Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unemployment Extension Passed Paid for by the Taxpayers.

Unemployment Filibuster Broken - ABC News

Boosted by the swearing-in of new West Virginia Sen. Carte Goodwin, the Senate today voted to restore and extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, ending a lengthy stalemate.

By a vote of 60-40 the Senate succeeded in passing the jobless aid measure just minutes after Goodwin formally became a member of the Senate. Democratic Senators in the chamber erupted in applause when Goodwin cast the decisive vote.

For weeks the Senate had been locked in a standoff on helping the nation's jobless, with both parties supporting an extension of the benefits but disagreeing on how to pay for them. Democrats argued that helping 2.5 million unemployed Americans is an emergency as the country rebounds from recession, but Republicans balked at the bill's $34 billion price tag, contending that adding tens of billions of dollars to the government's soaring deficit is fiscally irresponsible.

Republicans failed on four occasions to offset the cost of the bill with funds from the government's massive stimulus program, while Democrats struck out five times in their attempts to pass the measure. Two Republicans -- Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- today sided with Democrats, while Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson backed the GOP's approach.

Harry Reid knows what is best for you.

Dems refuse compromise to extend unemployment benefits

Democrats have been painting Republicans as unsympathetic to the long-term unemployed who will be unable to collect benefits, but Democratic leaders have rejected several offers by the GOP to vote for the bill if at least some of it is paid for.

"My concern is that the Democrats are more interested in having this issue to demagogue for political gamesmanship than they are in simply passing the benefits extension," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who offered a deal that was rejected by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Voinovich told Reid he would vote for extending benefits if at least half of the extension could be paid for with unused money from the $787 billion stimulus package.

After the bill failed, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a compromise that would extend benefits for two months and pay for it fully with unused stimulus funding. But Reid turned it down.

Earlier this week President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both blasted Republicans for blocking the jobless help.

"It's time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics. It's time to do what's right, not for the next election, but for the middle class," President Obama said in the Rose Garden. "We've got to stop blocking emergency relief for Americans who are out of work. We've got to extend unemployment insurance."

But the top Senate Republican countered that it was Democrats who were playing political games at the expense of unemployed Americans.

Democrats don't care about the people just the power.

Should Unemployment Benefits be Extended?

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