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Dems Fail Again to Get 60 on the Unemployment Bill

June 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Democrats tried once again last night to overcome a budget point of order against their unemployment insurance/tax extenders bill, this time on a pared-down version, and failed 56-40. Sixty votes were needed. Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] and Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT] joined all Republicans in voting down the bill.

The path forward from here is unclear to say the least. Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] tried after the failing vote to pass each piece of the bill — the unemployment benefits, the doc-fix, the Medicaid money — as stand-alone measures by unanimous consent. But, each time, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] objected, citing deficit concerns. McConnell then offered to pass by unanimous consent a version of the bill that would be paid for with stimulus funds, but Reid objected to that.

The reason the Dems don’t split off pieces of the bill — say, the unemployment benefits section — and try to pass them separately with a full debate is that it would give Republicans an opportunity to stall all Senate action for a week or longer. The Republicans may not necessarily oppose the unemployment benefits extension or the doc fix, but they will filibuster and force an extended debate in order to eat up precious Senate time that the Democrats want to use for other things this session, like energy legislation, responding to Citizens United, and immigration reform. Sen. Tom Coburn’s [R, OK] move yesterday to employ the “clay pigeon” procedure and force votes on dozens of contentious amendments illustrates the kind of tools Republicans could use on each piece of this bill if the Dems tried splitting it up.

Under Senate rules, in order to bring the revised version back up for another vote, Reid would have had to vote against the cloture motion on the budget point of order yesterday. He didn’t, which indicates that we are going to see a deeper retooling of the bill to hit the floor next week. Most likely, the Dems will remove the $24 billion in state Medicaid aid, which would bring the total net deficit impact down to $31 billion. After last night’s vote, Nelson explained that he voted “no” because parts of the bill are still not paid for. “I want to see it all offset,” he said. It seem unlikely that lowering urn-offset spending to $31 billion would win over Nelson, so the Democrats are probably looking at winning over a few moderate Republicans, namely Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA].

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Displaying 31-60 of 120 total comments.

  • Moderated Comment

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    tweety65 06/18/2010 9:46am


  • Moderated Comment

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    jgpt777 06/18/2010 4:45pm

    Recap of what is going on: Today, the Senate was in session from 9:45 am – 1:59 pm. Again, nothing was resolved. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) tried to pass an extension of federal unemployment benefits on a stand-alone basis (taking tax loopholes and everything else out of the bill and just focusing on quickly passing an unemployment extension), but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) objected, saying the provision had to be paid for.

    The Senate next meets on Monday at 2:00 p.m. Their schedule calls for a period of morning business, then to proceed to executive session to consider nominations. No mention of discussing the unemployment bill on Monday:

    This article says “Democratic leaders say they hope to be able to pass something by the July 4 holiday”.

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 06/20/2010 7:40am

    Their July 4th holiday, talk about a slap in the face, it would be nice to know where they live, maybe they would mind a few million unemployed guests, for some fireworks and weenie-roast.

  • Comm_reply
    rgreen001 06/18/2010 11:33am

    I would agree to the march, however, I reside in NY and cant
    afford the trip as I an unemployed and have no Benefits.

  • Comm_reply
    Georgeofthejungle 06/19/2010 7:30am

    So am I. I served my country. USMC Ret. I was wounded by an exsplosion and carry metal in my body as well as scars from where I almost gave my life protected these Senators. Now I am out of work company closed. But I took the time to go back to school I graduated but I have to pass state boards my benifits have run out. Im on FED-ED exstention that I will not get. I gave my blood and flesh and I am scared for life giving to my senators protection. Why won’t they help me! I will never vote Republican again! And now my children will not ether! Lets stop voting for them and we won’t have to deal with them! Thats how we win this war! One at a time my sons,my daughter, your son, your daughter befroe we know it they will have no one voting for them to stay in office. Our childrens, children vote against them. Thats how we win. Put somone in there that my blood and flesh counts for the people.

