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GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill, Senate Leaves for July 4th Recess

June 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

For the fourth time in a month, Senate Democrats on Wednesday night failed to win enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 4213). After the failed vote, the Senate adjourned for recess until July 12th.

“It is beyond disappointing that Republicans continue to stand almost lockstep against assistance for out-of-work Americans – especially since many of these same Republicans spent months protecting Wall Street and preserving tax cuts for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas,” Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] said after the vote.

The final tally was 58-38. 60 votes were needed under Senate rules to pass the motion on breaking the filibuster known as “cloture”. Majority Leader Reid voted “no” on the bill in order to preserve his right under Senate rules to bring the bill up again in the future for another vote, so the Democrats were actually just one vote shy of passing the motion. Republicans Sen. Susan Collins [ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [ME] voted with Democrats in favor of the bill. Conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans agains it.

Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH] said after the vote that he would have provided the one vote Democrats needed to pass the cloture motion if some of it was paid for with money from the stimulus bill. “In order to move forward, yesterday I told Leader Reid that I would support extending unemployment insurance if Democrats would be willing to use some of the estimated $40 billion in unspent stimulus monies to help offset at least half of the stand-alone unemployment insurance extension," Voinovich said. “He flatly rejected this request even though Democratic Leadership was going to take $10 billion from the stimulus to help pay for business tax breaks just last week.”

After the vote, Reid said that the Senate will not vote on the bill again until a replacement for recently-deceased Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV] is seated in the Senate. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D) is in charge of appointing a replacement and he will likely do so over the July 4th recess.

By the time the Senate reconvenes on July 12, data from the Labor Department suggests that more than 2 million unemployed Americans will see their unemployment insurance benefits cut off due to the Republicans’ objections to the extension bill. Benefits began expiring for people on June 1st when the last extension of the benefits expired. Before then, unemployed individual were eligible for up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits under an extended, four-tier federal program created by the 2009 stimulus bill. Now that the federal program has been allowed to expire, newly unemployed individuals are eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of state-provided benefits.

Still, people who have had their benefits cut off in the past month should expect to become eligible once again for the full 99 weeks and to have their lost benefits paid back to them retroactively. Wednesday’s vote makes it clear that as soon as a replacement for Byrd is seated in the Senate, the Democrats will have the 60 votes they need to overcome Republican opposition and pass the bill.

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Displaying 1-30 of 185 total comments.

Spam Comment

Chris51 07/11/2010 9:15pm

FreedomWorks(Tea Party) has big money donations. Oil&Gas Industry Special Interest group contribute 80%+ to Republicans. Koch Industry lead in contributions. Senators will be listen to them, not the cries of the average Americans. Here are donation recorded. The unemployed dont have Lobbyist and Special Interest groups. This is how it appears for Democrats and millions of average Americans. NO MONEY, NO VOICE, NO CRUMS.

Total individual contributions by party, 1989-2010
The following individuals contributed at least $50,000 to federal candidates and parties during one or more election cycles while affiliated with the organization. Based on data released by the FEC on June 13, 2010
Koch, Charles&Elizabeth Total $494,700 Soft Money $0 Democrats $1,500 Republicans $298,200 Democrates 0% Republicans 60%
Koch, David&Julia Total $2,009,095 Soft Money $1,222,500 Democrats $0 Republicans $1,911,095 Democrats 0% Republicans 95%

Chris51 07/11/2010 9:37am

Governer Machin like most Americans. He wants to preserve the job he has(Politician), and advance his career. He is probably making decisions by listening to political power and money. Does anyone really think he or any of the SENATORS who have stood in the way of passing Unemployment Insurance Extension to the millions who need it, are losing any sleep?

The worse SENATORS are the ones who are probably lining their pockets big time right now by being the one vote that completely blocks UI Bills from passing. That would probably be Senators like Ben Nelson and Jim Bunning on the obvious ungly corrupt Senator list.

