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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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Comments

Displaying 91-120 of 185 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    notstupid 07/01/2010 5:40am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    If you are a disabled veteran, you have income.

    Again, the upside down flag reprsenets ‘distress’, again, how appropriate. Mine will be upside down. This will GET THEIR ATTENTION.

  • Ktula7 07/01/2010 5:12am

    ddiaz, I agree…united we stand, divided we fall! The flag represents everything we are…We are the land of the free, the home of the brave! Be proud not of your government, but of who we are as a nation! Don’t let them break your spirits! Have faith and hang in there…I believe that things will work out. I’m proud to be a part of all of you and what you stand for! I think this is only going to make us a better nation! This has finally made us pay attention to what goes on in our government. We can’t change things we don’t pay attention to. So, now we know…Lets stand together and make this right! It may take time, but in the end, we will have our day! To all of you hard working Americans, may God bless you and your families and get you thru just one more week! United we stand, divided we fall! Happy 4th everyone!

  • Comm_reply
    notstupid 07/01/2010 5:38am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Do you have income?

    The upside down flag represents ‘distress’, how appropriate. Mine WILL be upside down. The flag represented who we ‘were’, not who we are. Turning the flag upside down GETS THEIR ATTENTION.

  • pondview61 07/01/2010 5:16am

    reid says how can the republicans go home knowing they rejuected how can eother party go home its both their fault for letting politics get in the way verses helping the very own people that put them there!!!!

  • shannwil 07/01/2010 5:24am

    I am so disgusted with America right now it turns my stomach we have billions for 2 wars, bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, but when it comes to the middle class whose jobs were outsourced thanks to NAFTA none of them give a damn and now all of a sudden the deficit is a concern. How are we lazy when you all are the ones who made it easy for the jobs to leave the country WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN? HAPPY FUCKING FOURTH OF JULY REPUBLICANS YOU HEARTLESS NO SOUL HAVING SON OF A BITCHES!!!!!!!!

  • starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:34am

    Ok, I have been following this for weeks on end…I’ve HAD IT!

    These public servants have MORE than crossed the line forever and a day. This time it’s personal. YOU BASTARDS THINK ITS OK TO GO ON RECESS???!!!! You CAN’T be serious! You do your DAMNED JOBS, THEN you may have the privilege of a paid vacation!

    The people that have paid for your holiday are losing their homes and scrounging for food because of your blatant, self-absorbed, pompous delusions of grandeur! Your heads should be hung in shame and guillotined for the horrid acts of robbery, neglect, inhumane acts and for the lies you had inflated your resumes with (Obviously, you lied about your qualifications because when it comes to your ability to do your job, you are inept). There is no excuse for your actions! People in other countries die for much less than what you’re guilty of.

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 07/01/2010 8:23am

    I call it treason.

  • Comm_reply
    NewOakie 07/01/2010 8:25am

    More like survival.

    Jefferson said (paraphrasing), “There should be a revolution every generation.”

    The time is nearing.

  • desperatentx 07/01/2010 5:35am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    my baby has her 3 birthday on the 12th of july and has told me she wants a big girl bike says her legs are long and strong i can barely feed her much less get her a birthday gift! this is more sickening now than it was before! must i turn myself into someone im not…a THIEF!!! i dont understand how these people continue to sleep at night and enjoy their square meals while they continue to make us suffer!!! how about i put my two yr old on the phone so she can ask for her birthday wish from you? what will you tell her? would that soften your heart a little bit indepedence day is approaching and yet has no meaning!!!! may God bless everyone and your families who continue to be in the same situation im in!

  • starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:35am

    The Dems shouldn’t have attached so much pork to the original bill to begin with. They were acting selfishly from the beginning. And you can’t tell me they couldn’t CLEARLY see this situation coming from the get go…they had their own agenda with this.

    The Republicans are trying to use the “We need to stop overspending” crap as if they really care about it. If they really cared about it, there wouldn’t have been so much of a friggin’ shopping spree already! And of ALL THINGS to pick and argue the overspending with, they choose taking care of AMERICANS (for once) and feeding our own people, making sure they don’t end up on the streets, etc to be the “EXTRA SPENDING”???!!!!!!!

  • starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:37am

    Public servants (they can CALL themselves politicians…I call it like it is) should be handled like we do domesticated animals…When my dog first became a member of the family, he tried to jostle for power (as do all packing animals). I quickly made it clear who actually ran this house and HE was not the one! He was reminded of his position whenever he had a moment of amnesia. Congress has been an unminded animal for awhile.

    This is what we get for our complacency. However, I have a solution!

  • starfishncoffee 07/01/2010 5:38am

    I’d be more than happy (as a “few” of you would) to step in during their recess and get the job done…don’t even HAVE to pay me…just make sure the congressmen aren’t paid either. Consider them furlough days (which many state employees are forced to take to “cut costs”) days off without pay. That should help pay for some of the benefit payments in itself.

    Oh yeah, we should find a cheaper place for Pelosi and let her know she’ll have to pay for 40% of the travel costs she incurs as well. Hey, just THAT in itself, if extended to the rest of Congress may be enough to pay for the UI in FULL. Imagine THAT!