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    jpocalips1 06/20/2010 6:20am

    Nothing but respect for you sir. It’s apparent to me the American people they, profess to support and be our voice, have become laughable to them. No seriously think about what we allow them to get away with,talk about the fox in the hen house. Special interest,bank bail outs,complete disreguard for the will of the people,I just can’t help but think,at their fund raisers,or while playing round of golf with their cronies, we may very well be the joke of the day.

  • Comm_reply
    dwalker6996 06/21/2010 7:06am

    Please sign petition

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    dwalker6996 06/21/2010 7:04am

    please sign petition if you can’t make it

  • Comm_reply
    dwalker6996 06/21/2010 7:06am

    Please sign petition

  • tweety65 06/18/2010 9:35am

    All we want is to feed our children, maybe a roof over their heads, a pair of sneakers that fit and last but not least the American Dream, that no longer exists!!!! In the words of John Adams….. “Politcal wisdom does not progress substantially, yet, the wisdom of our social past is never obsolete.”

  • Ericmojorising 06/18/2010 9:45am

    How about cutting defense spending in half. Feds say the defense budget is 694 billion a year. This would be the equivalent of the 20 countrys below us all put together(China, Russia, Europe, etc.). This would be bad enough but the real defense budget, including VA hospital and veteran benefits is 1.5 trillion a year. Is this paid for? No, it is put on a credit card. If we can not win these wars in 8 years in these 2 tiny countrys we need to bring our troops home and protect the borders. We could easily still be the strongest country in the world(we would still be spending several times more then any other country). With the money saved we could help out the unemployed Americans.

  • general 06/18/2010 10:22am

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,71 that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

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    seanurse 06/18/2010 10:48am

    amen may god watch over us all . we need to get a march going and impeach conressman who are not doing their jobs. I also belief the president needs to get more involved. what has happened to our country???????????????????

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    bytetek 06/19/2010 5:53am

    Sure that’s the fix! Dismantle the military and kick the veterans out of the hospitals.

  • Drewbot78 06/18/2010 10:34am

    They passed the “doc fix” portion of the bill today. Now let’s hope they have the common sense to separate the Unemployment Extension portion as well. THE REPUBLICANS have already stated they want to pass Unemployment Extensions. THE DEMS need to forget about attaching their GARBAGE to it so it can pass.

  • ssimms1980 06/18/2010 10:38am

    This is insanity!!! We the people vote these senators into office on their “word” that they are going to take care of our respective states and represent us, the peoples voice. But when it comes down to it they are not looking out for us! They are sitting there arguing over how this bill is going to be paid for while we sit starving and losing everything! They are acting like we are all just lazy people who don’t want to work when we have all paid into unemployment most of our lives by working! And for most of us this is the first time we have had to use it! Do they not remember that unemployment is for people who were laid off? Because if you leave a job or get fired you cannot recieve benefits! All I have to say to these so-called “representatives” of the people is – FIGURE IT OUT! I DON’T CARE HOW YOU DO IT PASS THIS BILL RIGHT NOW!!!

  • ssimms1980 06/18/2010 10:39am

    Also I just want to say to the rep. from Oklahoma, you were talking about using money that would take away from our childrens future. Well what about feeding those same children right now? If you were to ask those children if they wanted to eat, have a roof over their heads, and electricity right now or be able to pay less taxes in the future I think everyone knows what the answer would be!

  • icandootravel 06/18/2010 11:08am

    Wow my first post. I can’t believe that this website seems to be a great potential for accountability and democratic principles realized. Hopefully anyways. I was laid off by the state of Hawaii in Nov. 2009. My position was eligibility worker (welfare) processing financial, medical and food assistance. In the most critical of times they played politics with the basic welfare services, very outragous, disappointing and extreme.
    I was able to pick up a couple of weeks census employment. Now that couple of weeks has caused me to be a part of the large group of Americans that desperately needs a continuation of my unemployment, at least a little while longer. Minimally, I would like to know what will or will not be there for me.
    The idea that this is being held up for any reason seems unacceptable. The idea that it is being held up to delibiratly waste time is outragous and reckless, not to mention heartless and heartbreaking.

