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GOP Blocks One-Year Unemployment Extension, Wants Spending-Cut Offsets

November 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

On Tuesday afternoon, Democrats called on the Senate to pass the Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act under the expedited unanimous consent procedure. As expected, Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA], acting on behalf of all Republicans, objected and will force a full-fledged debate on the issue that will likely last several weeks and be rolled together with unrelated tax issues. Federal unemployment benefits expire today for millions of long-term unemployed workers.

The bill Democrats tried to pass today would extend federal unemployment benefits until January 3, 2012. Because its costs (approx. $54 billion) are not offset, there was never much of a chance that the Republicans would allow the bill to go through so easily. Republicans have repeatedly said they want to pay for unemployment benefits with corresponding spending cuts (something that’s never been done) before they’ll vote for it, and because the Democrats don’t have a filibuster-proof majority they have a god deal of leverage for enforcing their position.

Immediately after objecting to unanimous consent, Sen. Brown turned the table and called for unanimous-consent passage of a one-year unemployment extension that is fully paid for by rescinding unspent non-security appropriations. Democrats objected.

The most likely scenario at this point is that the unemployment extension will be added to a bill to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts. Obama said today that unemployment benefits were mentioned in a bipartisan meeting on the tax cuts. Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT], who proposed the one-year extension bill that was rejected today, will lead the Democrats in the tax cut negotiations.

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 97 total comments.

  • brute329 11/30/2010 12:01pm

    Not suprised! I heard that tier 5 was attached to the ui extensions. Anyone know if this is true?

  • Comm_reply
    donnyshaw 11/30/2010 12:12pm

    OpenCongress Staff

    It’s not true. The bill rejected today would not create a Tier V, it would only extend the filing deadlines for the existing tiers. Max number of weeks would stay the same.

    It’s still possible that a Tier V could be included in the tax cut negotiations, but there is really no evidence to suggest that is the case.

  • Comm_reply
    AnAmericaninPeril 12/01/2010 4:21am

    U.99 – WWI

    Unemployed/99ers Will Work Initiative

    Mission: Spur action on (i) U.S. job creation, (ii) extension of EUC and (iii) Tier V Legislation

    Objective: Sustained Visibility

    Frequency: Every day, in one form or another – to the extent you are willing and able

    Intensity: Full court press – pedal to the metal – all in

    Duration: Until EUC Extension & Tier V legislation are passed and the national unemployment rate (truly) drops below 5%

    Location: Anytown, USA

  • Comm_reply
    AnAmericaninPeril 12/01/2010 4:22am

    Opportunity I: Communication Overload

    Email, telephone, fax, tweet, snail mail, online petitions

    To – President Obama, your elected public servants in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, those in Congress who support our mission, those in Congress who oppose our mission. Make yourselves and your stories known – be visible.

    Op II: Work Search Wednesdays

    Go to your local Unemployment Office every Wednesday of every week until you are gainfully employed. Utilize the staff and services provided in support of your ongoing effort to find employment. Bundle up, form lines, be patient, be cordial – be visible.

  • Comm_reply
    AnAmericaninPeril 12/01/2010 4:22am

    Op III: Rally Routine

    Can’t make it to Washington D.C.? Then gather at your…City Hall, County Courthouse, State Capitol, public parks and fairgrounds. Every Saturday, Noon to 4PM. Bring signs and banners, friends and family. Be loud but remain lawful. Sing, chant, shout…be heard and be visible.

    Op IV: Media Engagement

    Contact local media with respect to Ops II and III. Apply pressure on local media to prioritize coverage of the unemployment crisis and its impact on the unemployed in your community and U.S. economy.

    Op V: Recruitment

    To the extent they are willing and able to offer support, request friends, family and (former) co-workers to take part in Ops I-IV. Strength in numbers. It’s critical that our elected officials hear from ALL those impacted by the unemployment crisis.

  • Comm_reply
    AnAmericaninPeril 12/01/2010 4:23am

    Useful sites:
    http://www.congress.org/
    http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm
    http://www.nelp.org/
    http://www.american99ersunion.com/
    http://www.unemployedworkers.org/sites/unemployedworkers/index.php
    http://www.capwiz.com/iamaw/issues/alert/?alertid=19102681
    http://www.capwiz.com/iamaw/issues/alert/?alertid=19097556
    http://www.capwiz.com/iamaw/issues/alert/?alertid=19102546

    You can call your Senators toll-free at 1-866-606-1189

  • Comm_reply
    AnAmericaninPeril 12/01/2010 4:24am

    A word on the 99ers…
    These people had the very great misfortune to lose their jobs at the start of the recession. The job market has only worsened in that time. As unemployment benefits provide only a portion of one’s prior income, many 99ers have lost housing, transportation, health insurance, good credit standing, savings, retirement funds, etc. They are truly in desperate need of assistance. 99ers will most likely be the last to regain employment as at this time, many companies discriminate – only hiring those (i) currently employed or (ii) unemployed for 6 months or less. I’d love to see demographics on the 99ers. My guess…75% are age 40 and up. Any 99er out there would gladly trade positions with those more recently unemployed. That’s not do-able. Including them in the temporary continuation of Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits certainly is.

