Unemployment update: extension blocked by Senate GOP

In a story reported by the Associated Press, which apparently doesn't like bloggers using or linking to their stories (so I won't), it seems the Senate tried to bring up the unemployment benefits extension bill passed by the House last week, but Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) blocked the move by objecting to Majority Leader Harry Reid's unanimous consent request.

Jobless numbers came in last month showing increases at a 20-year high, but Republicans, true to form, are blocking a bill that offers a 13-week extension of benefits for states with unemployment rates over 6%. At issue: $11.7 billion in benefits for some 3.2 million unemployed workers, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That's a whopping $3656.25 per beneficiary.

The GOP complaint? They view the Democratic plan as a giveaway. A spending spree for people who don't deserve it.

Democrats are likely to respond by demonstrating some of the irony of this newfound Republican parsimony, by attaching the unemployment extension to the $150 billion-plus Iraq emergency supplemental expected on the floor in the coming days.

Should be an interesting showdown, though perhaps we've already seen this movie. The president will have his pick of out-of-touch reasons for vetoing even the Iraq funding bill. He's already said he'd veto a free-standing unemployment bill, and the Iraq appropriations too, if they didn't meet his specifications -- i.e., no withdrawal language and a cap of $108 billion. (Seems a bit ridiculous to use the words "cap" and "one hundred eight billion dollars" in the same sentence, but there it is.)

Looks like this could get pushed into July, with the Congress set to recess at the end of next week.

Source: By Daily Kos

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This is crazy, I live in Michigan where the unenployment rate is the highest in the country. With the struggling car companies closing plants and these people with no where to go what do you do. Many of these people are to old to restart their lives and go back to school. For some that's all they know. I am a skilled tradesman and have been out of work since March. I belong to a strong union and our out of work list is over 1200, our membership is only 5000. I have a wife and two great kids and if we don't get an extension I may be forced to travel and my 4 and 2 year old children will be without their dad for an extended period of time. We aa a country can spent billions on a war that seems senseless, a war over oil and yet our gas prices are at an all time high, but we are winning. We can sent billions to rebuild a country that we destroyed in an effort to stop a terrorist that was never there and is still on the run, but we still have areas hit by Katrina that haven't been taken care of. We sent millions and had over 1500 troops help victims of a mudslide in the Phillipens hours after it happened but were unable to sent them to help our own people. What a Joke!!! And here we are again, liberating people who don't want to be, and turning our back on our own. Thanks A U S citizen and tax payer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Check out what will most likely be passed later today....$165 Billion No Strings Attached War Bill for Bush, and 13 weeks of Unemployment Extension. It just keeps getting worse. Needless to say, Bush is very happy with this outcome. http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20080619/pl_bloomberg/axfv4g9qgyiw

Submitted by Donna H. (not verified) on
This article is a sloppy and ill-researched piece which had the effect of unnecessarily frightening a reader, myself, who is unemployed and hoping for an unemployment extension to be passed. First of all, the leg14islation Senator Kyle objected to is mischaracterized. That bill, a stand-alone unemployment extension bill passed and sent over from the house, offered a 13-week extension to ALL states, along with an ADDITIONAL 13-week extension to states with rates over 6%. It also offered unemployment compensation to people who did not work the usual minumum 20-week requirement. Kyle was objecting to having the bill fast-tracked, which I assume means that there would have been no opportunity to discuss (or change) these requirements. (Not that his blocking the bill wasn't another offensive Republican maneuver; but please, get the facts straight.) Secondly, this writer seems unaware that it has been in the news for the last few days that both parties in Congress have reached an agreement on an Iraq funding bill which includes an unemployment extension for 13 weeks for all states, without the extra 13 weeks and still with the 20-week work requirement; AND Bush has agreed (at long last) to sign off on this bill. Congress just this evening passed the unemployment extension add-on to this bill (at a vote of 416-12!). Once the war funding bill it's added onto is passed, it will go to the Senate next week. The Senate has previously passed on May 22nd a war-funding bill with a similar unemployment extension and other desired funding attached, most of which is not contained in the bill from the congress, by a veto-proof majority of 75-22. The congressional vote demonstrates the pressure that even Republicans now feel to do something about an unemployment extension; while no one in the Senate will say so prematurely, it appears the odds are favorable for a vote next week on the new bill from congress, which doesn't have some of the extras that some Senators and others of us would have liked to see that were on their previous bill. With concerns about a Bush veto now out of the way, I am optimistic about finally getting some help. God knows it's taken long enough. I know it can be confusing to follow these bills, but I hope the writer will in the future be careful to read with care the article s/he is writing about, and to not draw any conclusions beyond the scope of the article without further research.

Submitted by Toytherock (not verified) on
Does anyone know when will senate vote on the $165 Billion for War? TIA

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
It should be voted on any minute, and I believe they want it voted on before the holiday weekend. The military is almost out of money, which means no more paychecks for any of the troops. So, it has to go through soon. "Does anyone know when will senate vote on the $165 Billion for War?"

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I just wrote Kyl, so I may be prisoned soon. I live in AZ I specified that the true number of unemployed could easily be double of the figures as for when you end benefits for what ever reason, you are no longer counted. I told him that the American workers are getting pissed at our government and the rich who sold our work to foreign companies to get richer. I told him that if this continues we won't have an America because we will have no tax base, that we deserve to be paid unemployment as long as it takes to get our jobs back to this country and the economy stimulate so we can work. Is he out of his mind, I was making over 3000.00 mo just as a waitress, I am in my late forties and now I make less than a grand a month, I lost everything, my house, my car, my sleep. Why aren't' we all out there on the streets raising hell, bearing arms, taking back what we where whether it means to exersize our rights including over throwing a corrupt government. We have nothing left to loose do we? I don't. They took mine. They eat lobster I eat trash. Get pissed get active get busy. My name is Tessa and if I disappear look for me at Guantanamo, since our right to speak is also considered a threat.

Submitted by Xtina (not verified) on
I am getting skinny. I too lost everything and have sold everything and been desperately trying to stay afloat. My unemployment ran out in April, I've been looking my ass off since October of last year, and will be thrown out of my apartment in another month. I do not know what to do any more. I am out of bus fare and will probably lose my electricity and phone next month, so it will be impossible for me to even look for work waiting for this *&^%$#@ employment extension. But I'm sure Georgie is happy he has more money to give Halliburton and Blackwater and all his other friends. I am furious that this is a matter of people being on the streets and this creep Bush has the balls to say that he thinks the extension is bad because "people won't be looking for work with this income coming in". IT IS SUBSISTANCE!!!!!! I better shut up now before I start chewing on my screen. P.S. I am from Texas, and a progressive. I knew what Geo. Bush was before he gained office. I got out on the street trying to stop various things he has brought about, obviously with poor results.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Worked 40 years and now no jobs not old enough for for benefits just stuck in unemployment. Lots of experienced but cannot speak spanish living in the USA...Both husband and I somehow eneded up unemployed in Las Vegas.....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
They should extened unemployment because people have bills and family to take care.