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 07/01/2010 8:25am

    Damm I like the way you think.

  • DeborahJBrown 07/01/2010 5:49am

    Is anyone really surprised by this? They’ve been deliberately stalling waiting for this next vacation to arrive so they use the same excuse as last time – they ran out of time before their break.

    I have been a registered Republican since 1972 and my Republican party has completely convinced me that they do not represent the people, they represent the party. I seriously doubt they are even reading any of these bills – why bother their affiliates will tell them how to vote. Republicans in Congress demonstrate over and over again that they are NOT leaders, they are followers. I will not vote for another Republican until he/she can demonstrate some level of independent thinking as opposed to a dictated collective mind. Are there any INDEPENDENTS out there willing to represent the people? There is no time like the present to run for office as an Independent – YOU CAN WIN! YOU WILL WIN. The American public wants to rid our government of party sheep who not represent the people.

  • DeborahJBrown 07/01/2010 5:50am

    Is anyone really surprised by this? They’ve been deliberately stalling waiting for this next vacation to arrive so they use the same excuse as last time – they ran out of time before their break. I have been a registered Republican since 1972 and my Republican party has completely convinced me that they do not represent the people, they represent the party. I seriously doubt they are even reading any of these bills – why bother their affiliates will tell them how to vote. Republicans in Congress demonstrate over and over again that they are NOT leaders, they are followers. I will not vote for another Republican until he/she can demonstrate some level of independent thinking as opposed to a dictated collective mind. Are there any INDEPENDENTS out there willing to represent the people? There is no time like the present to run for office as an Independent – YOU CAN WIN! YOU WILL WIN. The American public wants to rid our government of party sheep who not represent the people.

  • DeborahJBrown 07/01/2010 5:54am

    Is anyone really surprised by this? Republicans deliberately stalled waiting for this next vacation so they use the same lame excuse as last time – they ran out of time before break. I have been a registered Republican since 1972 and Republicans have completely convinced me that they do NOT represent the people, they represent the party. I seriously doubt they are even reading any of these bills – why bother when their affiliates will tell them how to vote? Republicans in Congress demonstrate over and over again that they are NOT leaders, they are followers. I will NOT vote for another Republican until he/she can demonstrate some level of independent thinking as opposed to a dictated collective mind. Are there any INDEPENDENTS out there willing to represent the people? THERE IS NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT FOR AN INDEPENDENT TO RUN FOR OFFICE! You CAN win! You WILL win! The American public wants to rid ourselves of a government of followers who represent their party and not the people!

  • Comm_reply
    jpocalips1 07/01/2010 8:27am

    Point taken after 3 posting’s , easy turbo.

  • Comm_reply
    NewOakie 07/01/2010 8:57am

    Stop trying to moderate people, jpocalips1.

    These are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary action.

  • danijos 07/01/2010 5:57am

    Where in hell do they get off leaving so early? they should have been told they couldnt leave for recess til the bill was voted on, better yet til it was Passed, and why do they get til the 12th off? No one who did have a job got that kind of time off with Pay! Most of them look healthy enough to stay and try to make progress with this bill, Really they look like they have been Eating Well while others are Starving and trying to find ways to Feed their Families. They are a Bunch of Over Weight, Under Worked, Over Paid Slobs and do Nothing for the Out of Work Americans who Gave them the Seat which their Fat Ass Sits on! God Bless all of you in this situation that the gov’t put us in, because WE sure as Hell didnt do this!

  • danijos 07/01/2010 5:59am

    Where in hell do they get off leaving so early? they should have been told they couldnt leave for recess til the bill was voted on, better yet til it was Passed, and why do they get til the 12th off? No one who did have a job got that kind of time off with Pay! Most of them look healthy enough to stay and try to make progress with this bill, Really they look like they have been Eating Well while others are Starving and trying to find ways to Feed their Families. They are a Bunch of Over Weight, Under Worked, Over Paid Slobs and do Nothing for the Out of Work Americans who Gave them the Seat which their Fat Ass Sits on! God Bless all of you in this situation that the gov’t put us in, because WE sure as Hell didnt do this!

  • lilray 07/01/2010 6:01am

    FLAG WILL BE HUNG UPSIDE DOWN!!!! I URGE YOU ALL TO DO THE SAME. WE ARE THE PEOPLE , BUT IF WE DONT START SHOWING THESE PEOPLE WE MEAN BUSINESS… NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!!!!

    I AM DISGUSTED BY THIS COUNTRY WE BRAG SO MUCH ABOUT. LAND OF THE FREE, YEA FREE AND POOR. ITS WHATEVER NOW, BUT LIKE I SAID EVERY VOICE COUNTS. THIS IS WHY THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO THIS TO US…. BECAUSE WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.

    UPSIDE DOWN FLAGS ALL WEEKEND AND DONT BUY ANYTHING BUT THE THINGS YOU NEED TO SURVIVE!

    MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL AND MAY GOD PROTECT US!