  • Tiklers 06/18/2010 11:35am

    I completely agree that this bill should be passed now. What we have to remember though, is that there are many other pieces of legislation tied up into this one bill, and Sen. Reid refuses to separate the Unemployment piece of legislation for vote on it’s own from the rest of it. Yes, we can place blame on all of the people not voting for the bill to pass, but we can also place blame on those that refuse to separate the unemployment portion of the bill for a stand alone vote so that those that need the monies are able to obtain them without becoming homeless.

    It is not just the Rebubs that are playing the people, it’s the whole of the Senate.

  • jforiska 06/18/2010 11:35am

    This is criminal — and don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. Now they want to cut funding for Medicaid? Cut services for single moms, the disabled and the unemployed, while making it easy for wealthy campaign contributors to dodge taxes? You can’t be serious! More importantly, how is this going to impact 2 1/2 million hungry children whose parents are being denied benefits. For Congress to completely disregard their needs is nothing short of child abuse. They may think parents can get food stamps while they continues this self serving bickering, but even that process takes days or weeks and what do kids eat in the mean time. Then there is the stress/trauma factor. Money concerns lead to domestic violence, increased alcohol and drug use, as well as, stress related health problems and it’s the children who suffer most. All this inhibits economic recovery. Members of Congress should hang their heads in shame – get a grip on reality – and be the solution not the problem.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 7:15am

    • It’s the Republican party who is busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations.
    Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for ALL its’ displaced hard working Americans.
    • 9.7% unemployed = 1.2 million Americans, and 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time. The BP Oil Corporation’s irresponsibleness is adding to lost jobs and lost lives.

    Yesterday, President Obama’s discussed what was happening with corporations, the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed. Watch his entire interview on CSPAN. He gets it.

    CNN and FOX only report on self-interested, with their main story and topics cycling 24 hours. Go to CSPAN


  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 10:54pm

    The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

    President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

    As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
    1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

    The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

  • jgpt777 06/18/2010 12:36pm

    Alexander (R-TN)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Begich (D-AK)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brown (R-MA)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Johanns (R-NE)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    LeMieux (R-FL)
    Lieberman (ID-CT)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Wicker (R-MS)

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    SinCity 06/18/2010 1:51pm

    Thank you for caring enough. I expect no by Republicans but so many Democrats voting against is unbelievable to me.

  • sspasoff 06/18/2010 1:01pm

    This is just plain sick.I hope bad carma hits every one in congress that voted no.This is bullshit

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    bytetek 06/19/2010 5:58am

    Too much Pork in it. When it hits home it’s harder to take. Hold Reid responsible for packing it full of pork.

  • ssimms1980 06/18/2010 1:30pm

    Thank you for putting all the names down of the senators who voted against this bill. As a resident in Nevada, I cannot tell you the economic hardships we have had to endure here lately. Not only were my fiance and I laid off, but so were both of my parents, my brother, my sister in law and my uncle! My brother and sister in law have been fortunate to find new jobs(even though they were both in the mortgage industry here in nevada which is a whole other topic) and my uncle did the cencus for a month but once again is back to being unemployed. Neither my fiance or I have been able to find any job although we have both had a few interviews and my parents have not even gotten any interviews much less a job! I know my family is not the only one in this position, so I do not understand how these senators can take all this time when they have to know how bad things really are with us “little people” . Are they really that out of touch, incompitent, or is it just that they don’t give a sh*t?

  • SinCity 06/18/2010 1:45pm

    Im so sorry you guys. I too am unemployed but not hurting like so many. This is such a disgrace, please make sure you pass the word of WHICH DEMOCRATS voted against, as it is expected from the Republicans. I would like to know which, if any republicans voted for the extension of unemployment?

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