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Unemployment Extension Vote Live-Blog

October 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With the jobless rate at 9.8 percent and rising, Senate Democrats have scheduled a big vote this afternoon to move forward with their bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 3548), which has been blocked by Republicans for the past month. I’ll be live-blogging the debate and the vote here and I invite you to help me out in comments section with capturing all the key quotes and information. The debate is scheduled to begin at around 5:30 pm ET with a vote taking place at 6:00, and it will be televised live on C-SPAN 2 (live online video here).

In the past month, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has repeatedly tried to speed up passage of the bill under a unanimous consent agreement. But Republicans objected each time and said that they were seeking changes related to the bill’s funding (and a few changes that are totally unrelated). More details on the process so far can be found on the OpenCongress Benefits Wiki.

Today’s vote is to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to an official debate of the bill. Invoking cloture requires 60 votes, and if it is approved the bill will move to the Senate floor for votes on amendments. Another cloture vote will likely be necessary to end the debate and bring the bill to a final up-or-down vote. The process will become clearer as the debate picks up, and I’ll be trying to keep track of it all here. Stay tuned!

4:30 p.m.: Reuters is reporting that bipartisan senators are very close to a deal for extending the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. No specifics out on the deal yet, but apparently it may be voted on tonight as an amendment to the unemployment bill. If it’s added, it is going to slow down the House’s action on approving the Senate’s amended unemployment bill.

4:47 p.m.: Senators are filtering back into the chamber and starting to give floor speeches on the unemployment bill. Sen. Cardin (D-MD) is up with a map of his state explaining why the Senate is changing the House bill to apply the extension to every state. Maryland’s jobless rate is a little lower than the national average — it’s around 7% — but individual counties within the state have rate as high as 10.8%. Under the House bill, those counties would not have been given the extension while a county in another state with a lower rate but a statewide average above 8.5% would get the extension.

5:03 p.m.: Here’s a link to the roll call details on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the UI benefits extension that the Senate passed last November. The motion passed 89-6 back then when the jobless rate was at 6.7%.

5:15 p.m.: Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) is up for what is probably the last speech before the cloture debate begins: Approximately 150,000 people have run out of unemployment benefits since the Republicans began delaying this bill 3 weeks ago. “We have the power and the ability to act. Let’s do it!” “Republican response to helping the unemployed is ‘No!’”

5:30 p.m.: OK, the debate on the cloture motion on the motion to proceed is officially beginning and it’s time for opening statements. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is up first. “Total cost for our bill $2.4 billion, payed for with an extension of the federal unemployment tax.”

5:40 p.m.: Via OpenCongress user JMatzelle57, breaking news:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced this afternoon, Tuesday October 27, that an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit and more generous net operating loss carry-back rules for money-losing businesses will not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. The unemployment insurance extension is still on the calendar and will be brought up as a stand-alone measure. HAI will provide updates as more information is released from Capitol Hill.

We’ll see if that’s accurate…

5:47 p.m.: Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) up: “Some of the people who are stalling the unemployment extension benefits were the same ones who rushed to the starting line last fall to see if they couldn’t hand hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks that ran this country into a ditch.”

5:50 p.m.: Really? No Republicans are going to speak on extending unemployment benefits? Vote’s in 10 minutes, it’s looking that way.

6:00 p.m.: The vote is underway …and it’s impossible to hear on C-Span how anyone is voting.

6:20 p.m.: Vote’s not quite over, but they’re well past 60 “ayes.” Here’s my running tally of the “noes” (13 so far):

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

6:26 p.m.: And that does it. Final vote tally is 87-13. The motion to proceed is agreed to.

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Displaying 271-300 of 344 total comments.

billines 10/28/2009 10:01am

If they succeed in changing how it’s PAID for. It will slow the process down considerably. Finance Committees, etc.

Kyl said “The benefits haven’t run out yet”… What is he talking about, Everyone’s benefits? My benefits ran out in September. Hundreds of thousands have ALREADY RUN OUT!

The Republicans want to “Take a little time” before passing the bill. That’s what Senator Alexander said. Call and let him know we’ve already run out of time.

