OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Ben Nelson Explains Why He's Blocking the UI Extension

July 1, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] crossed the aisle last night and gave Republicans the final vote they needed to block the Democrats’ attempt to extend unemployment insurance. The Democrats had the support of 59% of the Senate for their extension bill, but Nelson’s defection allowed the Republicans to sustain a filibuster of the Democrats’ attempt to move the bill to the floor for an up-or down vote. Breaking a filibusters requires a 3/5ths majority, or 60 votes.

Since Nelson is now standing between millions of unemployed Americans struggling to stay afloat until the extension is passed (most likely in mid July) and the immediate relief Democrats are trying to provide, it’s worth being aware of his reasoning. Below is a long excerpt from a statement he released the day before he blocked the Senate’s last attempt to pass an extension:

The bill has been revised several times already and each time the deficit spending was less. Tough choices are possible and necessary to not add to the deficit.

In early 2009, we passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with emergency spending to address an emergency, indeed a crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs each month. We were in the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Some argue it wasn’t necessary, but the fact is today the economy is recovering and the Recovery Act clearly contributed to the welcome economic improvement.

Some also say we need more emergency spending now to keep the recovery going. But in my view it could jeopardize the recovery and would add to our already enormous deficit, likely to be around $1.4 trillion for the second year in a row.

I’d note that on April 13, 2010 the Nebraska Legislature adopted LR538, a resolution noting that the national debt has continued to grow, generating concern from economists, legislators and taxpayers across the country and that stated, ‘The Legislature remains committed to seeking a federal balanced budget.’

Further, $1 billion of the $1.5 billion Nebraska is to receive from the Recovery Act hasn’t yet been spent, according to the state’s recovery website. That includes about $250 million in state fiscal stabilization funds that will be spent in fiscal year 2011.

It’s important to note that the state of Nebraska delayed using Recovery Act funds for unemployment benefits for a year, and then only after the Legislature took the initiative to act on it.

So, Congress should provide additional unemployment benefits but not as a bailout to the states that worsens the deficit and passes the bills onto our children.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 71 total comments.

  • Sailor4life 07/01/2010 11:03am

    It’s time for ACTION. On Friday, July 9, 2010 at 5:00 PM, every unemployed person in AMERICA must march to their state capitol building and sit on the steps. Carry signs, and megaphones. SHOUT out that we will not take this from the people who were voted into office to stand up for the people they are supposed to represent. The UNEMPLOYED, are the people that you are supposed to be representing. Your state Senator will be on break, and if every media outlet is bombarded with calls and emails, believe me, these demonstrations will be televised and written about. It’s time to bring this home…….. July 9, 2010, at 5:00 PM on the steps of your state capitol building, will be a date that will be remembered in November, when every single Senator that is up for reelection, and that did not vote for the unemployment extension, will be ousted from office.

  • Comm_reply
    jenny2010 07/01/2010 11:22am

    Sen. Ben Nelson said he’s not passing because his state of Nebraska only has a 4.9% unemployment rate so basically he could care less about the rest of the nation!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 11:41am

    How much did GOP pay Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb)? WWW.CHANGE.ORG
    Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! 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 several 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.

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

    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.
    www.change.org

  • Comm_reply
    DBM 07/02/2010 11:16am
    I wonder what all these NAY voters discuss when they go home at night? Are they laughing at us so called “little people” while they are enjoying their holiday on a full stomach? I live in California and I don’t know about anyone else’s State but our media is saying very little regarding us unemployed. I don’t see media in front of any Unemployment buildings trying to hear the voices of the effected. If a small earthquake rattles anywhere in California it makes news all day long! People are losing everything & we are suppose to be patriotic this weekend? Maybe the NAY voters feel that if they can’t hear our pain or see the stress on our faces it isn’t real? That the taxable unemployment checks they took away from us is not crippling families everywhere around this Country? You are right, he could care less about the rest of the Nation. Seems like the people who should be caring about this Nation the most could care less!
  • Comm_reply
    chris88 07/01/2010 11:36am

    ive been calling Nelson office and no answer . is there another number? we have to keep the calling and the emailig to senators. Keep our vocies heard.It is working. Unemployment extentsion hasen’t been on the news and I’ve been seeing it on everywhere!!!! Lets keep the fight going!!

