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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 91-97 of 97 total comments.

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 12:55pm

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.

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!!!!!

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……

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

donnyshaw 11/30/2010 12:12pm
in reply to brute329 Nov 30, 2010 12:01pm

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.

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?

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