Senator Lamar Alexander: 202-224-4944

Senator Kyl thinks we haven’t already exhausted benefits. LET HIM KNOW many of us have already run out.

Senator Kyl: 202-224-4521

They have said many things that show they do not think this “Emergency Unemployment Extension” is an EMERGENCY! Let then know otherwise.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 10:14am

jaydubya u gotta be about stupid. 2 people already corrected you. the bill has now been amended to include all states. personally i can understand that 13 little twits have never been out of work, out of money, or out of resources. its not completely their fault they dont understand the concept of being being unable to make ends meet. i see a lot of posts saying “get a fast food job” and things like that i worked almost 70 hours a week at my last job and never complained. unemployment only pays a percentage of what i made. i dont want to be on unemployment but its tough times. i fill out at least the required 2 applications a week no matter what. ive been doing this for over a year and ive had 1 call back for an interview at a gas station.

networkgal 10/28/2009 10:46am

The reason they think it hasn’t run out is because they can’t count 20 weeks from when the last one was retroactive to depending when your original claim started. It started in April for most of us The National Press has done a lousy job pushing this wrong information-probably FOX!

Anonymous 10/28/2009 11:28am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 10:23am

No kidding! I’ve been flicking back and forth to CSPAN and all the R’s do is try to put additional crap in the bill. I’m gonna need health care when I can’t afford food or become homeless and REALLY get sick! PASS THE DAMN EXTENSION!

guywaters 10/28/2009 12:42pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:01am

Our Money is correct. These senators are worse than the old Roman Senate wearing there white robes. It is known that for every dollar given out in UI 1.67 is returned to the economy. I like Reid and hate Hatch. I guess he has too many wives to feed.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 2:03pm

I saw part of the discussion on cspan. I know this wont make those of you who are in need of money care, BUT the reason that the R’s are stalling on this is because the bill taxes businesses for the funds. The R’s want the money to come out of the unspent stimulus money and are being told they can’t have any changes to the bill whatsoever. It’s a pissing contest…

Anonymous 10/28/2009 3:46pm

They have no idea about the thousands of people that are serioulsly hurting!!!!!!, they don’t have to worry about if their going to have a roof over their heads or food for thier children, we don’t want a hand out we need a life line to get us thru until we find work, sure we need jobs but right now there’s none so why not pass this bill to help us. I heard Kyl said today that the benefits have not ran out, their about to “You lie”!!!, if you were paying attention to what’s been happening, benefits for thousands have been exhausted almost a month for a lot of people and still running out everyday. They are so out of touch with what’s really going on, the only thing their thinking about is ACORN because they think somehow Obama is involved and they want so bad to have something on him, this is not a game, your playing with peoples lives. PASS THE DAMN BILL!!!!!!!!

Anonymous 10/28/2009 5:52pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 7:41am

I think that the person that said Get up off your butt and find a job….IS SO RUDE…..I have not been employed for almost 2 years now, it sucks and believe me I have been trying to find a job daily…..I THINK THAT YOU SHOULD COME DOWN OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 7:36am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:19am

How snide. Work two part time jobs and that 60 hrs x 8 bucks/hr nets around $1400. Do you think even a small family can survive on that, even if they are renting ? Do you think a fast food joint is looking to hire someone with a college education and pay to background check, drug test, train, and uniform them — knowing full well there isn’t a hope in heck they will stay employed long-term ? Unemployment isn’t welfare. Many of the people exhausting their benefits paid into the system for many, many years. Personally, I worked for 30 years before I got dollar one of MY OWN MONEY BACK !! What a friggin ignorant little pissant you are. KARMA !

Anonymous 10/29/2009 2:10am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 8:36am


Anonymous 10/29/2009 4:27am

Look you rotten little parasites that keeps telling everyone to get off there butts and find a job, There are no jobs to go to and if you do get an interview you get turned down because you ARE OVERQUALIFIED!!! Yeah that’s right dummies OVERQUALIFIED!! To even clean toilets and if you do luck out and get an interview you get told the position has been filled!! THAT’S RIGHT DUMB ASS FILLED!! Because we are taking whatever we can get!! So go on you’re merry little way there buddies and keep you’re rotten thoughts to yourselfs!! One more thing, It was never in my husband’s and my plans to have to raise our little girl on food stamps unemployment and medicaid!! UNFORTUNATELY we like so many others have no choice at this point, AND YES we both had very good jobs until we had to move in DECEMBER 2007 because my husband lost his $20.00 an hr. job!SO Try listening instead of judging!! ROTTEN PARASITES!!!

