension and she will vote yes on it. No doubt several other Republican senators, of not all Republican senators, will vote yes with her.

    In my opinion, they should just do it.

  • HGAH_7 06/24/2010 2:59pm

    It’s amazing to me how the Senate and The House are passing bills left and right. News Alerts saying, Senate passed this bill…House passes that bill…. while this Unemployment Extension sits in Neutral.. Cryin’ Shame. SMH

  • singlebrokemama 06/24/2010 3:25pm

    I had a stable job for 8 years, than lost it with the downfall of the economy, ( job was promoting credit card sales for huge retailer, banks shut down), within a month I started school, finished with honors, and having a hard time finding employment, well, now my unemployment stopped, yest would have been my “payday”, now, by tomorrow phone will be shut off, and within two weeks, ill prob be evicted, ugh, why not have a gradual step down program, like go down 10% a month, and Id be fine with the $25.00 being discontinued, This just is horrible, and, housing assistance isnt even accepting applications anymore. WHAT AM I SOPPOSED TO DO! I just hope my two small children who have no clue what Congress is forgive me for them going without…

  • skrapper 06/24/2010 4:55pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I already went through this 2 yrs. ago. Was put on TRA. Lost my house, 401K, everything.
    Went to school, Graduated, and it never meant a thing. Just a way to waste money and time.
    So we get back on our feet, and now the husband will loose everything. Get ready for round 2.
    Am I suppose to just sit back, and loose this house too..

    Government better get off it’s ass and do something. The President should step in and make it law, another thing is, they should put a CAP on Gasoline before that hits $4.00 a gallon again. “not that anyone can afford it!!!” They need to do something.Before we all end up on the street.
    Say hello to the new 3rd world nation.

    Unemployment collects Taxes, Welfare does not. Do you think they could figure out were are they gonna get their tax money from.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 06/24/2010 9:01pm

    “Government better get off it’s ass and do something. The President should step in and make it law, another thing is, they should put a CAP on Gasoline before that hits $4.00 a gallon again. “not that anyone can afford it!!!” They need to do something.Before we all end up on the street."

    This reasoning is the cause of 90% of your problems. You’re seeing the unintended consequences of government constantly “doing something” in exchange for votes from people like you. This fallacy that government can micromanage the free market to solve everyone’s problems has and will continue to cause untold misery. If you want an example, take a cold, hard look at the history of the Soviet Union.

    If you want things to get better, stop relying on government action to steal income for you; ultimately they’re stealing it from those who would offer you employment.

  • Comm_reply
    skrapper 06/25/2010 3:40am

    When things were going good in this Country ie: PEOPLE WORKING, CARS SELLING, HOUSEING BOOMING, and ETC.. We in this Country really didn’t care who this Government was STEALING from, :and they were!" They robbed S.S. blind, and we all new it. So we invested in IRAs, 401k, buying stocks. We new there was no future, so we had to take care of ourselves. Including the Government making us pay into Unemployment threw are Taxes. “like it or not.” part 1 of 2.
    and we did!

  • Transparent 06/24/2010 7:30pm

    What if we stopped putting our money in the bank? What if we all voted lib? What if we all claimed BK? What if we pulled out of investing and just sat on our cash? What then? See none of these things will ever happen because we fear the government, Constitution if interpreted properly states the government should fear the people. Actions my brothers and sisters, Actions.

  • cookrsm 06/24/2010 7:59pm

    If they don’t pass the bill we are headed for a worse recession, further foreclosures, unpaid rents (owners and renters affected) repossessions on vehicles, loss of monies to banks-more job loss. No grocery buying, electricity, water, gas. We will all be on welfare in shelters. Total disgrace. I have no words. My family will be homeless in one month.

  • skrapper 06/25/2010 3:41am

    Then Things Changed! NAFTA went into gear, and jobs started going into other Countries. Now!!!. There almost all there. So we were placed on this thing called UNEMPLOYMENT! So it’s simple math. they owe us for our jobs, because do to Government, we know longer have jobs…
    This is a National Catastrophe!! Government should get of there ass, and threw the Governors for the states, apply for help for these people, for this Country.
    If I were still doing O so well,, I too would be blind. Open your eyes! We all would rather be working. Not collecting 1/3 of regular pay. You make it sound like it’s the only way to live. I don’t think so.. part 2 of 2

  • skrapper 06/25/2010 4:11am

    The best form of Welfare is a job! J.F.K..