The millions of ordinary Americans that have been forced into unemployment lines may not have very much money, or even empathy from other fellow employed Americans at this point, but you have the power of your vote in November. Take names, and make sure you make it to that appointment.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:16pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:12pm

Republicans only care about one thing, their own job preservation. Reps are working hard to win November’s election with the help of Tea Party Movement (FreedomWorks) and their BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST.

Oil&Gas Industry Contribution 2009-2010
Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86% Repubs

Kosh has made big contributions to FreedomWorks, a non-profit that funds Tea Party. These 2 organizations are putting a great deal of pressure on Senators to not support UI Ext. with stimulus that require corporations to help pay back through taxes.

Most big corporations have made record profits this year by cutting jobs long-term. They started layoffs in 2007, and putting millions of Americans on unemployment.

They created the business mantra of “DO MORE, WITH LESS”, causing todays workforce to do more job responsibility with no more pay.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:14pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:12pm

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:

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.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:14pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:12pm

Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:13pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:12pm

Top 5 Contributions from Oil&Gas Industry 2009-2010:
1 Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86%Repubs
2 Exxon Mobil $548,214 13% Dems, 87% Repubs
3 Chevron Corp $516,891 18% Dems, 82% Repubs
4 Valero Energy $467,000 17% Dems, 83% Repubs
5 Marathon Oil $378,190 23% Dems, 76% Repubs

Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Money flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, which make substantial annual donations to conservative org…

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:12pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 6:37am

Letter was written to Senators:
On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to carefully consider all aspects of H.R. 4213…

If the bill comes to a vote as currently formulated, we encourage you to vote NO, and will track the vote on our Economic Scorecard….

Signed FreedomWorks President and CEO
(FreedomWorks funds Tea Party;)

Chris51 07/10/2010 6:37am

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.

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:41pm

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:

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:36pm

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.

Chris51 07/08/2010 9:34am

Read and sign this petition on today if you agree.

Petition Title: Tell your Senators to vote for an emergency extension of UI Benefits.

Chris51 07/07/2010 9:07pm

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

Senate struggles with unemployment benefits

Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment

fanofjims 07/07/2010 5:31am
in reply to bobbybixler Jul 01, 2010 4:40am

I like the sentiment here but the problem is the country is no longer “All for One”. We are so divided by not only our politics, religion and personal views but also by our human compassion levels. There was a time in American history we would fight and die for what was right in order for future generations to thrive. Today we put more emotion and concern into someone interrupting our cell phone conversations. This country has divided itself into so many different directions that we may as well change our name to "The States’ because we are far from being United.
Peace, James

Chris51 07/06/2010 1:33pm

Great reporting on YouTube.

This news reporting, the debates on CSPAN, and help give the public a close-up look at our cRepresentives job incompetence.

Congress should draft up a “Fairness To Jobless Citizen’s Act”, that would remove incompetent Senators and be required to replace them with an unemployed American that will appreciate the job opportunity, work hard and will be effective for The People.

Chris51 07/03/2010 9:53pm
in reply to laidbackjt Jun 30, 2010 10:19pm

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

emd 07/03/2010 7:22pm

I haven’t read through all of the posts. I haven’t responded because I just cannot imagine the lack of due process our senators have demonstrated. They should have taken care of the people first, debate the rest later.

We’re being treated like a third world country. Oh wait. They get aid.

LMckinzie 07/03/2010 2:41am

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:49pm
in reply to Lanah Jul 01, 2010 4:51am

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME to Republicans and those few Democrats who blocked several U.I. Ext. bills from passing they turned their backs on THE PEOPLE again.

Most of these same House Representatives and Senators united to pass bills that gave their Wall Street/Banks SEVERAL billion $$$s in bailouts in 2008, starting with JP MORGAN CHASE, one of the many banks that took advantage of consumers.

Then their oil companies made billions in profit during the summer of 2008, as they strategically increased gas prices by $1-$2 on Americans at the pump. Americans had to pay for gas to get to work. Soon American’s household budgets were out of balance, and started foreclosing on home loans.

