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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.

laidbackjt 06/30/2010 10:19pm

I hope congress chokes on their fat Independence Day meals, while I try to scrape up some change to eat ramen noodles because I can barley afford to pay my rent. I apply for countless jobs a day, I don’t do drugs and I am far from lazy. When I cant work I volunteer. I’m over qualified for 90% of the jobs I apply for and I rarely get a call back or response to my application. Congress decides to play bipartisan games mean while 2 million Americans are struggling to make ends meet. People struggle all over the world but in this case congress CAN do something about it but they chose to PLAY GAMES with peoples lives. I have worked very hard my entire life, I have been unemployed just over 6 months and I don’t have debt. I AM FURIOUS at how they are treating people like me! DO YOUR GOD DAMN JOBS AND HELP AMERICANS! I will not listen to people say “wait until November”. Who is going to pay my rent right now? Who is going to help me put food on my table? I have payed my taxes and I need help!

ForgottenCitizen 06/30/2010 11:24pm

America has quickly become a ‘business’ run by businessmen, for businessmen. What the Republicans are doing is simply a mass layoff of the workforce. They keep spouting that we would be passing the debt onto our grandchildren, but what about all of the children that will be homeless right now because of their decisions? They dont matter? The cart keeps being put in front of the horse when they’d rather pass tax breaks and loans for business instead of keeping people in their homes. Tax breaks and loans will not spur small businees to hire people. The only thing that will cause them to hire is if there is a demand for their products. How is demand created? When people have money to buy things! The Republicans will be responsible for ‘The New Homeless’ and I hope all of the hard working regular citizens will remember in November. Let’s organize and show them that you cant put big business above needs of the citizens.

Chris51 06/30/2010 10:20pm

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

Lanah 07/01/2010 4:51am

How’s this for Logic. A family uses credit cards for cars, boats and houses. They then loan their eccentric uncle money for a business adventure. But when their own child gets sick the father decides that they NOW need to be finacially responsible and refuses to use another credit card and the mother decides to not use the money she saved. Meanwhile their child gets more ill by the week.

Would anyone in their right mind do this other than our government?

Lanah 07/01/2010 3:11am
in reply to laidbackjt Jun 30, 2010 10:19pm

I agree, they don’t care that I’m votin gthem out in Novmeber. Whole in the hell knows where or what state of being I will be in November.I have written politicians over and over again,,,, for what? Burr and Myrick of NC have voted NAY EVERY SINGLE TIME TO EXTENSIONS since JANUARY. I’m tired of writing politicians, I’m tirred of being turned down for employment, I’m tired of worrying how I’m going to make ends meet with a customer service job that pays 8.75 an hr and refuses to give you anywhere near 20 hours a week of work. and just think a year and half a go I was a young female Architect with a promising future. F^ck being an Architect, f^ck THAT promising future. I should’ve went with my sister to Germany. I never thought I would be struggling as much as she is, but guess what I’m doing worse.

F^ck this country, you can slap me if you find me celebrating anything this Fourth of July!

jpocalips1 07/01/2010 7:41am
in reply to bksue1 Jul 01, 2010 3:30am

Bill Nelson, should beg forgiveness to every jobless American citizen, that he sold down the river yesterday. How he could look in the mirror this morning, is beyond me. This poor excuse for a man, couldn’t possibly have a soul. Do the country a favor, and remove yourself from office. May you one day, suffer the the injustice, you’ve imposed on the unemployed.

Ktula7 07/01/2010 5:12am

ddiaz, I agree…united we stand, divided we fall! The flag represents everything we are…We are the land of the free, the home of the brave! Be proud not of your government, but of who we are as a nation! Don’t let them break your spirits! Have faith and hang in there…I believe that things will work out. I’m proud to be a part of all of you and what you stand for! I think this is only going to make us a better nation! This has finally made us pay attention to what goes on in our government. We can’t change things we don’t pay attention to. So, now we know…Lets stand together and make this right! It may take time, but in the end, we will have our day! To all of you hard working Americans, may God bless you and your families and get you thru just one more week! United we stand, divided we fall! Happy 4th everyone!

