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GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill, Senate Leaves for July 4th Recess

June 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

For the fourth time in a month, Senate Democrats on Wednesday night failed to win enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 4213). After the failed vote, the Senate adjourned for recess until July 12th.

“It is beyond disappointing that Republicans continue to stand almost lockstep against assistance for out-of-work Americans – especially since many of these same Republicans spent months protecting Wall Street and preserving tax cuts for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas,” Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] said after the vote.

The final tally was 58-38. 60 votes were needed under Senate rules to pass the motion on breaking the filibuster known as “cloture”. Majority Leader Reid voted “no” on the bill in order to preserve his right under Senate rules to bring the bill up again in the future for another vote, so the Democrats were actually just one vote shy of passing the motion. Republicans Sen. Susan Collins [ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [ME] voted with Democrats in favor of the bill. Conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans agains it.

Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH] said after the vote that he would have provided the one vote Democrats needed to pass the cloture motion if some of it was paid for with money from the stimulus bill. “In order to move forward, yesterday I told Leader Reid that I would support extending unemployment insurance if Democrats would be willing to use some of the estimated $40 billion in unspent stimulus monies to help offset at least half of the stand-alone unemployment insurance extension," Voinovich said. “He flatly rejected this request even though Democratic Leadership was going to take $10 billion from the stimulus to help pay for business tax breaks just last week.”

After the vote, Reid said that the Senate will not vote on the bill again until a replacement for recently-deceased Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV] is seated in the Senate. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D) is in charge of appointing a replacement and he will likely do so over the July 4th recess.

By the time the Senate reconvenes on July 12, data from the Labor Department suggests that more than 2 million unemployed Americans will see their unemployment insurance benefits cut off due to the Republicans’ objections to the extension bill. Benefits began expiring for people on June 1st when the last extension of the benefits expired. Before then, unemployed individual were eligible for up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits under an extended, four-tier federal program created by the 2009 stimulus bill. Now that the federal program has been allowed to expire, newly unemployed individuals are eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of state-provided benefits.

Still, people who have had their benefits cut off in the past month should expect to become eligible once again for the full 99 weeks and to have their lost benefits paid back to them retroactively. Wednesday’s vote makes it clear that as soon as a replacement for Byrd is seated in the Senate, the Democrats will have the 60 votes they need to overcome Republican opposition and pass the bill.

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Displaying 31-60 of 185 total comments.

  • notstupid 07/01/2010 1:24am

    15,000,000 UNEMPLOYED


    15,000,000 VOTES

  • Comm_reply
    worrieddaddy 07/01/2010 8:28am

    That could not be any more clear! United we stand, alone we will fail people!!! Let our voices be heard. Let our pains be felt! This is OUR country. We the people have the vote so make it freagan count America!

  • Comm_reply
    NewOakie 07/01/2010 8:41am

    By November I’LL BE HOMELESS!!!

    Shall I ask Congress to put on the strap on again?

    Just the kind of attitude our government hopes for – blind obedience and fear.

  • Comm_reply
    Jude 07/01/2010 10:58am

    15,000,000 + their friends and loved ones equal a lot of lost votes. I have been a republican for over thirty years, no more!! These politicans are only that – blood sucking leeches. Their constituents are only considered during election time.

  • notstupid 07/01/2010 1:25am


  • shansen40 07/01/2010 1:49am

    I’m just as dissapointed as the next person. I have been without benefits since May 29. We can have the last say in November, but, you need to know who is up for re-election. You can find that out by finding the senator and seeing his term in office.

  • Kelgar 07/01/2010 1:54am

    Ok there might be some lazy people on unemployment not looking for a job. If so audit them more often. I got an idea create a job as a auditor so they could audit others not doing what they are suppose to be doing. I haven’t even been audited once in a year and a half. What does that say for oversight? I think that if your unemployed and your actively looking for work or going to school like I am full time, you should be able to collect either until your schooling is done or within a reasonable time for a 2 year degree or you should be on the road applying everywhere or seeking training. Period!! No lazy asses or drug addicts making all the other unemployed look bad. I know what I have said is part of the argument. I said earlier WAR on the people that didn’t vote this in but I see the areas that need fixed also. Like auditing. I am kind of glad it didn’t get voted in now when I get my degree and a job and the economy collapses I can go out and buy that new Silverado a lot cheaper.