  • Comm_reply
    DeborahJBrown 12/01/2010 7:00am

    I am a recent 99er,56-years old.I have been saying everything you said for a long time-no one is listening. It’s become blatantly obvious that Republicans in Congress have a single focus to assure tax breaks for millionaires/billionaires. Love for sports figures,entertainers, and even Paris Hilton! It’s gross, it’s disgusting, it’s vile, it’s un-American but it’s also clearly intentional. The American Dream has become an American Nightmare. We have a Republican Congress who worships false Gods-MONEY. They won’t “get it” until they are affected.They will wake up after there are no protective services when early parolees and desperate people begin to “do whatever it takes” to survive w/no deterrent for crime. Prisons will look like food and shelter and the bigger the crime the longer the “housing” Please, don’t anyone take me seriously I’m angry and venting. I’ve come to believe that hope is dying and Republicans in Congress are heartless sociopaths.

  • Comm_reply
    seanurse 12/01/2010 12:06pm

    hey deborahjbrown, hang in there and don’t give up hope. You have been logging as long as me and both are now 99ers. The country has to act soon. I only have to the 15 before eviction. My landlord is one of the low lifes in congress. anyway hang in dont quit trying. someone gave me hope on this site. I’m now paying it forward. Hang in there it has to change our country is known for change. try and have a happy holiday season and think of next christmas. hopefully we will be better off then. god please here our desperate cries for help

  • Comm_reply
    felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:32pm

    TIER V is my prayer for the only hope of survival through this winter.

  • Comm_reply
    felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:30pm

    TIER 5 To SURVIVE is not a slogan. It’s the only hope millions of us have to make it throught the New Year with food and a roof over our heads.
    If the wealthiest in America need a tax break, then what about the victims of the banking crisis – the long term unemployed???

  • Comm_reply
    felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:36pm

    So far no Tier 5 has been included in the emergency legislation – HELP US GOD! We need it or many will go without their basic needs. IS THIS the American Dream? I HAVE WORKED FOR 37 YEARS till now and am told I am too old (54?) to compete in an atmosphere where there are 10 applicants for every opening!
    Denying the longterm unemployed the help they need is AGE-ISM pure and simple!

  • Adambomb 11/30/2010 12:18pm

    Yea thats it turn your backs on us on christmas,wheres the compasion. I hope they all get whats coming to them. Someday they’ll have to answer for this

  • Comm_reply
    Pharmer1 12/01/2010 3:36am

    Didn’t think we were allowed to say “christmas” anymore. Is Government allowed to recognize such a thing????
    Back in the day, that was a time for enhanced, Private, Free Will, Charitable Acts.

  • empathetic 11/30/2010 12:52pm

    Empathy – the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another……

  • Nodlee87 11/30/2010 12:54pm

    Please Wake UP Congress!!!!

    Please Help Us Feed Our Children!!!!

    Please Help Us Stay Warm This Winter!!!

    Please Help US!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/01/2010 9:50am

    It’s not Congress,it’s the GOP!They are the ones that are blocking everything so they can pass their Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.Just remember that they won’t even budge on this matter.So maybe you shouldn’t vote for them anymore!!!

  • empathetic 11/30/2010 12:55pm

    Where is the empathy in our country and especially in the politicians.I am saddened by what is taking place right now with the unemployment benefits. These are not statistics or numbers these are real people with real lives. Normally these are people that have been paying taxes and paying into unemployment for all of their working career. In most instances through no fault of their own have lost their job and because of the economic circumstances in this country can not find work. In my state normally the unemployment benefits are only about half of what a person was making which I believe is about average through out the country. So even with receiving unemployment a person’s income is substantially reduced. I am sure that there are people who take advantage of the system who may be able to find work but instead collect unemployment but for most people they want to work and need to work. It is very difficult to live on such a reduced income andstaying on unemployment is not an option.