honeyfire 07/01/2010 3:04am

I know that this is hard. I am in the same position. But I beg all of you to hold on. I look in my child’s eyes and I still can see joy and life in her face because she has no clue of what is really going on in our household. It gives me strength. I pray for peace and fortitude for all of us. Now I will not let this time of suffering be in vain. I am going to march, vote out and help boot out those in Congress that have lost touch with reality. We need to find out how to get their salaries changed. In the past I have worked two and three jobs to provide for my family. I also help pay for the salaries of congressmen They have health care I don’t. They have retirement I have had to spend and live off mine so I don’t. They can bounce checks I can’t. Are we sure we live in a democracy. Or are they the new royal family! Maybe we need to crash some Fourth of july celebrations and feed our hungry families.

jpocalips1 07/01/2010 7:16am
in reply to comments11660 Jul 01, 2010 2:50am

I totally agree both parties are completely out of control. Not only should they be voted out, if any are found to be involved, in out sourcing of jobs from our country, fraud, receiving funds illegally from special interest groups, big oil companies, etc., let them be tried in court, like any other American citizen.If found guilty, be sent to prison, stripped of their retirement, medical benefits, and have all assets seized, gained from their illegal activities. Let them to live by the laws, they impose on the rest of us. Clearly the time is now, to make a stand, and take this Great Nation back. It’s our right, it’s our duty, to return this country back to the people. Sent a message to Capital Hill, we the people of the United States of America, are no longer going to allow, you to trample our constitution, our bill of rights, serve with honor, or remove yourself from office.

Revolution 07/01/2010 8:43am

I am flying my flag upside down through 4th of July and until the Unemployment Bill/assistance has been approved. Flying the flag this way is NOT disrespectful to what our flag stands for but it is a Universally known sign of Distress-We are in Distress and our REPUBLICAN Senators have declared war on their own citizens with their votes. I am a Veteran and I am disqusted with how they are treating are own AMERICAN families! Pass this on to all blogs, media, friends, family etc..change your profile picture to the distress sign..get attention that is needed. Americans are under fire and in distress!

notstupid 07/01/2010 1:25am


jimmyc1065 07/01/2010 12:50am

Well now that I have to get out of my house by the 5th of July because the bank is taking it I hope the Republicans are happy. I have worked hard all my life and have never been unemployed until now. I am also a combat vet which I guess don’t mean anything to the politicians. Now that I am totally out of money and destitude I guess I’ll be living in my car until it gets repossed, then I’ll probably be living on the street and it scares the hell out of me. What has happened to our country? While all the politicians make millions, bail out the bankers, and have the ultimate medical care, retirement after one term, then have sentenced me to death. Which is probably what will probably happen this winter and it scares the hell out of me. God help me.

bobbybixler 07/01/2010 4:40am
in reply to laidbackjt Jun 30, 2010 10:19pm

It’s not going to do any good to sit around and cry. To those who run the country and have jobs, we all look like a bunch of bums sitting on the street corner looking for hand outs.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO: Get involved in politics. Lobbyists run this country. Start investigating how they spend their money. We just need to snag a few Senators on the take and the whole thing will unravel. Trust me, the corruption based on what lobbyists are spending (around $1 million per Congressman), is going to more than travel expenses and lunches.

I’ve decided it’s the only way to get even. Go after the people who are taking us down. There are enough public records on the internet that will expose people. Get this information and send it to the media—they will take action if the information is spicy enough.

starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:35am

The Dems shouldn’t have attached so much pork to the original bill to begin with. They were acting selfishly from the beginning. And you can’t tell me they couldn’t CLEARLY see this situation coming from the get go…they had their own agenda with this.

The Republicans are trying to use the “We need to stop overspending” crap as if they really care about it. If they really cared about it, there wouldn’t have been so much of a friggin’ shopping spree already! And of ALL THINGS to pick and argue the overspending with, they choose taking care of AMERICANS (for once) and feeding our own people, making sure they don’t end up on the streets, etc to be the “EXTRA SPENDING”???!!!!!!!

MrHappy 07/01/2010 6:07am

I am so sick. I see stories like this and BOTH parties make me sick

Treasury gets $10.5B from Citigroup share sales

Weekly jobless claims rise unexpectedly

Financials fall on jobless data, recovery worries

Both sides knew this would happen, they are both going to hit each other over the head with it. Both sides are trying to when, but the unemployed are the real losers.