Anonymous 10/28/2009 4:07pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:03am

I was on my job for 15years US Customs broker
Well I lower my standards and guess what? I haven’t worked a full week at my NEW job yet. I get laid off every 3days But when they call me back I’m the first one there. I’m continue my job search but nothing found yet. You must have a job that’s why you don’t understand. You must walk the walk to understand the talk. You must be from the Republican Party. I pray you don’t feel this pain my family is feeling have a bless life.
People need help

Anonymous 10/28/2009 10:16am

out of over 35 applications. for those of you who think its just people complaining and not wanting to work, that may be the case for some people but not most or all. i would say the fact that a crap load of companies that got shout down might be the cause of the high unemployment rate and not an increase in the amount of lazy people. mcdonalds cant employ everyone especially with more people making less money than ever. who is going to buy mcdonalds food if everyone works there? i say line up those 13 morons and find a really big boot. the crap they are pulling is affecting someone they know somewhere and they just dont realize it. why dont these guys quit fighting over minute details and pass this billthen they could work on something thats actually important like figuring out how to actually FIX the economy and just putting another band-aid on it. this bill is important because people need money now. but thats a temporary solution.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:40am
in reply to networkgal Oct 28, 2009 10:58am

There are alot of other states like that. The idea behind it is that you collect tips that compensate you for the 2.50/hour that you’re getting paid.

I’m actually amazed that you would want to involve SEIU/ACORN in something like this. I guess corruption and lawlessness is okay with you?

Anonymous 10/29/2009 10:45am

I have 1/3 a jar of tomato sauce, about 10 grams of salt, and 1/3 bag of flour.
Thank God for some of those cooking classes I had earlier this year in California. Barely scraping by. I guess its tomato dumpling soup again tonight. Twice daily, thats all I eat. Oh, and my lease is up Novemebr 1st. Luckly, I can stay with my 75 y.o. Mother in Florida, and my retarded brother for two weeks. “Oh JOY!” Then what? Pass the danm Bill. I’ll never vote republican again in my life.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:48am

What just happened on the senate floor? Republicans wanted to add three admendments and told the democratic speaker to bring it to the floor and vote this afternoon.He said you have sixty votes,just vote them down if you don’t want them. The democrate just walks away. I don’t understand why the democrats don’t just vote this thru.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:46am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 10:43am

My thoughts exactly. Like Senator Reid said the other day, he can count on 2 fingers the numbers of Republicans who are on board for unemployment, health care, etc. Obviously, this party is so scared that Obama is actually going to make a big difference, they are attempting to stonewall everything they can. Reid also said the same Republicans who are against the unemployment bill are the same people who were beating down the doors to vote to give TARP money to the banks/car makers. Just goes to show where their allegiance is – big business. They have no clue about the middle class. I’ll never vote for a Republican either. I hope they all are shooting themselves in the foot right now with their lack of cooperation.

angelkiss 10/28/2009 7:31pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 7:41am

Here’s a crazier thought, a-hole. My job was sent overseas & now I’m a full time student trying to support myself. The government should support me as I learn a new trade or stop giving our jobs to India. I have a job & am going to school full time for ultrasound and can’t pay my bills w/out collecting partial UE. I need this extension since working for minimum wage pays only a portion of my bills. I hope you lose your job someday and find out how it feels.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 4:56am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 4:07pm
  1. I am not from the republican party
  2. I garuntee I’ve been in a worse situation than you. The difference is I bucked up and got a job that was less than ideal… know what it was? I cleaned toilets at the local high school. Even then, I was making around $400/month
  3. Yes I do have a job, BUT I was unemployed as of two months ago. With that said, I knew full and well that I might have to pick up a job at the local fastfood joint in order to support the family. Possibly pick up two jobs.
  4. I honestly feel for your situation, HOWEVER, can you honestly say that you started looking at jobs like that? A job is a job mate.
Anonymous 10/29/2009 12:34pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 4:56am

What ….you do not have any idea what you are talking about…I have worked all my life….babysat when I was 14 years old…if you know where all the jobs are…tell us list them!!! You must have nothing in your life…I have a mortgage…I need to pay that know where job is that will pay my mortgage??? Give me the name and number I will go to work today…you need to keep your stupid talk to yourself!!!

