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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 61-90 of 120 total comments.

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    jgpt777 06/21/2010 9:48am




  • ChristyLewis 06/18/2010 2:32pm

    Great write up and thanks for making me aware of the issues! It really sucks though!!!!

  • kstiffler 06/18/2010 3:01pm

    I do not understand if congress knew a deadline was coming up why they waited till it expired to debate for weeks on end. Don’t they understand this is not about who wins or loses. It is about thousands upon thousands of people who’s lives are held in the balance. It is about more foreclosures,repo’s,credit problems. On the other hand I know there are people that might argue that those on unemployment knew there was a deadline why didn’t we take the time to find a job before then. Truth be told I know my husband and have. People argue there are jobs available and time after time we’ve applied for anything and everything only to be told you are overqualified or underqualified. Frustrating!!!!

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    smgov 06/18/2010 3:45pm

    You are right they should have sorted this out months ago. They voted for the free trade agreement with china,only idiots would belive that free trade with countries who use child labor wouldnt send all our jobs over there. Thats the long term fix. Cut the free trade, get our jobs back until then pass the extensions.

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    jpocalips1 06/20/2010 6:24am

    No they don’t understand, nor do they give a damm, they can’t see us from where they are.Welcome to New Rome, plebe

  • JBROKE 06/18/2010 3:54pm

    Look at the above who support the farm subsidy give-away. We just can’t get support for anything that is meaningful to this country. Meaningful issues quickly get distorted as deficits. There is noone up there who is thinking of how people in this country can once more earn money to buy the surplus and return to a country with middle class taxpayers. If they try, they are willed impotent, labeled as running up the deficit, cramping the invisible (global) hand that is running amok or “soft on terror.”

    We need statesmen. Far too many are self-interested millionaires looking
    for the next vote, favor or cushy retirement. They don’t want solutions
    that might impact their own greed. I call it outrageous economics. An
    unemployment check won’t solve a personal budget deficit problem anymore than a government deficit. I say Quit the Drama, solve the problem and clean up the problem. Senators talking about their future penniless grandchildren sounds like a BP excuse!

  • Blueslover 06/18/2010 4:13pm

    I live in Calif and lost my job 13 months because the company I worked for closed down our District Office and sent our work to another state. So, I’ve been looking and putting in resume’s on a daily basis and NOTHING!! I’m on my 2nd Tier of unemployment and I was told by the EDD office last month that I would be getting money for at least 7 more months..So, now I just found out yesterday that my benefits will end in 3 weeks. WTF…I wonder how all those assholes in Congress would feel if they went without money and had to struggled. But, instead they keep giving themselves raises and get all the medical benefits plus more.

  • skrapper 06/18/2010 5:00pm

    These Politicians make me sick! We worked for that money our whole life, now that they sent everything overseas because of NAFTA they claim they don’t have the funds to pay us. That’s a joke. You can bet there sitting very well with plenty of money to fall back on. But somehow we don’t matter to them for that fantastic amount of money???? "I’ll trade you wadges any day.
    Do you all remember that NOVEMBER we vote for some of these people… Well I don’t know about you, but I will not reelect any Incumbent… It’s time for new blood. If these people don’t give a Damn about us1 Then why should we care or re elect them? Eye for an Eye. Let see how you like drawing unemployment if you qualify? Walk in our shoes for a while, loose everything like I did, and see how you like it. Just Remember November, Pass that On. Here’s your chance to make that change they talk about.

  • Rationalview 06/18/2010 5:25pm
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    Thank you for the list of who voted against the bill – I am surprised that someone representing a state with high unemployment would vote against benefits that would help his constituents. Where do they think people will get money to pay bills? Don’t they realize unemployment is a valid benefit for people who have worked & led productive lives. It isn’t welfare or a hand-out. No unemployment – the next step welfare & a tax burden on residents of their states. People are accused of using unemployment & taking advantage rather than finding jobs & going to work. I don’t know where they live but where I live, the benefit is a small portion of what I could earn – it doesn’t afford luxuries – it is only temporary & helps pay for necessities mortgage/rent, taxes, food. For people who go on welfare, lives are easier – no looking for a job, get food stamps & free health benefits. Why isn’t Congress looking at this realisticly – regardless of whether they are democrats or republicans.