And I wasted 20 years of my life defending this country.

Tomorrow they will lie about the true unemployment numbers again. I bet they say %9.9 or so. I think closer to %20, but they would never tell you that.

genner 07/01/2010 7:43am


worrieddaddy 07/01/2010 7:36am
in reply to Lanah Jul 01, 2010 3:11am

I totally agree with you 200%! I used to be a very successful Cad Drafter making 50,000 plus a year until my company (Cox Communications) closed it’s doors leaving about 40% of us with no job or future for that matter. That was in September of 2008! I am a hard working Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, a father of 3 beautiful kids under 8 years old, and like laidbackjt above I am 90% over qualified in an industry based on the growth and new building of our country. So when is the point that the people I “voted” will start doing something to help people like us and ANY damn American in need. So take your votes, wrap it around your multi-billion dollar bills passed for the sake of the rich staying rich and shove and sit on it! GIVE US OUR COUNTRY BACK NOW… “We the People can not wait until November for sh*t we should have had today!”

starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:37am

Public servants (they can CALL themselves politicians…I call it like it is) should be handled like we do domesticated animals…When my dog first became a member of the family, he tried to jostle for power (as do all packing animals). I quickly made it clear who actually ran this house and HE was not the one! He was reminded of his position whenever he had a moment of amnesia. Congress has been an unminded animal for awhile.

This is what we get for our complacency. However, I have a solution!

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

shannwil 07/01/2010 5:24am

I am so disgusted with America right now it turns my stomach we have billions for 2 wars, bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, but when it comes to the middle class whose jobs were outsourced thanks to NAFTA none of them give a damn and now all of a sudden the deficit is a concern. How are we lazy when you all are the ones who made it easy for the jobs to leave the country WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN? HAPPY FUCKING FOURTH OF JULY REPUBLICANS YOU HEARTLESS NO SOUL HAVING SON OF A BITCHES!!!!!!!!

notstupid 07/01/2010 1:45am
in reply to kathyjo Jun 30, 2010 10:30pm



notstupid 07/01/2010 1:24am

15,000,000 UNEMPLOYED


15,000,000 VOTES

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.

ddiaz1629 07/01/2010 4:56am

I am a disabled veteran and I am disgusted with our elected officials. We can help those in foreign countries but not our own. Let’s not degrade the American flag people, let’s not allow the inaction by our officials tear us apart. We have to keep our faith that the right thing will be done. For those that are against I’m not mad at you. Let’s raise our flags high on the 4Th and show these people who they represent.

danijos 07/01/2010 5:57am

Where in hell do they get off leaving so early? they should have been told they couldnt leave for recess til the bill was voted on, better yet til it was Passed, and why do they get til the 12th off? No one who did have a job got that kind of time off with Pay! Most of them look healthy enough to stay and try to make progress with this bill, Really they look like they have been Eating Well while others are Starving and trying to find ways to Feed their Families. They are a Bunch of Over Weight, Under Worked, Over Paid Slobs and do Nothing for the Out of Work Americans who Gave them the Seat which their Fat Ass Sits on! God Bless all of you in this situation that the gov’t put us in, because WE sure as Hell didnt do this!

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.

CindyPMI 07/01/2010 2:48am

Do they really think those that haven’t had money coming in since June 1st have money hidden somewhere that will take them until the middle of August when the retroactive money will hit?? $300/week does not leave any to put into a savings for later spending!!!!! And won’t the $4.5 billion that won’t be going back into the economy really hurt those businesses that are trying to stay afloat now? No tax reduction is going to help that!!!! More businesses will fail (local mom and pop stores especially), more people will be unemployed. If they are so up on just staying with “creating more jobs”, do it now! Not jobs that will be coming to town in a couple years, we need jobs NOW, or we need the government behind us NOW!

And…they really don’t care if they’re voted out in November. They’ve put their time in, they will NEVER have to rely on doing honest work again in their lives. They have a cushy retirement and health-care package that they’ve voted themselves into.

comments11660 07/01/2010 3:32am
in reply to jdenz Jul 01, 2010 3:08am

I call them Republicrats!

chelly 07/01/2010 2:40am
in reply to notstupid Jul 01, 2010 1:45am

That is a good idea, we are definitely in distress right now!

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