  • empathetic 11/30/2010 12:56pm
    Many people have families, houses, cars and other normal living expenses that are now in jeopardy because of their reduced income. Many people loose their houses, their cars, default on loans, cant pay their rent, utilities, bills and even have trouble feeding themselves and their families. They have the continual stress of hunting and hoping for a job and trying to figure out what they are going to do and how they are going to live until they do find a job. They often have to depend on family and friends and sometimes their churches and communities for help. They loose their dignity, self worth and their sense of independence. Many become depressed which makes things even more difficult. They feel like their lives are hopeless and things may never get better. Some even commit suicide.
  • empathetic 11/30/2010 12:57pm
    And now even their unemployment benefits which they depend upon to live are now in jeopardy or are already gone. So everything escalates until they explode. And why? Because our government can spend all the money they do on war and their bureaucracy and themselves but they cant allow someone the ability to provide the basic necessities we all need to live. I hate politics and this is why. So many of the politicians are self absorbed, self righteous narcissists who feed on peoples ignorance and insecurities or their own greed to gain enough of a following to get elected. Then they only do what is in their supporters and their own best interest. The scariest thing is they are so delusional they have convinced themselves that what they are doing is the right thing and feel good about it. So many of these people must be completely out of touch with the real world and how most people live.
  • empathetic 11/30/2010 12:59pm

    I am not saying the Republicans are completely wrong and the Democrats are completely right. I am not an expert in politics but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is wrong. I read the Federal Reserve projects the unemployment rate, now 9.6 percent will only fall to about 9 percent by the end of 2011 but a separate report shows corporate profits reaching their highest levels ever. Now I am reading that studies show the Bush Tax Cuts that are up for renewal over all do not really work that well in helping stimulate the economy. I am sure in some instances they do and some people and businesses actually use the money in a beneficial way but most are just stuffing their pockets and bank accounts. I read that unemployment benefits actually do more to help stimulate the economy. Like that is a surprise.

  • empathetic 11/30/2010 1:00pm
    Like that is a surprise. The unemployment benefits are immediately spent and go back into the economy to help people live not to go into some ones saving account or for the rich to buy more luxury items they don’t need, or to invest it so they can make more money. Warren Buffet made a statement about the rich should pay more taxes and that they have never had it so easy. I also read that a survey found that a majority of Americans are in favor of extending unemployment benefits. Even 55% of Republicans where in favor.
  • empathetic 11/30/2010 1:01pm

    How can the Republicans argue they wont vote for the unemployment extensions because it only adds to the defect but they want to continue their tax cuts which would probably pay for it and only adds to the deficit any way. Now I read the democrats may do a trade off giving the Republicans their tax break if they will vote for the unemployment. That is a disgusting bargain. They should all be ashamed. Why cant the tax cuts be extended for the middle class and below and allowed to expire for the rich?

  • empathetic 11/30/2010 1:02pm

    I understand a lot of people are concerned and frustrated about the economy but to many are already giving up on Obama and his administration but remember it hasn’t even been two years since he took office. It took Bush and his administration eight years to ruin the country so it is going to take some time to fix it and mistakes may be made. But at least I think Obama is sincere in his intentions and is intelligent enough to do the right thing totally the opposite of our past president. The biggest thing we need is the politicians to put aside their egos, to think about the good of the whole and to work together to solve this mess we are in because things will just continue as they are or even get worse if they do not. The unemployed are not just going to disappear something must be done. If you cut off that many people from their only source of income and jeopardize their lives something bad is going to happen.

  • Adambomb 11/30/2010 1:30pm

    thats the truth, everybody is feeling the same way.

  • beenblue 11/30/2010 2:05pm

    This reads like something from “TO WEIRD TO BELIEVE” the Repub party causes the problem, then acts as if it was soo long ago it can`t touch them, turns and blames the victims of being “lazy” and wanting hand outs at Christmas time, wants tax cuts for the wealthy or should I dare say Socialism for the wealthy who don`t need it, redistribute wealth upwards, and unabashedly stop any recovery policy for the middle class that took the hardest blow, set an agenda to take back health care reform for the people who need it most, as costs skyrocket and the insurance co. rake in profits, at the same time we pay for their health care( another socialist act) for the wealthy, on top of all the other perks they enjoy at tax payer expense. Excuse me, but is that not socialism for the elite, and a fist full of shit for the people, who make up “We the People” who elect you smug lobbyist controlled parasites. In my opinion the president needs to invoke executive privilege, and quit blaming congress.

  • Jess01869 11/30/2010 2:45pm

    When does the debate pursue? When do they come back? Here comes black December.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 11/30/2010 3:42pm

    Sounds like the make`ns for a great song, I`v got it stuck in my head, and Willy`s singen the lyrics.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 11/30/2010 4:54pm

    It is up to harry reid of nevada he makes the schedule. He could bring the bill tomorrow if he wants to.

  • TheDutchess 11/30/2010 2:58pm

    Well, I must say that I don’t mind saying, “I told you so”. I knew they weren’t going to pass anything for unemployed citizens. If some of you guys would have made sure the Dems kept their seats, then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. They would have just voted and it would have gotten through without a glitch. Now, you are gonna have to wait and wait and wait some more. The Republicans all have money and good health insurance that we pay for. So why should they worry about all of us lazy, sore losers? They will just assume to sweep us under a rug and call it a day, as long as they get their way, everything is good. Theyy don’t care about the emergency rooms filling up with people who don’t have healthcare benefits or people who need the basics of gas for the car…

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