  • JBROKE 06/18/2010 5:26pm

    Calling Congress has become a waste of time. We need job creation in this country and not the $10/hour – part/time so we don’t have to pay benefits jobs.
    Small businesses cannot make a go of it, if they don’t have real working people to buy their goods and services. We don’t need tax incentivized small business-sponsored programs where only the bottom feeders get rich, that bleeds our services and doesn’t get our country back to work again.

    I am tired of hearing about the aged workforce of the US. There is a huge, educated, innovative and productive workforce put to pasture by the reckless economic policies our country has pursued. This talented workforce needs and wants to work. Bet they could come up with something better than for-profit prisons, derivative swaps, corn ethanol…

    Old fogey incubators? What do you think? What is it going to take to create jobs and a better quality of life in this country?

  • lonestar2020 06/18/2010 6:02pm

    Come election time,it is time to send these crooks home.They don’t care about the people until they need our vote,then it is off to Washington to make back door deals patting backs,then a show in front of cameras & play political games at our expense making us fools.They make close to $200k per year in the worst economy since the great depression in 2009 & 2010 they voted themselves pay raises while 16 million Americans are out of work & still losing jobs,then they get lobby money,kick-backs,golden benefits,taxpayer lavish offices,& they are out-of-touch & do not care about anyone but themselves as they are playing political games in Washington as they have time since they are rich while millions of Americans are hurting,losing their homes,& worried about feeding their families.It is time we call them,write them,& get on blogs & the media to get these people voted out of office.Next election,I will not vote for anyone currently in office,my vote is going for their opponent.

  • GABE1004 06/18/2010 6:16pm

    Well, if you aren’t fed up with the obstruction by the list above, I wonder which one of them has been fed money for their campaigns that they are scared they will need to go out and use their own money for the next campaign. It’s obvious that their concerns lie with themselves and who will benefit from the watered down version of the original parts of the bill mention above.

    Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] objected, citing deficit concerns.
    Well, he should look at the “BLACK BUDGET” projects and cut those. Or, have him
    look at Republican pork projects. I AM SURE THAT PIG CAN BE TRIMMED!


  • laughingatthehypocrites 06/18/2010 6:24pm

    It is our own fault. Reading this board makes it very clear why things are how they are. We are still so blind and fooled to think that the titles Reublican or Democrat mean anything. Wake up people and stop falling for the bullshit. They are all in bed together- get over yourself. There has never been a fiscally responsible, reliable or revolutionary Republican OR Democrat. There never will be. Anyone that high up in politics is part of the machine. The sooner the American people stop separating themselves with these stupid, labels- while your precious Republicans and Democrats laugh at your stupid ass- the sooner we will make changes. And all of this, “We will remember in November!” is bullshit. No one remember in November when people voted to put Bush in office again for another 4 years of hell. Fact: 3 mil jobs were eliminated in the US between 2001 and 2004 and were never replaced. Corporations were never penalized for outsourcing. Get real. No president is better than any other.

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    SinCity 06/18/2010 10:57pm

    I understand what ur saying laughingatthehypocrites, I too hate Republican vs Democrat busy body bullshit. BUT, if we would do more than just talk about our concerns and actually increase how many of us vote, we could make a difference. Bush was put into office another 4yrs because too many are still not voting. Too many of us don’t walk the talk.

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    jpocalips1 06/20/2010 6:28am

    Your right on the money pard, they could give a rats-ass if you can’t afford your Kraft Dinner tonight.

  • laughingatthehypocrites 06/18/2010 6:27pm

    The old school way of thinking is killing us slowly everyday. The fossils high up in politics stuck to the old ways are why this country is dying. If you think any wealthy Republican or Democrat gives a shit about you because you mark a box with an elephant or a donkey- you’re a moron. And part of the problem. Get educated, get real and wake up. When people really speak up and really hit them where it hurts- they will listen. Knowledge is power. May God (whatever one you believe in) bless you and yours. We do not deserve this as American people.

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    SinCity 06/18/2010 11:01pm

    The old school way of thinking is slowly dying laughingatthehypocrites. I have a 21yr old; her generation is much more politically educated and they have an edge on technology, they will not be fooled as long as my generation and those before me were.

  • tiredofbeingtired 06/18/2010 7:02pm

    In one word..sad..

