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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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Displaying 1-30 of 97 total comments.

stella87 12/06/2010 8:10am
in reply to TheDutchess Dec 02, 2010 12:11pm

Really!? comparing unemployment to rape? WOW! There is nothing messed up with that thinking!

MizzLizz2010 12/03/2010 7:06pm
in reply to BenjaWiz Dec 01, 2010 6:12am

look there are social service programs out there for folks who need help (are there no workhouses)TY Mr.Scrooge for the seasonally apt comment. And for those of you that didn’t vote and helped create this mess: shame on you. Mr Obama you need to turn into a squeeky wheel for us; if you don’t the lunatics are going to be running this asylum our country is turning into. No compassion unless you are in the situation…very sad.

cathymorris 12/03/2010 10:19am

Those of us who are on the extended State Benefits and are losing them. What I have to say is WE ALSO PAY TAXES with our UNEMPLOYMENT Checks and My Wish is that all the CONGRESSMAN who will not help us. Should also lose their income and paychecks let them see how we live and feel. And worring about how I will feed my daughters this week and pay my bills.
I also am 50 and have worked my whole life and since March of 2009 have not been able to find a job. Go to a Job Fair at least 70% are over the age of 40.
I have been on interviews and still don’t have a job.Looking for a Job is a FULL TIME JOB.

felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:36pm
in reply to brute329 Nov 30, 2010 12:01pm

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!

felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:32pm
in reply to AnAmericaninPeril Dec 01, 2010 4:24am

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

felixsmom 12/02/2010 12:30pm
in reply to AnAmericaninPeril Dec 01, 2010 4:22am

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???

TheDutchess 12/02/2010 12:11pm
in reply to stella87 Dec 02, 2010 2:02am

stella87, Answer me this question: If you had a daughter that was alone, walking down the street, minding her own business and I see this man knock her down and was in the process of raping her, would you want me to get involved or should I be concerned that the man may have a knife or a gun and he might harm me? Give me your answer…..What would you want me to do?

Syraminx 12/02/2010 8:02am
in reply to Syraminx Dec 02, 2010 6:38am

Whoops…please forgive my typos and misspellings…I was on a rant and forgot to spell check… :)

Syraminx 12/02/2010 7:52am
in reply to DeborahJBrown Dec 01, 2010 7:07am

Yeah exactly…“do anything it takes”…like break into cars and houses? Because that’s precisely what has been happening in my neighborhood. There has been a sharp increase in crime just since Tuesday…5 break-ins in three days. I live in a nice suburban area of Charlotte, NC. Generally very low crime per the statistics.
If we could afford it we would be moving…I don’t see the situation improving as time moves forward and more benefits expire.
Desperate times = desperate actions.
People will do whatever it takes to survive, fend for themselves and for their loved ones.
The government has sure set us up for one of a ride!

Syraminx 12/02/2010 7:51am
in reply to Rationalview Dec 01, 2010 8:24am

Yeah exactly…“do anything it takes”…like break into cars and houses? Because that’s precisely what has been happening in my neighborhood. There has been a sharp increase in crime just since Tuesday…5 break-ins in three days. I live in a nice suburban area of Charlotte, NC. Generally very low crime per the statistics.
If we could afford it we would be moving…I don’t see the situation improving as time moves forward and more benefits expire.
Desperate times = desperate actions.
People will do whatever it takes to survive, fend for themselves and for their loved ones.
The government has sure set us up for one of a ride!

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:38am


We have a small one bedroom apartment in Charlotte, NC and a tight and very used up income. I want to help my family. I won’t leave them in the cold. They are welcome to my bed, my couch my floor, my food, my heater. But how do I afford to care for them. They have eaten through the meager savings while supplementing their unemployment. They weren’t living high on the hog either, just getting by.
We live in a nice, respectable, low crime area of Charlotte, but just this morning their were two car break-ins just outside my front door. Last week their were three apartment break-ins.
I have a distinct and dark feeling that this is just the beginning…

Thank you for listening…I realize my post is quite long (verbose even…hahaha), I’m just glad that their is a forum where I can be heard and where I can speak out to Congress and Senators…I have much to say.
Thank you for being here Open Congress!

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:35am


My brother served in the Army, can’t find work of any kind and his health is not so great. He came back from his stint “unwell”.
My Dad has worked within the car sales industry, in the financing end, for nearly 40 years. He has applied for everything under the sun, but due to his age and employment background, and earnings history, he keeps getting turned down…his benefits are nearly expired.
My Mom worked for the wonderful Walmart for over 10 years…they’ve been cleaning house of all “retirement age” employess in any way that they can.

My Mom was fired for being 1 minute late to leave for her lunch break.

Let me clarify..not for being late to return, but late to go to lunch because she was helping a customer. She was lucky to get her unemployment…Walmart fought hard against it. Her benefits are expiring soon also.