  • weneedjobznow 07/01/2010 6:07am

    I’m not even angry anymore and I was not surprised when I saw that they hadn’t got this sh*t done yet. We can’t keep just sitting around talking about what we’re gonna do in November…This is only July and I don’t know about the rest of you but,voting these jerks out in November ain’t gonna help those of us who need help RIGHT NOW. I know what I gotta do in November, but what can we do collectively as a people now? Protesting on the web and in small numbers ain’t gonna do it. Wherever I see something going on Georgia that’s protesting I’m going.It’s almost like we’re lab rats in a cage and their doing experiments to see how we react to this shit. We are all united now because of our employment situation.I only wish we could be like this in good times as well.This unemployment thing has not discriminated as it has hit white,black,those with low and high paying jobs-it doesn’t matter. I don’t know you all individually but, I have love and respect for you.God help us.

  • MrHappy 07/01/2010 6:07am

    I am so sick. I see stories like this and BOTH parties make me sick

    Treasury gets $10.5B from Citigroup share sales
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hC6WuB084CdoSbdQuP1SJrqe8IowD9GMAAEO0

    Weekly jobless claims rise unexpectedly
    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/106685-weekly-jobless-claims-rise-unexpectedly-

    Financials fall on jobless data, recovery worries
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/financial-stocks-fall-on-jobs-recovery-worries-2010-07-01?reflink=MW_news_stmp

    Both sides knew this would happen, they are both going to hit each other over the head with it. Both sides are trying to when, but the unemployed are the real losers.

    And I wasted 20 years of my life defending this country.

    Tomorrow they will lie about the true unemployment numbers again. I bet they say %9.9 or so. I think closer to %20, but they would never tell you that.

  • lisajoy2675 07/01/2010 6:10am

    Wait a minute….their recess was supposed to be from July 5 through July 11….IT’S JULY 1st! It’s bad enough that they’ve been pulling this “let’s push the envelope a little longer” every single time unemployment extensions have come up for “renewal”, but now they’re a month past when it should have been taken care of AND they’ve left for “recess” early?!?!?! I’ll tell you this, no employer would allow his staff to take off two days early until all matters had been taken care. THIS is not having all matters taken care of. THIS is leaving millions of Americans without a leg to stand on during a time of year when we’re supposed to be celebrating all the things our country stands for. You don’t just take a side because it’s the side you’re supposed to be on, you take a stand regardless of Dem or Republican and you do what’s right for the people who voted you in to the spot you now have….the spot that allows you to go on “recess” 2 days early. I’m sickened.

  • icare2010 07/01/2010 6:10am

    I come from a long line of conservative Democrats, and in recent years had seriously considered converting to the Republican party due to the liberal takeover of the Democratic party. But, over & over in my mind I could hear my grandmother yrs ago telling me “All the Republicans will ever do is get you into debt & war”, and God bless & rest her soul she was right! Bush & his Republican buddies had 8 yrs of control and look at the mess they made. And now the Republicans repeatedly block a “life line” for millions before leaving for vacation….Shame on all of you Republicans. One thing this has taught me – I will be an independent for the rest of my life before I will EVER become a Republican.

  • DeborahJBrown 07/01/2010 6:13am

    I have been a registered Republican since 1972, a loyal supporter but I can’t support this kind of thing. It’s becoming way too obvious that it’s not about the bill, it’s about stalling, going on break after break, avoiding accomplishment, avoiding resolution. I don’t get it – my party isn’t offering any ideas or suggestions and there IS a job crisis… I just don’t see my party representing the people – I see them as blindly casting votes that are being dictated by a party and focusing on waging war between parties rather than on compromise and addressing important issues. I really hope that some Independents decide to run this year. If ever there were a time when Independents are needed and had a real chance of winning it is now. We need Independent to break the stalemates and end the civil war between Republicans and Democrats… United we stand, but divided we fall..

  • Houselogic 07/01/2010 6:18am

    Civil War….. LoL in case you haven’t noticed we have been in a civil war scince the 60’s

  • lorie33952 07/01/2010 6:19am

    Hayward can’t leave for part of a day to spend with his family after 2months of the horrible oil spill but these guys take off over a week when we have no food and loosing our homes. whats that about?

  • dsalvat1 07/01/2010 6:21am

    This country is lost, the right wingers think that being poor is a disease and it needs to be eradicated, the democrats do nothing to solve issues. Really, what happened to this country? A country that used to get things done? This is not welfare, this is JOB INSURANCE.
    Should we all opt out of Job Insurance now? Since it does not protect us from being unemployed? If the right is blocking the bill, what is the solution? Get a Job on a saturated Job market?
    We need a comprehensive solution, not just “no’s”. The little guy cannot fail, no little guy, no big companies to buy from, nobody to make money from.

  • lm75 07/01/2010 6:21am

    This is shocking! I can’t believe Congress would allow this to happen. I blame both the Republicans and the Democrats. This bill would have been passed (or another similar UI bill) if either side hadn’t been so damn stubborn and was willing to COMPROMISE a little bit. But no, it’s politics as usual in Washington and as a result the unemployed Americans suffer. Pathetic!

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