  • whywasilaidoff 06/18/2010 7:24pm

    Too bad I was busy working and paying taxes all these years and didn’t have time to watch our legislators at work. Too bad I was laid off even though I had more seniority than most of my coworkers. I get angrier every moment that I watch what happens while the Senators waste precious time and money. Does anyone else yell at the screen when they are telling stories about movies they saw or spending hours wishing happy birthdays? Thank goodness for the Hollywood walk of Fame because that is one of the most importaint issues today. ???!!!
    It makes me mad that my senators voted down this bill. Who are they representing? Get to work for us and do your job!

  • auntmartha 06/19/2010 12:16am

    What is the next step? I know we are all upset, angry, frustrated, scared, enraged and rightly so but I am wondering what can we do peacfully between now and Monday to make this happen? Anything? I would do a peacful march, but time is really important. Another question is why there is virtually NO news coverage at all about this? The oil spill is important, but this is much more so. I did not want to be unemployed none of us did. We have all this technology there must be something positive, peaceful and lawful that we can do. WE NEED UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENTIONS PASSED NOW!!

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  • SinCityBitch 06/19/2010 1:19am

    Oh yea and they will probably NEVER see any of these comments they could care less as long as they have thier steak & lobster everynight they’re cool. This world is coming to it’s end too many AWFUL things are happening at once and then the news talks nothing about this unemployment bullshit they talk about the oil in the water which is all we will have left pretty soon. Now they say the bill might pass by the 4th? WTF? We will ALL be homeless together shyt I’ll meet you at the homeless shelter UNREAL!!! This is honestly depressing I know I’m not the only one praying to God every night about this stupid shyt as well as cry myself to sleep wondering WTF is going on WHY is this shyt happening like this they should care about us more but KARMA’S a bitch you asshole senators just remember that. I hope everyone stays level headed and doesn’t go postal or hey we could all come together,commit felonies and go to prison that way we could eat,have a warm bed,and NOT pay any taxes :)

  • general 06/19/2010 4:30am

    I see They found 648 million to buy helicopters for the Afgan army isn’t that a kick in the balls! I think I’m going to puke!

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  • irishred 06/19/2010 4:44am

    Think about this Congress …without any income coming in for us hundreds of thousand unemployed who have depended on unemployment benefits to pay our house payments, credit card bills, car payments, not to mention the many other bills us unemployed pay…so without this bill being passed there is a strong possibility that the banks once again will fail guess you will have to spend millions bailing them out once again but not us american people ….not to mention the foreclosure rate will once again remain at an all high ..more demand for food stamps …then you will have to spend billions for new homeless shelters…think about it Congress you are messing with people’s lives ..oh not to mention the crime rate will probably increase due to lack of income so people may resort to burglary ..armed robbery just to receive some type of cash flow….so take a long look at the long outcome as you sit your happy ass on capital hill depriving us our much needed income!

  • general 06/19/2010 4:45am go here and sign the petitions.

  • FIreTiger3986 06/19/2010 5:09am

    “Good men must not obey the laws too well…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • conniecrass 06/19/2010 5:35am

    Let’s face it – nobody really cares like we do, we are the ones suffering, we are the ones not seeing a paycheck come through the door as others do. We are being discriminated against in many ways. For example, you try to find a job and you are told that they have enough apps to choose from – do not apply, you are asking everyone for a job, you get denied, you look in the papers, you look on the internet, there are way too many people who are in our shoes. UNEMPLOYED. Bottom line we are going to lose everything we own if something does not change and it’s going to hurt our economy in the long run. Either way we are all screwed until they bring back jobs for us LEGAL AMERICANS. Nothing is really selling on the internet so you can’t count on that as stable income. We ALL NEED A BREAK! I really don’t like living with this CHANGE!!

  • bytetek 06/19/2010 5:44am

    I’m with you folks. I’m near the age to draw Social Security. I’m a highly skilled Computer tech with many years experience doing desktop support. Now employers want fresh young inexperienced techs at near minimum wages. I’ve been searching for a year this month for a job. I would accept anything that would pay transportation + minimum wages. I’ve had a couple interviews but no offers.
    I don’t blame the Republicans for refusing to sign the bill as it is written. Joe Leberman(I) and Ben Nelson (D) can’t support it either. Harry Reid [D, NV] and his ilk have packed so much Pork in everything that it has to stop somewhere. Harry! Clean out the Pork and get us some relief NOW!

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