OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

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.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


Displaying 61-90 of 97 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    BenjaWiz 12/01/2010 6:16am

    great point made in this statement above.

  • stella87 12/01/2010 2:36am

    My husband lost his job just like alot of people and collected unemployment for about 30 weeks and still could not find a job making close to what he was making. But he hated the fact we were living off the government. He was bringing in $1200 a month on unemployment and it was not easy but we were making it, so he went out and found a job making $8.50 an hour almost the same as unemployment. He found the job in less then one day of looking. He did that while he still looked for a better job and thankfully he found one. Its not easy but unlike the government we cut cut cut our spending. To me my kids Christmas was not wonderful last year. But if you ask them now they would tell you it was!!!! Our story may be unusual, but living without the nonessentials is easier then people think.

  • Comm_reply
    stella87 12/01/2010 4:14am

    What I should have said was if you can make it on unemployment you can find a low paying job and still make it.(they are out there) As a country we cannot afford more spending. Do I agree we need to help people, yes, but what we really need is to help ourselves!!!!! And lets not forget the Rep’s alone did not cause this both parties have to take the blame and so do we. We have kept same these people in office for way too long. Look back to the last 50 years in our history and see who has had control in both or one of houses the majority of the time. This problem began a long time ago!!!! Not just with the last president!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    TheDutchess 12/01/2010 5:39am

    Stella, what do you say to someone who’s mortgage is $1486 per month and they only receive 1600 per month, have a kid in college & one in high school. That’s just the mortgage without even mentioning the other bills. What about the fact that the banks are not even working with you anymore and you are still behind in payments. Should that person give up the home even though they will walk away with nothing because they owe so much? Is that person supposed to go live in a shelter? What happens after that? The person still haven’t gotten any job offers, so what’s next?

  • Comm_reply
    stella87 12/02/2010 2:02am

    Dear Dutchess, if that is the case then how does the money you get from unemployment help? You can make the same amount with a low paying job so why should the government keep helping? and when does it end? I also have one in college and middle school and guess what unfortuatly my son has to pay for his own higher education, just like my husband and I did. My son works and goes to school and has some student loans. That just like us he will have to pay back later! It is great to get higher education but we are not entitled to it!!!

  • Comm_reply
    TheDutchess 12/02/2010 12:11pm

    stella87, Answer me this question: If you had a daughter that was alone, walking down the street, minding her own business and I see this man knock her down and was in the process of raping her, would you want me to get involved or should I be concerned that the man may have a knife or a gun and he might harm me? Give me your answer…..What would you want me to do?

  • Comm_reply
    stella87 12/06/2010 8:10am

    Really!? comparing unemployment to rape? WOW! There is nothing messed up with that thinking!

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:28am

    Your story sounds like one out of a fairy tale.I’m glad that your husband did find a job that pays well(enough).But he actually found one.Actually,I’m surprised he got an $8.50 an hour job without hearing the word “overqualified”.The GOP would love to post your story and try to say that it’s possible.But the reality for most of us is not going to have that happy ending that you got.Instead,we will be costing the government money by subsidized housing and food stamps.It’s funny that the GOP is not telling you what it will cost when that happens!

  • jlohman 12/01/2010 2:51am

    So my vote for the Republicans went to support a very greedy segment of our population? That’s NOT what I intended. That extension of tax breaks for the wealthy is estimated to cost $800 billion? Or is that okay?

    Oh, those will create jobs!!! Or will they? Where are all of the jobs Bush created with the original tax cut for the wealthy? Oh, you say, they are in China and India!!!

    At some point the conservatives must recognize that the elitists and their bribed politicians are raping our country. Do something about it!

  • Comm_reply
    TheDutchess 12/01/2010 5:46am

    jlohman, you should feel bad that you were hoodwinked and led astrayed by you own party of NO. Did you ever watch CNN, Keith Olberman or Rachel Maddow? Youu must have been living under a rock to not know that if the Republicans got majority in any house, that it would mean devastation. They couldn’t get anything done before and now, it’s going to be worse. Thanks for voting for them. Now you will see just how great the good ol party will treat the Americans that need help the most….

  • Ktula7 12/01/2010 3:06am

    Merry Christmas to our Government…while they go on with their lavish lifestyles, pay for their childrens’ elite college tuitions, and feast on caviar, we’ll be happy that our electric bill is paid, or we have oil in our tanks to heat our homes, or that our homes aren’t in foreclosure…I’m sure your Holidays will be full of cheer…

  • mcelyea8000 12/01/2010 4:33am

    Dear Congressmen/women….
    would any of you be willing to take me and my teenage daughter in when i lose everything i have worked so hard for in my life…
    please contact me as soon as possible because soon i will be without a home and car and food..lost my medical coverage a long time ago.