To be continued…

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:34am


Anywaaaay, that aside…
We are somewhat back on our feet. Hubby is doing well at his job, we are more-or-less on top of the bills and getting by again. Still no job for me. When did it happen that employers started wanting a degree to answer phones? And my favorite turn down conversation:…“You’re used to making much more than what we can pay, sorry we can’t use you”…“I didn’t specify any amount, I’ll take whatever you can offer”…“I’m sorry we can’t do that”…What? SeriouslyWe’ve decided that I’ll just keep on with the “domestic goddess” thing…sounds so much nicer than housewife or homemaker :)
…Daycare, another car payment, gas and clothing would just suck up all that income anyway. I’ll just keep on plugging away at Etsy.
My concern now is what do I do about my family?
My Dad is 72.
My Mom is 70.
My brother is 51
…all unemployed.

To be continued…

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:32am


Hmmm, strange since I always double checked them to be sure everything was as should be. They ended up getting things so screwed up and behind that at the end we were overpaid. It was all very confusing with so many months of forms arriving at once. We ended up getting two checks that we should not have and when we realized the snafu we contacted unemployment to pay back the money…it was only the following month…and what do they do? They hit us up with doubling the money owed by tacking on penalties. We called them! We called them to straighten out the issue and they penalize us!? What about the six months that we had no money for rent, or food or medicine for our sick little girl who came down with H1N1, because of their screw-ups?

To be continued…

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:31am

well to my Mom’s in Tennessee anyway, after job hunting in Cali was not panning out after six months of looking. My seamstress job was losing steam; nothing to sew if no one is buying new clothes. By this point our funds were running pitifully low and it was get out now or risk losing our apartment and car and having no money left.Tennessee was a bust, no jobs. We stretched out our feelers into surrounding states.
We got lucky. Hubby got a job at AT&T. Nothing like what he used to do. Instead of managing within a large, successful corporation he now sells cellphones. We consider ourselves lucky after a year+ with no real income. Cali unemployment left us hanging frequently and painfully with no money at all, due to inter office screwups and such. They kept claiming hubby had not signed his forms or had filled them out incorrectly.

To be continued…

Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:29am

It’s getting very scary for me.
My hubby lost his great job to outsourcing at the beginning of 2009.
As it was we were just getting by. His pay was decent, but we lived in Southern California at the time, money really doesn’t go far there considering an old, small, and decrepit apartment (1920’s bungalow) goes for nearly $1100.00 per month…and that wasn’t even in the snazzy part of town.
I was working part time from home doing clothing design and seamstress work (making below minimum wage, but it was something)after being laid off from my executive admn. asst. job shortly after having our daughter.
We took his severance pay and headed to the hills…

To be continued…

stella87 12/02/2010 3:21am
in reply to Rationalview Dec 02, 2010 3:09am

No I am not since I can work part time(in pain) I am not eligible. And you are right that is what it is there for I understand that but it has to end at some point!!! And as far as insurance, most of the time there is a cap on that! How long is long enough!

Rationalview 12/02/2010 3:09am
in reply to stella87 Dec 02, 2010 2:18am

Then you must be receiving disability through social security – just another form of government help. What people need to and should realize is that unemployment is not a hand out – it is money already earned and paid for by the worker. It is an insurance policy – if you had a car accident – would you like it if the car insurance company held back your payment because they didn’t want their company to have additional expenses???

stella87 12/02/2010 2:18am
in reply to Rationalview Dec 01, 2010 8:24am

I did go get a job while my husband was off work!! But unfortuatly I have a degenerative disk in my back so it makes it very hard for me to work. I can’t stand or sit for long periods of time or lift heavy objects. So part time is all I can do! I do feel the pain off all of you. I have been there I just don’t think that the government is the answer! I don’t really know what it is but depending more and more on our government is just wrong!!!

stella87 12/02/2010 2:02am
in reply to TheDutchess Dec 01, 2010 5:39am

Dear Dutchess, if that is the case then how does the money you get from unemployment help? You can make the same amount with a low paying job so why should the government keep helping? and when does it end? I also have one in college and middle school and guess what unfortuatly my son has to pay for his own higher education, just like my husband and I did. My son works and goes to school and has some student loans. That just like us he will have to pay back later! It is great to get higher education but we are not entitled to it!!!

HelpUsPlease 12/01/2010 5:40pm

I am actually ashamed that I live in this country anymore, Problem is, can’t go anywhere else because everyone hates the Americans anymore because of the Bush’s…I have worked my whole life and this is what I get, of no fault of my own? I have worked hard physical labor my whole life, something politicians know nothing about, unless you consider pencil pushing and blowing farts in the wind physical labor…This is truly pathetic what our so called leaders are doin to this country…If this is not passed, there will be many Americans that feel that they have nothing more to lose since the Gov’t took it all away, and will take matters into their own hands….Republicans might need to ask for an early admittance to the so called Residential Centers aka FEMA camps they have prepared

TheDutchess 12/01/2010 3:21pm
in reply to TheDutchess Dec 01, 2010 3:20pm

Oh yeah, you did say some of us elected a new congress and a balanced budget. You must have voted for the Republicans because you would have unequivocally said hell no if you didn’t!