  • chelly 07/01/2010 2:33am

    I don’t even know what to say anymore. I don’t understand why this is not a huge issue.The unemployment rate is high PERIOD! There should not even be a disagreement on this issue. I don’t think congress should have been allowed to go on a 10 day vacation until they figured this out! Don’t they know that by July 12th people will have no homes?This is insane, how can they be so heartless!

  • CindyPMI 07/01/2010 2:48am

    Do they really think those that haven’t had money coming in since June 1st have money hidden somewhere that will take them until the middle of August when the retroactive money will hit?? $300/week does not leave any to put into a savings for later spending!!!!! And won’t the $4.5 billion that won’t be going back into the economy really hurt those businesses that are trying to stay afloat now? No tax reduction is going to help that!!!! More businesses will fail (local mom and pop stores especially), more people will be unemployed. If they are so up on just staying with “creating more jobs”, do it now! Not jobs that will be coming to town in a couple years, we need jobs NOW, or we need the government behind us NOW!

    And…they really don’t care if they’re voted out in November. They’ve put their time in, they will NEVER have to rely on doing honest work again in their lives. They have a cushy retirement and health-care package that they’ve voted themselves into.

  • 2tickedoff 07/01/2010 3:04am

    No cares no one is listening, no one is hiring, I’ve written the senators, and big suprise they coul careless, I tried to hold out for hope, hope doesn’t pay the bills or put food on my table, or help me sleep at night. This is all a game to the Republicans and I am tired of being treated as less than by some and a pawn by others. I said it before, nothing left but to check out, at least the county will cover the cost of cremation, I won’t be anymore of an embarassment to the my family.

  • honeyfire 07/01/2010 3:04am

    I know that this is hard. I am in the same position. But I beg all of you to hold on. I look in my child’s eyes and I still can see joy and life in her face because she has no clue of what is really going on in our household. It gives me strength. I pray for peace and fortitude for all of us. Now I will not let this time of suffering be in vain. I am going to march, vote out and help boot out those in Congress that have lost touch with reality. We need to find out how to get their salaries changed. In the past I have worked two and three jobs to provide for my family. I also help pay for the salaries of congressmen They have health care I don’t. They have retirement I have had to spend and live off mine so I don’t. They can bounce checks I can’t. Are we sure we live in a democracy. Or are they the new royal family! Maybe we need to crash some Fourth of july celebrations and feed our hungry families.

  • callmoore 07/01/2010 3:08am

    Action will be the only thing that works here, words have fallen on deaf ears !!! A vacation ???? Wow this is straight out of George Orwells 1984

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    Houselogic 07/01/2010 6:15am

    I agree, for some reason these men and women have lost touch with the rest of us. I can see how after HARD work on sitting in an air conditioned building, hitting on female staffers and male pages one would need a vacation. I give up, i don’t for see them passing anything. For me the time for beggin and pleading is over. I will show them by my actions.

  • jdenz 07/01/2010 3:08am

    There’s another issue here. I’m disappointed in OpenCongress for attempting to sway people against the Republicans when the Democrats are at as much fault as the Republicans in this case. My unemployment will run out because of this inaction. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. The Senate, House, and Executive branches of government let me down … hung me out to dry, if you will. It feels like some sick experiment for these wealthy leaders to see what’ll happen to me if they cut the program.

    It’s a bad idea for us to rely on wealthy people to run the important programs we need. That’s blindingly obvious right now.

  • Comm_reply
    comments11660 07/01/2010 3:32am

    I call them Republicrats!