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:35am

    Please take full advantage of the other offers the government has to offer(before everyone else does soon).Government subsidies,or welfare.It sounds terrible,I know,but soon millions of long term unemployed will have to turn to this.The additional expenses for these programs were not mentioned by the GOP to the people.This will cost the budget billions also.

  • TheDutchess 12/01/2010 5:10am

    Those Republicans don’t have a clue. Actually, I think they do but they don’t care. They know that economically, people that are unemployed need that money to buy the very basic of items. We go out and spend every dime because we have no choice. We have to eat, buy gas, pay for car insurance, etc. They are smokin something because they believe that unemployed people are saving that money. Isn’t that the stupidest thing? I have to applaud the Independant Bernie Sanders. It seems like he’s the only one to put his balls on the line and stand up for human decency, morality and economic sense. Where’s the democratic party in all this? It seems like everybody is holding their tongue in order to keep their jobs. We need Anthony Weiner in there gettin it started!!!

  • TheDutchess 12/01/2010 5:15am

    There’s no time for being diplomatic. It’s high time that Obama and his office needs to shift gears and stop playing footsies with the party of NO. They don’t want to compromise. They don’t want to work together if it means they will have to bend on any of their beliefs.They would just as well say no to everything until they are fully in control in January. Then all of you unemployed people that voted for the Republicans and thought that things would be better, Lookout! You may get what you wanted! Hopefully, all the ones on this site voted for the Democrats. They are still, STILL, the only ones trying to get something done for us, NOT THE REPUBLICANS!

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/01/2010 10:47am

    Unfortunately,the people have hung themselves because they are unimformed and naive by voting these people in!What’s worse,it’s too late!Obama is losing more Dems because they are defecting to the GOP to keep their seats of power.Now the GOP is starting their bullying ways by not budging on anything until they get their tax cuts.People don’t look at the long term,we live in a country of “We want results now,now,now!And if we don’t get’em,we’ll oppose you!”.Many people don’t even know what they’re voting for.No foresight!The proof is in the November elections.

  • Rationalview 12/01/2010 5:57am

    There won’t be any riots – only people jamming to get on welfare roles – Congress is aware of the options – either way it affects government spending – why not allow the unemployed to have the insurance money that they already paid for and stop the game playing? Why would they wait until the very end of the month – they had months to rectify this knowing Nov 30th was approaching – again all game playing. Congressional reps will kiss your rear when running for office – just like a used car salesman when he wants to sell you a car – but where are they when the engine falls out?

  • Rationalview 12/01/2010 6:03am

    Just one more thought for the day – in case you don’t realize it – most employers who pay minimum wage are not interested in hiring over qualified people BECAUSE they know that they are only going to stay for a while until they find something else. Believe it or not, even $8.50 an hour jobs require training and a company’s investment in the employee – something these employers are not willing to spend in these economic times. Trust me on this one – they really don’t care if you are a republican or a democrat – they just want to be sure that you will stick around.

  • craines 12/01/2010 6:25am

    I know that there are a lot of Republican Unemployed, I,m just wondering how many of the unemployed Democrates and independents as well as Repubilcans voted for this
    Republican turn around in the House.

    You had to know what would happen!


  • DeborahJBrown 12/01/2010 7:07am

    Republicans in Congress do not care about unemployed workers and have absolutely no intention of helping Americans. They keep saying that we need to “do whatever it takes” to survive and all they care about is assuring tax cuts for billionaires. So, let’s DEMAND accountability and make them tell us how they intend to pay for millionaire/billionaire Bush tax “Christmas gifts” that Republican sociopaths (oops, I mean Senators) wish to bestow on their favorite sports figures, entertainers and other millionaires/billionaires and anyone else they may be brown-nosing.

  • Comm_reply
    Syraminx 12/02/2010 7:52am

    Yeah exactly…“do anything it takes”…like break into cars and houses? Because that’s precisely what has been happening in my neighborhood. There has been a sharp increase in crime just since Tuesday…5 break-ins in three days. I live in a nice suburban area of Charlotte, NC. Generally very low crime per the statistics.
    If we could afford it we would be moving…I don’t see the situation improving as time moves forward and more benefits expire.
    Desperate times = desperate actions.
    People will do whatever it takes to survive, fend for themselves and for their loved ones.
    The government has sure set us up for one of a ride!