TheDutchess 12/01/2010 3:20pm
in reply to BenjaWiz Dec 01, 2010 6:12am

You ask why do folks want a check and run up more debt and then everyone has to pay more or even higher taxes in the end? That is so rediculous. It’s just like me saying " Why should I go into your burning house and help you save your family". SAME THING! The outcome is the same. Because it’s the right thing to do. Do you care about your fellow Americans or you are just out for yourself? Do you think you would pay less if they pass the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich? Please! I hope the Democrats let those cuts expire and then they would be on a talking playing field. You forget that in the history of America, unemployment benefits are considered an EMERGENCY FUND. With the jobless rate remaining at the high, there should be no question about extending the unemployment benefits. Spending so that people can buy milk for their babies is not UNWISE unless you are a CRAB!

sulamita 12/01/2010 12:34pm
in reply to DGalanteNJ Nov 30, 2010 5:35pm

I feel you. I can’t believe I will have a year of been unemployed But I guess after seen how many people got wash brain into thinking the GOP will do better than Dem, their blindness just let me know that maybe we just all need to go deeper into this shit so we wake up and realized that it does not matter who is in charge really. We the People, that 99% that is not wealthy need to wake up. Two of the companies I worked before has gone overseas… yeah.. American companies are going abroad. So is not anymore that they are coming here.
Should we do like the French, in where we stop working as a group? I don’t know? Do I care if the rich get tax? Who really cares about them, is not that they are providing with more jobs during this recession. It is well know that they started to get better but they are not hiring.
If the health care helps my kid not to get turn down while I don’t have an insurance because I can’t get any job, and I mean any job. Do you think I really care? No I don’t.

seanurse 12/01/2010 12:06pm
in reply to DeborahJBrown Dec 01, 2010 7:00am

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

beenblue 12/01/2010 11:03am

To quote a wise man “There is nothing New Under the Sun” The Republican party has no new ideas. Cutting taxes and social programs and wasteful government spending and increasing defense spending goes back to Hoover days, it was then called “Trickle Down Economics” then during Reagan`s term it was renamed “Supply Side Economics” in 1981, and then as it is now, reaped a bonanza for the nations wealthiest, but the poor and middle class would feel few of its rewards. Actually with the cuts in spending, the affected were the poor, and the passage of tax changes meant to stimulate government revenues, the federal deficits ballooned. Reagan was merely overseeing a massive transfer of funds from the domestic sector to the pentagon. As I write this I`m looking at a front page of the Los Angeles Times from March 1, 1949 “Truman asks congress for millions for the needy” Deje Vue !! WASH, RINSE AND REPEAT…..December 2010

poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:47am
in reply to TheDutchess Dec 01, 2010 5:15am

Unfortunately,the people have hung themselves because they are unimformed and naive by voting these people in!What’s worse,it’s too late!Obama is losing more Dems because they are defecting to the GOP to keep their seats of power.Now the GOP is starting their bullying ways by not budging on anything until they get their tax cuts.People don’t look at the long term,we live in a country of “We want results now,now,now!And if we don’t get’em,we’ll oppose you!”.Many people don’t even know what they’re voting for.No foresight!The proof is in the November elections.

poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:35am
in reply to mcelyea8000 Dec 01, 2010 4:33am

Please take full advantage of the other offers the government has to offer(before everyone else does soon).Government subsidies,or welfare.It sounds terrible,I know,but soon millions of long term unemployed will have to turn to this.The additional expenses for these programs were not mentioned by the GOP to the people.This will cost the budget billions also.

poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:28am
in reply to stella87 Dec 01, 2010 4:14am

Your story sounds like one out of a fairy tale.I’m glad that your husband did find a job that pays well(enough).But he actually found one.Actually,I’m surprised he got an $8.50 an hour job without hearing the word “overqualified”.The GOP would love to post your story and try to say that it’s possible.But the reality for most of us is not going to have that happy ending that you got.Instead,we will be costing the government money by subsidized housing and food stamps.It’s funny that the GOP is not telling you what it will cost when that happens!

poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:12am
in reply to BenjaWiz Nov 30, 2010 8:35pm

That’s why the tax cuts should expire for the wealthy.What jobs are the wealthy going to create with their own money that they couldn’t do with company money.A lot of the wealthy have their personal money protected by being incorporated right?And what does the GOP propose to create jobs?I have asked a couple of Republican representatives and didn’t get any response.So I am anxious to hear from any GOP member on this matter.Or even the likes of you who must obviously be employed and considered part of the wealthy category!PROVE ME WRONG,PLEASE!

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