    Remember that, and send that around, maybe it will get to D.C..

  • Vgolfmaster 06/25/2010 7:45am

    I am a lifelong Republican who was disgraced and appalled at each and every Republican Senator who turned his or her back on the dislocated American worker last evening. Funny they seem to be so interested on where the funds are coming from for this unemployment extension, while they continue to funnel BILLIONS of dollars overseas. I am calling each and every Republican senators office today, and reminding them that all they have done is shifted this question of financing to each and every unemployed worker. Well done GOP.

    I urge each and every one of you to call all of these Senators and voice your concerns, let them know it is real people they are affecting, and we are not just numbers.

    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

  • Chris51 06/29/2010 11:20am

    President Obama gets it. God bless him.
    It is the GOP who are busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations. Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for all its unemployed americans.

    Watch President Obama discussion on this earlier today, go to CSPAN.
    http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/29/HP/A/34826/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx

    Then go to wwww.change.org
    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/we_demand_an_immediate_passage_of_bill_hr_4213_extension_of_unemployment_benefits

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 9:03am

    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 a 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

  • Chris51 06/29/2010 3:33pm

    President Obama gets it. God bless him.
    It is the GOP who are busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations.
    Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for all its displaced hard working americans.

    Today 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. I has been obvious for some time now that CNN and FOX are not intouch with what is really going on in our country. These news stations are only interested in the stories that they have a self-interested in.

    CSPAN: http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/29/HP/A/34826/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx

    Then go to wwww.change.org
    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/we_demand_an_immediate_passage_of_bill_hr_4213_extension_of_unemployment_benefits

  • Chris51 06/29/2010 3:35pm

    Once again, Republican defeat a proposed extension of unemployment benefits for workers who have been jobless…

    Yet Congress was able to rushed through SEVERAL billion $$$ bailoutS of Wall Street in 2007-2008. Starting with JPMORGAN CHASE.
    The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks ago that American corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, the highest figure in history. In other words, 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..

    Get in touch with what really is happening by going to CSPAN.org and www.CHANGE.org

  • Chris51 07/03/2010 10:05pm

    REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER ON UI EXT BILLS!
    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
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/02/news/economy/jobs_june/index.htm

    Job gloom at all time high
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/03/news/economy/discouraged_workers/index.htm

    7.9 million jobs lost- many forever
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/02/news/economy/jobs_gone_forever/index.htm

    Jobless claims spike
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/01/news/economy/jobless_claims/index.htm

    Thousands at risk for losing unemployment benefits
    http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/money/job_news/unemployment-benefits-jeopardy-6-28-2010

  • Chris51 07/07/2010 9:14pm

    CNN has actually screened and blocked several comments/blogs that expose the truth about the Republican Senators in regards to the UI Ext bills.

    Here are some stories written with very accurate reporting of the UI Ext Crisis.

    The unemployment emergency
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502658.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    Senate struggles with unemployment benefits
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

    Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment
    http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/view/calls_to_suicide_hotlines_skyrocket_along_with_unemployment

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:18pm

    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 7:18pm

    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

  • Chris51 07/10/2010 7:07am

    Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
    Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/11/2010 6:58am

    Oil & Gas Industry, history of strong influence in Washington. Individuals and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 MILLION to candidates and parties since the 1990 (Bush Senior term) election cycle, 75% of which has gone to REPUBLICANS…
    Former oilmen George W. Bush and Dick Cheney occupied the White House for 8 yrs, the oil and gas industry could not win support for repealing bans on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, Congress voted in 2008 to lift a ban on offshore drilling… Read full story: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E0

    Drilling bans were lifted during Bush’s last months in WhiteHouse in 2008. The After consumers & transportation industry & economy felt the pain of $1-$2 price hikes of gas, during Summer 2007. It was “the straw that broke the Camel’s backs”, PUTTING USA/AMERICANS INTO TAIL SPIN.

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