  • thumper 07/01/2010 3:10am

    Simply unbelieveable Sure there are some clowns out there praying that the bill gets passed because thats all they want is “free” money Then there are others like myself who have been actively/currently looking for employment, and I’m not talking something out there just to work I mean a job that can help sustain my 13 year old Daughter my 6 month old myself and my wife she works So as The we are elected to represent who Senate goes on VACATION I wonder while they are sitting back guzzling down drinks and chubbing up that beltline how many will think did I really make the right decision and just when a thought comes into there head wallah someone will say “was that steak or chicken you wanted” and poof it’s gone they are back in who gives a shit land. I hope my house gets foreclosed on and my car repossed I hope I live on the streets and become so destitute that it all becomes so numb that I just don’t care any more Wrong I will still seek employment. I ask the Senate what will you do?

  • originalfrostedflakes 07/01/2010 3:10am

    I woke up this morning to find that my phone service has been suspended. I have my number on every application and resume that has been submitted to potential employers. I’m a single mother with two children. Does Congress not understand that we are not lazy and that we NEED this money to pay monthly expenses just to survive and have the resources to find work? There are no jobs. I spoke with a manager for a McDonalds in my area and he told me that he has over forty applications for one part time crew member position which needs filled. This is crazy. I have my e-mail address on my resume as well, but what potential employer is going to bother to e-mail after they have placed a phone call to a number that has been disconnected??? An unpaid bill = An irresponsible person to them. The citizens of this country are in serious danger as my situation can happen to ANYONE! Pray hard, people. We’re all at the mercy of evil spirits commonly referred to as Congress!

  • Comm_reply
    worrieddaddy 07/01/2010 8:50am

    Very true Ms. Flakes! I just went over my budget as I cam across your post and ironically my cell phone has become one of the most important bills on my budget. Without the resources provide with EIC how the hell can we stay a-float and keep our families fed?! And like you said, places like McDonald’s are over flowing with applications, especially due to it being summer and high school kids are out of schools. It breaks my heart knowing I was beat out for a job not because of lack of experience but for the complete opposite and due to the company taking the cheaper route by higher someone with little or no credentials. God save America, because I feel we are in the hands of a Devilish organization!

  • fedup65 07/01/2010 3:10am

    It is really sad….. all the money this country spends on illegal immagrants in welfare, foodstamps,medicaid, wic and who knows what else you give them with their 5 plus children (their attitude~~ more babies means more money) while their “illegal men” are out working for cash as little as $6 hour not paying taxes…. but if you are a us citizen laid off after paying taxes your whole working life and doing what is right… and now are in need…well looks like your just shit out of luck!!! nice job republicans!

  • noel132123 07/01/2010 3:12am

    I think that they should not go out on vacation either. I think that they should stay their ass here and get it right I was up all night getting the people who voted no on this bill there phone number so that we can call all of them.Ben Nelson-1-402-391-3411,Sessions(AL)-1-334-244-7017,Shelby(AL)-1-334-223-7303,Murkowski(AK)-1-907-271-3735,Kyl(AR)-1-602-840-1891,McCain(AR)-1-602-952-5410,LeMieux(FL)-1-407-254-2573,Chambliss(GA)-1-706-650-1555,Isakson(GA)-1770-661-0999,Crapo(ID)-1-208-334-1776,Risch(ID)-1-208-342-7985,Lugar(IN)-1-260-422-1505,Grassley(IA)-1-515-288-1145,Brownback(KS)-1-316-264-8066,Roberts(KS)-1-316-263-0416,Bunning(KY)-1-859-341-2602,McConnell(KY)-1-502-582-6304,Vitter(LA)-1-225-383-0331,Brown(MA)-1-617-565-3170,Cochran(MS)-1-601-965-4459,Wicker(MS)-1-601-965-4644,Bond(MO)-1-816-471-7141,Johanns(NE)-1-402-476-1400,Ensign(NV)-1-702-388-6605,Gregg(NH)-1-603-225-7115,Burr(NC)-1-828-350-2437,Coburn(OK)-1918-581-7651,Inhofe(OK)-1-918-748-5111