Anonymous 10/29/2009 11:53am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 5:01am

You may be suggesting that white-collared workers like accountants, lawyers, etc. should go work at a Dennys and Arbys but the reality of it is that these people are “overqualified” and Dennys is going to give the available job to people who need the job and have similar work experience. There isn’t a job at McDonalds, Dennys, Arbys, etc. for everyone. And do you blame them – do you think the lawyer’s going to jump ship when the economy improves? Of course, he will.

jaydubya 10/28/2009 5:10am
in reply to Bassmaster2009 Oct 27, 2009 10:25am

First of all, I support the extension of unemployment comp. HOWEVER, this is not going to fix the unemployment problem. How many of you people have actually tried working at Arby’s or Denny’s in the interim so that you have SOME income.

I recently faced the realities of unemployment. I accepted the fact in order to support my family, I NEEDED to find a job. If that job was delivering Pizza or waiting tables or cleaning toilets, I knew that is what I needed to do to support my family! The problem with all you people is that you’re too snobbish to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done. It’s pathetic.

jaydubya 10/29/2009 5:01am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 7:40am

I see you’re too much of a coward to login, instead you log in as Anon. That’s Pathetic. Atleast when I say you people are pathetic, I’m not afraid to hide who I am.

Full of myself? No, the difference is that I understand the importance of getting work at all cost. Something you obviously dont understand.

And no, I’m not a Republican. I’m someone who believes that the people of this country should stop sitting around expecting a hand out for the government and start thinking for themselves and taking care of themselves. As you already said, the Government, particularly Congress, doesnt care what you’re going through.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 12:40pm
in reply to jaydubya Oct 29, 2009 5:01am

jaydubduba… need to be quiet…I doubt you are supporting a family on a fast food job….you have no right to tell people what jobs to take…we are people who worked all our lives, for what we have…and we are trying to keep it!!!!! You probably do not have anything to lose, because you never had anything…SO PLEASE SHUT UP…..NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOU DEGRADING PEOPLE….

Anonymous 10/29/2009 6:03pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 12:40pm

He/she was not telling people what jobs they should take. He was suggesting that sometimes under tough circumstances, people must lower their standards and expectations in order to meet the needs of their family.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 6:05pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 12:45pm

So just because of someone’s age they automatically don’t know what their talking about? How ignorant and self righteous is that? Yeah, he got his facts wrong but you’re going to demean him just because he’s 27?

Anonymous 11/01/2009 10:01am

I have never blogged before, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!I raised 3 kids,one is serving in Afghanistan.I was down-sized from my $120K/year job in May 2008, I could not find anything even close to comparable because I did not have a degree.I returned to school to obtain my RN degree. In August 2009, my husband and I divorced after 20 years – now I find myself a single mom and full-time student with tons of bills. I do not qualify for any type of financial aid because of previous income. I have even tried donating plasma for tuition $, but they reduce my benefits. Similar to a lot of people out there, I am a hard-working, honest American who has paid into the system for almost 30 years. My benefits are going to run out in 3 weeks – all I am asking for is a wee-bit of assistance so I can finish school without losing my house or the ability to feed my son. I then plan on contributing back to the system for another 20+ years. PLEASE HELP THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP THEMSELVES!

NYER566 10/27/2009 11:26am

I will register as independent after the next vote..i no longer want to be affiliated with the dems or gop!

billines 10/27/2009 11:47am

From this blog (above):

“Reuters is reporting that bipartisan senators are very close to a deal for extending the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. No specifics out on the deal yet, but apparently it may be voted on tonight as an amendment to the unemployment bill. If it’s added, it is going to slow down the House’s action on approving the Senate’s amended unemployment bill.”

Do you believe what they are doing to us? This is not what we need… another reason to slow passage on this bill.

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