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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.

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Comments

Displaying 61-71 of 71 total comments.

  • buckbusterdouglas 07/05/2010 11:13am

    Nelson is gone out of the senate come election time and everybody needs to boycott anything Nebraska, we need to make their economy so bad that they run him out of state I’ve seen 3 billboards already saying what I just said! it’s all a game with the republicans by not passing the bill, but thisstunt will come back to haunt them november elections, they can forget about the majority vote, they just shot thereself right in the foot! There is 10% of americans that have more money than the rest of the 90% put together and 8.3% of the 10% is repulicans, go figure, thats why America need’s a new make over, let’s call it the robinhood effect, there is groups forming all over the nation to hurt these people where it hurts them most rigt in there pocket books,can’t wait to put these people in there place!!!!!!!! P.S. I would love to punch Nelson so hard his driver licence picture would have a black eye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chris51 07/06/2010 1:33pm

    Great reporting on YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljoh5oW1Yb8

    This news reporting, the debates on CSPAN, and OpenCongress.com 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 07/07/2010 9:06pm

    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

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 9:33am

    Read and sign this petition on Change.org today if you agree.

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

    http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/category/employment_unemployment

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 6:03pm

    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

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 6:35pm

    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 6:31am

    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.

  • katsus7 07/11/2010 12:56am

    This guy is done!!! HE WILL NEVER GET RE-ELECTED EVER…..what a shame they bail out all the thieves on wall street and personal banker friends that put the housing market in the condition it is in, they inflated appraisals, lied on fanny mae, freddy mac applications with no regulations whatsoever and this joker is telling me about his grand children? This country is in a shambles, it was broken from the top all the way to the bottom with that last regime…..but to squabble about where this money comes from is another thug life recipe that I am burned out on hearing!!!! I am sick of living like I am in a third world country here already, I can only hope I can go and find 2 10.00 an hour jobs or I am running for office and taking one of these idiots jobs that have no clue about what the real world is all about, would be nice to see them on this side of the game.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/11/2010 9:30am

    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 makes 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 07/11/2010 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%

  • pscoley1 07/12/2010 3:39pm

    How does someone like that sleep at night??

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