  • Comm_reply
    noel132123 07/01/2010 3:25am

    Demint(SC)-1-843-727-4525,Graham(SC)-1-864-250-1417,Thune(SD)-1-605-334-9596,ALexander(TN)-1-615-736-5129,Corker(TN)-1-615-279-8125,Cornyn(TX)-1-972-239-1310,Hutchinson(TX)-1-210-340-2885,Bennett(UT)-1-801-524-5933,Hatch(UT)-1-801-524-4380,Barrasso(WY)-1-307-856-6642,Enzi(WY)-1-307-682-6268,Voinovich(OH)-1-216-522-7095.These are the numbers of the senators who voted no on last nights bill for the unemployment I say give them a call and speak your minds and tell them that theyneed not go on vacation because we need them to pass this bill. I would like to add that this is all a tactic that there doing so they get elected in November Don’t vote for any of them Because they don’t give a flying f&*$ about us. Please visit and give these senators a call it just be the last resort.

  • Comm_reply
    comments11660 07/01/2010 3:30am

    Hutchison won’t respond to email inquiries on this issue. I’ve emailed her without even the respect of a notice saying she received the email. Cronyn did respond by letting me know he received the email. I wonder if Hutchison even listens when people call her office?

  • Comm_reply
    jbbeesley 07/01/2010 7:24am

    Who in the hell will vote for them?? How many people are related or knows someone who is unemployed or is unemployed?? I have a HUGE family of 100+ do you think they are going to vote for someone who could careless about the American people…??? EVERYONE is going to be affected by this not just the unemployed.. Businesses included.. If people don’t have the money to spend, then I expect a serious economic downturn within a month…

  • Comm_reply
    bksue1 07/01/2010 3:30am

    Ben Nelson is a disgrace to the Democratic party and to America! Shame on you Ben, you P.O.S.!!!

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 07/01/2010 7:41am

    Bill Nelson, should beg forgiveness to every jobless American citizen, that he sold down the river yesterday. How he could look in the mirror this morning, is beyond me. This poor excuse for a man, couldn’t possibly have a soul. Do the country a favor, and remove yourself from office. May you one day, suffer the the injustice, you’ve imposed on the unemployed.

  • Comm_reply
    SBarnes 07/01/2010 7:47am

    FYI…Bill Nelson is from Florida and is a Democrat that voted Yes for extending unemployment…Ben Nelson is from a state out west – also a Democrat – and voted No – I believe this is who you mean…and if so, I agree with you!

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 8:32am

    Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

    REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat a proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.

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    NewOakie 07/01/2010 8:44am

    “The New York Times” has been writing about it constantly. As have several other major newspapers.

    MSNBC has aired pieces.

    CNN’s head is up its butt with constant coverage of the oil spill and broadcasting the Spill-Cam.

  • downandout 07/01/2010 3:14am

    Once again, like many others I watched in anticipation on C-SPAN as we Americans were again denied any hope of having our unemployment extended. BOTH parties are to blame for this. I understand that the Republicans are the ultimate bad guy here, but just for once, when the vote failed, Reid could have given in and voted on the 2 month extension proposed by McConnell. That would have at least given us a lifeline until Congress can decide what they should Americans for a change or continue just to help everyone else in the world. I no longer am proud to live in this country and that makes me sad. I hope that this holiday weekend when the members of Congress are at their parties, watching fireworks, etc., that they think at least once about the CHILD of an unemployed American who will not get to see fireworks or even have a hot dog because they continue to be bipartisan and stubborn. We will NEVER forget nor forgive this lack of caring you have displayed recently.

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    noel132123 07/01/2010 3:29am

    look man they don’t give a f%$# about poor and unemployed I have been poor all my life but I still worked. Then I lost my job the fact is that they did care about us before so they diffently not gonna care bout us now.

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