Skip to comments.Reid backs down in unemployment fight - will consider Republican amendments
Posted on 01/10/2014 1:40:26 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he is now open to considering Republican amendments to a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits through most of 2014.
On Thursday, Reid clashed with several Republicans after saying he didn't want to consider any changes to an amended version of the bill. Reid's amendment paid for an 11-month extension by extending the sequester for another year, into 2024.
Republicans have other ideas on how to pay for the benefits, but Reid dismissed them.
"We get nowhere with dueling amendments," Reid said. "We have learned that in the past. Dueling amendments don't do the trick."
But on Friday, a spokesman for Reid said Democrats would allow some limited number of germane amendments to the bill when it comes up next week.
"Senator Reid has continued speaking with his Republican colleagues since yesterday afternoon and informed them that he is absolutely willing for the Senate to consider a reasonable number of relevant amendments from Republicans," spokesman Adam Jentleson said.
Six Republicans joined Democrats in a procedural vote to advance the unemployment bill earlier this week. But Reid's objection to any amendments seemed to threaten their support for advancing the bill any further.
Republican ideas for paying for the extension include new safeguards to prevent non-citizens from getting a child tax credit, prohibiting simultaneous Social Security disability insurance payments and unemployment insurance, and delaying ObamaCare.
However, Jentleson said Republicans need to shelve non-germane ideas related to ObamaCare.
"He hopes Republicans will get serious about passing this emergency legislation and stop trying to distract from the issue at hand with more tired attacks on Obamacare and other unrelated issues," he said. "At the end of the day, the most important thing is keeping faith with those who are struggling to make ends meet, and they expect us to rise above partisan squabbling."
Federal unemployment benefits expired for about 1.3 million people on Dec. 28. The emergency aid sets in for many people when state-level benefits run out.
They are vexing problems, but Republicans, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, came up with a proposal to solve them. The only difficulty was, the solution -- finding billions to pay for the restored pensions and unemployment insurance -- involved cracking down on a tax credit program in which illegal immigrants have fraudulently collected billions of dollars in improper payments. Stop the fraud, Ayotte argued, and then use the money saved to pay for pensions and unemployment insurance. It seemed like an elegant solution.
Except that Democrats would have none of it. Putting an end to the fraudulent collection of tax credits by illegal immigrants would hurt the most vulnerable, they argued. "This idea of going after children is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard," Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in floor debate Thursday. "I am shocked I am shocked. You're going to hurt children. You're going to take away food out of their mouths."
Ayotte's plan was in the form of an amendment to the Democratic bill to extend unemployment insurance. Ayotte broke with most of her Republican colleagues by voting to go forward with the bill; she did so specifically for the purpose of proposing her amendment. But Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed the door on the amendment and would not allow it to be considered.
The Ayotte amendment was remarkably simple. It would have required anyone collecting benefits from a program known as the Additional Child Tax Credit to supply a Social Security number in order to collect the money. An information sheet released by Ayotte's office noted a report from the Treasury Department inspector general explaining fraud in the ACTC program:..................."
The entire problem could be solved by repealing ObamaCare and shuttering the EPA.
Republicans need to be smart (yes, I know I’m asking the impossible) and ask, over, and over, and over again - why do we need to extend unemployment benefits when the economy is “improving” and unemployment is down so much?
"I will gladly pay you ten years from now for a hamburger today!"
Those who are here illegally, bypassing all of the identity and situation checks, should be "the most vulnerable" in our society. Instead, they are the most protected, and are the ones whom our politicians are pandering to.
Being a citizen no longer has privileges in this country.
Thank you for posting this York item twice today.
I haven’t seen enough of Kelly Ayotte to know where she is but another lib in Northeast GOP fleece or if she is the real deal.
But her proposal seems to me not only the real deal but the kind of negotiating the Republicans ought to be doing all the time.
Take the bill they want and tie to it the stuff that the country needs and wants. Let the leftists vote it down if they want.
To tie Jim Robinson’s idea to it seems perfectly wise as well. We can vote for the vets’ pensions, jobless bennies and fraud enforcement and we can fund it directly from EPA, DOJ, and the Department of Education. Dollar for dollar.
(Obamacare would be best but they won’t even vote on that, of course.)
where she is = whether she is
With these in place everything (everyone) is controlled.
If the house caves on this issue, they should add an amendment to require the pipeline to be built.
Why Reid backed down:
“Kara Rowland;@kararowland9 Jan
Sen. Manchin joined Republican senators in supporting Sen. Ayotte’s motion that would “un-fill” the amendment tree.”
Manchin is in deep trouble with his overseer now. I’m amazed he stood up to him. A vote like that is a strict no-no in the Senate.
Reid is nothing but a little dirty scumbag. There are many more in Congress who can overrule him. Just do it. Do something good for your country and it’s people. If you really want to be a hero try doing the right thing.
What is the amendment tree?
Please use a search engine, it’s not easily explained (at least not by me).
Senate Majority Leaders use the tactic to unilaterally prevent amendments.
I watched as Ayotte defend her bill on the Senate floor yesterday and Sen Barbara Boxer (D-CA) went ballistic - interrupting and bullying her.
Ayotte stood her ground, but she was shaken by the personal attack by Boxer. It proved to me that the Democrats are getting nervous - and they get nasty when they are cornered.
This is literally what Sen Boxer screamed at Ayotte on the Senate floor yesterday concerning illegal immigrants stealing tax dollars for non-existent children or children that don't even live in America:
" "I am shocked I am shocked. You're going to hurt children. You're going to take away food out of their mouths."
I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! That is what she really said.
Sen Ayotte wants to use part of that money to stop the horrible pension cut to military retirees. Only $0.6 Billion of that money is required to solve this outrageous military COLA cut for the first year.
So true. And add in the Dept of Education, TSA and HUD while you are at it.
Dear Sen. Boxer: How many of your “children” are real and not living in Mexico?
Active Duty/Retiree ping.
Regarding the betrayal of promised veteran pensions that costs only 600 million a year, this will make you gag:
The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion on the ObamaPhone program last year alone, reports The Wall Street Journal, which conducted a review of the program’s funding. http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323511804578296001368122888.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection&mg=reno64-wsj
Mark my words.
Why can't anyone but me see it?
> On Thursday, Reid clashed with several Republicans after saying he didn’t want to consider any changes to an amended version of the bill. Reid’s amendment paid for an 11-month extension by extending the sequester for another year, into 2024.
Thanks Cincinatus’ Wife.