Your companies stayed fat$$ at the top by cutting jobs, while leaving The People jobless, without Unemployment Insurance, struggling and sadly disillusioned.

rlaughli 07/01/2010 6:55pm

Check out this article, after Reid refused to put a standalone bill for UI extensions up for a vote his bill which combined both UI and 1st time home buyer tax credits (and failed 3 times previously) was defeated again. So what did he do…He put up a standalone bill for first time home buyers and not UI! And guess what? It passed and is on its way to the president’s desk. Now you tell me whose fault this all is. He is a RAT and I hope he gets defeated this November! The good people of Nevada can do better. And for the record, not one republican who voted in the negative will ever get a vote from me regardless of the office they run for in the future.

daddyrabbit726 07/01/2010 1:13pm


nikmas 07/01/2010 12:24pm

Everything about this sucks. I used to be proud to be an american and now I am not. They could care less if we have no food or shelter and to all those people against unemployment better hope they do not get laid off because they will be singing a different tune then. I will feel no sympathy for those people. I pray that everthing works out for all the unemployed. I hope they pass the extension and hope we all find jobs that will atleast put food on the table. God bless everyone in this situation.

Jude 07/01/2010 10:58am
in reply to worrieddaddy Jul 01, 2010 8:28am

15,000,000 + their friends and loved ones equal a lot of lost votes. I have been a republican for over thirty years, no more!! These politicans are only that – blood sucking leeches. Their constituents are only considered during election time.

pamtech70 07/01/2010 10:49am

“Senate Leaves for July 4th Recess”………Boy, does that RUB me wrong! Good Gosh! Why so dang LONG!!! Till the 12th? Why Not the 5th or 6th! People are not gonna be able to hold on till the 12th…..I have not lost my house, (because I used all of my 401k) but others are about to…!!! All we can do is pray! Maybe I need go buy a lottery ticket! )-:

RobertB 07/01/2010 9:37am

On one side, you have the Republicans continuing to follow a coordinated response to everything the Democrats have tried to accomplish by using every blocking and stalling tactic at their disposal (The Party of No). The Republicans believe their strategy will convince the “American People” that the Democrats are ineffective on turning the economy around. That is why they keep trying to make the Democrats use the money from the stimulus. Taking that money undermines whatever good it can do and the Republicans know it. Their goal all along is to undermine the recovery to position themselves for November and 2012.

On the other side, Democrats are trying to play hardball on this issue hoping the Republicans would cave to the pressure of the Unemployment INSURANCE running out. They underestimated just how uncaring the Republicans really are. The unemployed are not the people that vote Republican and the Republicans know it. They are pandering to the ones still working.

RobertB 07/01/2010 9:30am

This whole debate is an example of the sad, current state of politics in the United States. We the people have ALLOWED the Republicans AND the Democrats to get away with letting their diametrically opposed ideologies dictate their every action. We have now gotten to the point where we are watching BOTH political parties use the very well-being of the “American People” as a means of applying pressure on each other.

NewOakie 07/01/2010 9:02am
in reply to faith2405 Jul 01, 2010 8:59am

Are you kidding?

It’s been defeated 4 times.

onecent301 07/01/2010 9:01am
in reply to charulata Jul 01, 2010 7:10am

These “elected” officials in congress are so unprofessional. I watched them on CSPAN and they are fighting with each other. I think this bill is no longer about the unemployed people, it is about who will win the argument. Wow, grow up congress, put your petty hatred for each other aside and address the problem, over 1.2 million people may very well be homeless if they don’t so something!

onecent301 07/01/2010 9:00am

These "elected: officials in congress are so unprofessional. I watched them on CSPAN and they are fighting with each other. I think this bill is no longer about the unemployed people, it is about who will win the argument. Wow, grow up congress, put your petty hatred for each other aside and address the problem, over 1.2 million people may very well be homeless if they don’t so something!

faith2405 07/01/2010 8:59am

please call senator harry reid and ask him to call back the senate to a special session and get HR4213 passed. 1-202-224-3542!

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