  • Rationalview 12/01/2010 8:24am

    Stella – what are you doing to help your husband? Two incomes are better than one especially if they are low paying jobs.

  • Comm_reply
    stella87 12/02/2010 2:18am

    I did go get a job while my husband was off work!! But unfortuatly I have a degenerative disk in my back so it makes it very hard for me to work. I can’t stand or sit for long periods of time or lift heavy objects. So part time is all I can do! I do feel the pain off all of you. I have been there I just don’t think that the government is the answer! I don’t really know what it is but depending more and more on our government is just wrong!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Rationalview 12/02/2010 3:09am

    Then you must be receiving disability through social security – just another form of government help. What people need to and should realize is that unemployment is not a hand out – it is money already earned and paid for by the worker. It is an insurance policy – if you had a car accident – would you like it if the car insurance company held back your payment because they didn’t want their company to have additional expenses???

  • Comm_reply
    stella87 12/02/2010 3:21am

    No I am not since I can work part time(in pain) I am not eligible. And you are right that is what it is there for I understand that but it has to end at some point!!! And as far as insurance, most of the time there is a cap on that! How long is long enough!

  • Comm_reply
    Syraminx 12/02/2010 7:51am

    Yeah exactly…“do anything it takes”…like break into cars and houses? Because that’s precisely what has been happening in my neighborhood. There has been a sharp increase in crime just since Tuesday…5 break-ins in three days. I live in a nice suburban area of Charlotte, NC. Generally very low crime per the statistics.
    If we could afford it we would be moving…I don’t see the situation improving as time moves forward and more benefits expire.
    Desperate times = desperate actions.
    People will do whatever it takes to survive, fend for themselves and for their loved ones.
    The government has sure set us up for one of a ride!

  • DGalanteNJ 12/01/2010 9:01am

    On C-Span Sen. Stabenow attempted again to have a vote put forth for the extension, it was turned down… what? I say we all go to Sen Scott Browns house to live and eat, he said yesterday with a smug grin on his face “I like to eat” well so do we, but without a extension none of us will be able to, nor will we have a table to put any food on. Where do we go from here? I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that our own country has turned its back on us, and look down on us like we are free loaders, but yet Congress is looking to give a tax break for the ultra rich. My last check paid for rent and some food and its running out soon, where do we go from here? God help us, where do we go from here?

  • beenblue 12/01/2010 11:03am

    To quote a wise man “There is nothing New Under the Sun” The Republican party has no new ideas. Cutting taxes and social programs and wasteful government spending and increasing defense spending goes back to Hoover days, it was then called “Trickle Down Economics” then during Reagan`s term it was renamed “Supply Side Economics” in 1981, and then as it is now, reaped a bonanza for the nations wealthiest, but the poor and middle class would feel few of its rewards. Actually with the cuts in spending, the affected were the poor, and the passage of tax changes meant to stimulate government revenues, the federal deficits ballooned. Reagan was merely overseeing a massive transfer of funds from the domestic sector to the pentagon. As I write this I`m looking at a front page of the Los Angeles Times from March 1, 1949 “Truman asks congress for millions for the needy” Deje Vue !! WASH, RINSE AND REPEAT…..December 2010

  • HelpUsPlease 12/01/2010 5:40pm

    I am actually ashamed that I live in this country anymore, Problem is, can’t go anywhere else because everyone hates the Americans anymore because of the Bush’s…I have worked my whole life and this is what I get, of no fault of my own? I have worked hard physical labor my whole life, something politicians know nothing about, unless you consider pencil pushing and blowing farts in the wind physical labor…This is truly pathetic what our so called leaders are doin to this country…If this is not passed, there will be many Americans that feel that they have nothing more to lose since the Gov’t took it all away, and will take matters into their own hands….Republicans might need to ask for an early admittance to the so called Residential Centers aka FEMA camps they have prepared

  • Syraminx 12/02/2010 6:29am

    It’s getting very scary for me.
    My hubby lost his great job to outsourcing at the beginning of 2009.
    As it was we were just getting by. His pay was decent, but we lived in Southern California at the time, money really doesn’t go far there considering an old, small, and decrepit apartment (1920’s bungalow) goes for nearly $1100.00 per month…and that wasn’t even in the snazzy part of town.
    I was working part time from home doing clothing design and seamstress work (making below minimum wage, but it was something)after being laid off from my executive admn. asst. job shortly after having our daughter.
    We took his severance pay and headed to the hills…

    To be continued…

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.