  • Comm_reply
    bobbybixler 07/02/2010 4:27am

    Good ole Ben “the Butcher” Nelson. Look up his record. He flip-flops on every issue and votes against everything that he is “for” in the beginning. Appears he is very susceptible to “lobbying” to maintain his lavish life style. So no wonder he’s once again slipped to the dark side of politics.

    America needs to stand up to lobbyists who spend $1 million per Congress member to get their points heard. It’s the biggest crime in the history of the US. And we let it happen folks. It’s hard to blame Ben as he just does what his cronies all do anyway—vote where they get their money.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/03/2010 9:49pm

    Why don’t our Republican 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

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:05pm

    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

    http://www.wvcoal.com/ 2007 data
    Chevron Total coal production: 12.1 million tons
    ExxonMobil Total coal production: 2.1 million tons

    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…
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tea_Party_movement_funding

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:06pm

    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!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/30/sharron-angles-unemployme_n_631350.html

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:06pm

    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….

    FreedomWorks (FreedomWorks funders for Tea Party ;)

    http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/freedomworks-to-senate-remove-job-killing-taxes-fr

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:33pm

    Top 10 Interest Groups giving campaign contributions to this Member of Congress in 2008: Lobbyists & Public Relations $37,060; Employer listed but category unknown $15,150; Public works, industrial & commercial construction $9,200; Attorneys & law firms $8,750; Health care institutions $7,150; Food wholesalers $6,200; Business services $6,100; Agricultural services & related industries $5,000; Consumer electronics & computer stores $4,100; HMOs $4,000

    FreedomWorks supplied much the organization and material used by The local Tea Party groups. In early summer 2009 FreedoWorks sent out a "Health Care training kit… Organization and material used by The local Tea Party groups. In early summer 2009 FreedoWorks sent out a “Health Care training kit,” containing three questions about health care it urged supporters to confront lawmakers with at town hall….
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Prosperity

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:08pm

    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.

  • katori81 07/01/2010 11:04am

    F*ck U Ben Nelson

  • firestorm145 07/01/2010 11:08am

    Ben Nelson is totally unamerican!! He only cares about himself and if its funding for the war , which we have no business being in, then let it go in debt. Call and email flood ben nelsons lines protest at his office , in November kick him out of office , time that the americans stand up for what they believe pass the damn extension now. American, and I am saying American people, need the help now not foreigners

  • sruthj217 07/01/2010 11:09am

    Can’t the U.S. President or the Democratic leadership change one single persons mind in the Senate? Are they that set in stone??
    I’m going back again to apply for jobs. I can’t think about this anymore right now.

  • DonnaCane 07/01/2010 11:10am

    Blah, blah, blah. We don’t care about your reasons and don’t want to see your slimy face. Stop using our lives to promote your personal causes.

  • jgpt777 07/01/2010 11:12am

    Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]

    GO HOME AND SCREW YOU SELF, LIKE YOU SCREW THE MILLION AMERICAN PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE.

    PEOPLE OF NEBRASKA..THATS YOUR REP. WHO SAYING..FO F-CK YOUR-SELFS…..
    YOU VOTED ME IN OFFICE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.. A PIECE OF SH-T….HA.HA.

    HEY SOME-ONE FROM NEBRASKA BETTER TELL NELSON GO F-CK HIM-SELF

  • Loriann123 07/01/2010 11:12am

    They can bail out Wall Street, who created this mess, but they can’t help the victims of wall street!

    The government body needs to stop playing politics and open their eyes! Their sole concern, both sides of the aisles, is to get whatever bill THEIR side introduced passed, forget what pressure or chaos their lack of action has and continues to cause those of us who are either now homeless or on the brink of becoming homeless.

  • jgpt777 07/01/2010 11:15am

    Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]

    GO HOME AND SCREW YOU SELF, LIKE YOU SCREW THE MILLION AMERICAN PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE.

