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GOP Blocks One-Year Unemployment Extension, Wants Spending-Cut Offsets

November 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

On Tuesday afternoon, Democrats called on the Senate to pass the Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act under the expedited unanimous consent procedure. As expected, Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA], acting on behalf of all Republicans, objected and will force a full-fledged debate on the issue that will likely last several weeks and be rolled together with unrelated tax issues. Federal unemployment benefits expire today for millions of long-term unemployed workers.

The bill Democrats tried to pass today would extend federal unemployment benefits until January 3, 2012. Because its costs (approx. $54 billion) are not offset, there was never much of a chance that the Republicans would allow the bill to go through so easily. Republicans have repeatedly said they want to pay for unemployment benefits with corresponding spending cuts (something that’s never been done) before they’ll vote for it, and because the Democrats don’t have a filibuster-proof majority they have a god deal of leverage for enforcing their position.

Immediately after objecting to unanimous consent, Sen. Brown turned the table and called for unanimous-consent passage of a one-year unemployment extension that is fully paid for by rescinding unspent non-security appropriations. Democrats objected.

The most likely scenario at this point is that the unemployment extension will be added to a bill to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts. Obama said today that unemployment benefits were mentioned in a bipartisan meeting on the tax cuts. Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT], who proposed the one-year extension bill that was rejected today, will lead the Democrats in the tax cut negotiations.

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Displaying 91-97 of 97 total comments.

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:31am

    well to my Mom’s in Tennessee anyway, after job hunting in Cali was not panning out after six months of looking. My seamstress job was losing steam; nothing to sew if no one is buying new clothes. By this point our funds were running pitifully low and it was get out now or risk losing our apartment and car and having no money left.Tennessee was a bust, no jobs. We stretched out our feelers into surrounding states.
    We got lucky. Hubby got a job at AT&T. Nothing like what he used to do. Instead of managing within a large, successful corporation he now sells cellphones. We consider ourselves lucky after a year+ with no real income. Cali unemployment left us hanging frequently and painfully with no money at all, due to inter office screwups and such. They kept claiming hubby had not signed his forms or had filled them out incorrectly.

    To be continued…

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:32am


    Hmmm, strange since I always double checked them to be sure everything was as should be. They ended up getting things so screwed up and behind that at the end we were overpaid. It was all very confusing with so many months of forms arriving at once. We ended up getting two checks that we should not have and when we realized the snafu we contacted unemployment to pay back the money…it was only the following month…and what do they do? They hit us up with doubling the money owed by tacking on penalties. We called them! We called them to straighten out the issue and they penalize us!? What about the six months that we had no money for rent, or food or medicine for our sick little girl who came down with H1N1, because of their screw-ups?

    To be continued…

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:34am


    Anywaaaay, that aside…
    We are somewhat back on our feet. Hubby is doing well at his job, we are more-or-less on top of the bills and getting by again. Still no job for me. When did it happen that employers started wanting a degree to answer phones? And my favorite turn down conversation:…“You’re used to making much more than what we can pay, sorry we can’t use you”…“I didn’t specify any amount, I’ll take whatever you can offer”…“I’m sorry we can’t do that”…What? SeriouslyWe’ve decided that I’ll just keep on with the “domestic goddess” thing…sounds so much nicer than housewife or homemaker :)
    …Daycare, another car payment, gas and clothing would just suck up all that income anyway. I’ll just keep on plugging away at Etsy.
    My concern now is what do I do about my family?
    My Dad is 72.
    My Mom is 70.
    My brother is 51
    …all unemployed.

    To be continued…

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:35am


    My brother served in the Army, can’t find work of any kind and his health is not so great. He came back from his stint “unwell”.
    My Dad has worked within the car sales industry, in the financing end, for nearly 40 years. He has applied for everything under the sun, but due to his age and employment background, and earnings history, he keeps getting turned down…his benefits are nearly expired.
    My Mom worked for the wonderful Walmart for over 10 years…they’ve been cleaning house of all “retirement age” employess in any way that they can.

    My Mom was fired for being 1 minute late to leave for her lunch break.

    Let me clarify..not for being late to return, but late to go to lunch because she was helping a customer. She was lucky to get her unemployment…Walmart fought hard against it. Her benefits are expiring soon also.

    To be continued…

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:38am


    We have a small one bedroom apartment in Charlotte, NC and a tight and very used up income. I want to help my family. I won’t leave them in the cold. They are welcome to my bed, my couch my floor, my food, my heater. But how do I afford to care for them. They have eaten through the meager savings while supplementing their unemployment. They weren’t living high on the hog either, just getting by.
    We live in a nice, respectable, low crime area of Charlotte, but just this morning their were two car break-ins just outside my front door. Last week their were three apartment break-ins.
    I have a distinct and dark feeling that this is just the beginning…

    Thank you for listening…I realize my post is quite long (verbose even…hahaha), I’m just glad that their is a forum where I can be heard and where I can speak out to Congress and Senators…I have much to say.
    Thank you for being here Open Congress!

  • Comm_reply
    Syraminx 12/02/2010 8:02am

    Whoops…please forgive my typos and misspellings…I was on a rant and forgot to spell check… :)

  • cathymorris 12/03/2010 10:19am

    Those of us who are on the extended State Benefits and are losing them. What I have to say is WE ALSO PAY TAXES with our UNEMPLOYMENT Checks and My Wish is that all the CONGRESSMAN who will not help us. Should also lose their income and paychecks let them see how we live and feel. And worring about how I will feed my daughters this week and pay my bills.
    I also am 50 and have worked my whole life and since March of 2009 have not been able to find a job. Go to a Job Fair at least 70% are over the age of 40.
    I have been on interviews and still don’t have a job.Looking for a Job is a FULL TIME JOB.

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