    PEOPLE OF NEBRASKA..THATS YOUR REP… WHO SAYING..GO F-CK YOUR-………
    YOU VOTED ME IN OFFICE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.. A BIG PIECE OF SH-T….HA.HA.
    IM EATING GOOD THIS WEEK-END AND I HAVE A ROOF OVER MY HEAD..SO F-CK YOU.

    HEY SOME-ONE FROM NEBRASKA BETTER TELL NELSON TO GO F-CK HIM-SELF

  • DonnaCane 07/01/2010 11:17am

    Ben Nelson not up for reelection until Nov 2012.

    See article below******

    Ben Nelson of Nebraska
    Main article: United States Senate election in Nebraska, 2012
    Two-term Senator and former Governor Ben Nelson was re-elected with 64% of the vote in 2006. He will be 71 years old in 2012. Nelson has decided to seek a third term.7

    Pundits and analysts have suggested Nelson will be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in 2012 after he secured deals to exempt Nebraska from new Medicaid payments, ease excise taxes on home state health insurance companies, and broker abortion deals in the Senate healthcare bill.8

  • Kerlynne 07/01/2010 11:19am

    IF YOU ARE FROM NEBRASKA I feel sorry for you, to have such a senator as him. Just remember him come relection or anything that he holds dear to him and say NO, you don’t matter.

  • Comm_reply
    meomy 10/08/2010 5:12pm

    Did you know we had this in the Bill??? Healthcare Bill Exemption

    http://www.newsonhealthcare.com/healthcare-bill-exemption/

  • faith2405 07/01/2010 11:20am

    I called Ben Nelsons 2 senatorial offices and left messages with his secretaries. I basically said Ben Nelson is just another example of the privileged, bloated, souless, narcissist, dressed in senators clothing, preening for the cameras. But in November we will al remember what he and his croonies didn’t do(voting for HR4213) and we the people will be voting them out. Here is his #1-402-441-4600 & 1202-224-6551.

  • jgpt777 07/01/2010 11:21am

    Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]

    GO HOME AND SCREW YOUR SELF, LIKE YOU SCREW THE MILLIONS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE.

    PEOPLE OF NEBRASKA..THATS YOUR REP… WHO SAYING…F-CK YOU PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT IN NEBRASKA……………………………………..
    YOU VOTED ME IN OFFICE AND SEE WHAT YOU GET.. A BIG PIECE OF SH-T….HA.HA.
    IM EATING GOOD THIS WEEK-END AND I HAVE A ROOF OVER MY HEAD..SO F-CK YOU.

    HEY SOME-ONE FROM NEBRASKA BETTER TELL NELSON TO GO F-CK HIM-SELF AND WERE NEVER GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN.

  • jenny2010 07/01/2010 11:21am

    Sen. Ben Nelson said he’s not passing because his state of Nebraska only has a 4.9% unemployment rate so basically he could care less about the rest of the nation!!!

  • Comm_reply
    wethepeople5000 07/01/2010 6:23pm

    Figures Nebraska is one of the top 5 recipients of Federal Agriculture Subsidies. Farmers (ie…anyone with land) can get paid to NOT farm their land. If they’re so against deficits maybe they should pony up and give back the federal handouts they get.

  • kkilgore 07/01/2010 11:22am

    There should be NO!! Holiday vacations when this country is in a state of emergency. This country cant Waite till July 12 for the unemployment extension to be passed we already have over a million people that have lost there benefits and will be facing foreclosure on there homes and will be losing there vehicles because they have no income coming in to pay for there loans. We need to take care of our Owen people and the hell with the rest of the world.

  • 2tickedoff 07/01/2010 11:22am

    Ben Nelson is a waste of skin

  • illucy 07/01/2010 11:43am

    This guy should be ashamed of himself.. they find all kinds of money for wars and foreign countries paid for by our tax dollars. The wars under Bush weren’t paid for. The Bush Tax cuts for the RICH weren’t paid for. Those who have worked all their lives and paid into an UI fund while working have to beg for assistance. Help Americans first… then foreign countries. VOTE out all of these bums.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.