Skip to comments.Dems Refuse Compromise to Extend Unemployment Benefits
Posted on 07/02/2010 2:47:08 PM PDT by Qbert
Congress adjourns this week for the July Fourth recess without having passed a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits to 1.3 million people who started losing them this month.
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.
Democratic leaders were quick to attack Republicans for opposing the benefits, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., calling their opposition "just cruel" and "contrary to what our country is about."
Republicans, meanwhile, stood firm in their argument that extending benefits should not add to the deficit.
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.
"I came to the table with a fair compromise, and the ball is in their court," said Voinovich, whose state suffers from a 10.7 percent unemployment rate.
The House passed a sixth-month extension on Thursday, but the Senate was long gone by then, having shut down early so that the late Sen. Robert Byrd's body could lie in repose in the chamber. Any future action by the Senate will have to wait until lawmakers return on July 12.
On Wednesday, the Senate rejected a measure to extend benefits, with most Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., opposed to the bill because it would add more than $33 billion to the nation's $1.3 trillion deficit. The Senate came up just one vote short of passage, with Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Maine Republicans, voting yes.
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.
"The only reason the unemployment extension hasn't passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn't add to the debt," McConnell said. "That's it. That's the only difference between what they've offered and what we've offered."
McConnell pointed out that earlier this month, 57 Democrats voted for an amendment offered by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., that would also have used stimulus money to pay for some of the benefits. The amendment fell three votes short of the 60 needed for passage, but Reid was among the supporters.
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told The Washington Examiner on Thursday that unemployment benefits are considered emergency spending and do not fall under the same rules requiring them to be offset.
"We've never done it," Durbin said. "And it is counterintuitive that to stop a recession we have to take spending away from one area and put it into another. We need to put money into the economy."
You get more of what you pay for.
Do they even listen to themselves? He's right. They *do* need to put money into the economy. Since all government money comes from the taxpayers, the ONLY way to "put" money into the economy is to lower taxes.
The fastest way to put money into the economy would be to announce that the corporate tax rate is now zero. That would pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy virtually overnight.
Only 48% of the stimulus is spent, guess they have to save that for fed, state and municipal workers who all vote dem.
“The fastest way to put money into the economy would be to announce that the corporate tax rate is now zero. That would pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy virtually overnight.”
Yep- but that would make too much sense. And the Dims wouldn’t be able to demagogue about how the eeeeeeevil GOP hates the unemployed.
I am for extending the benefits as long as Republicans get something in return like removing the money to Hamas. $200 million.
Reagan penned this crowd perfectly, they're demagogues.
You can't spend your way into prosperity, it's never been done. They should be making it easier for businesses to expand and hire people instead of just taxing, spending and regulating everyone out of existence. Unemployment is only supposed to be a temporary fix.
That may be true but it turned around the Clinton Presidency, which was teetering on irrelevancy, when he started trotting out workers who would go to bed hungry because of the mean old GOP holding up the money.
“Unemployment is only supposed to be a temporary fix.”
Unfortunately, these nitwits are trying to destroy as much of the private sector as they possibly can to try to break even more people and create an even bigger permanent unemployed underclass dependent upon the Dems for the bare necessities. Sad, sad, sad...
The nightly news is no doubt repeating the left's talking points as they usually do but now with the internet and Fox and Limbaugh they're no longer the only game in town. The GOP just needs to be more forceful in explaining their side.
Agreed, since they took over Congress in 2006 unemployment has more than doubled while the deficit has tripled. The GOP needs to hammer on this. Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
When Bush entered office in 2001 there were around 133M people working. When he left in
2009 there were around 135M (down from a 2008/Jan high of slightly less than 138M. During his 8 years there was a GAIN of 1,080,000 jobs.
When Republicans controlled the house and senate ((Jan 95 to Jan.01) the gain over that period was +16,107,000.
When house and senate were split (Jan.01-Jan.03) there were 2,203,000 jobs LOST.
When Republicans controlled house and senate (Jan 03-Jan07) +6,801,000 jobs were GAINED
When Democrats controlled house and senate (Jan 07 to now) -6,497,000 LOST
In the 17 months of Obama -2,979,000 jobs have been lost.
Source for the above is the “total non-farm payroll: all employees (PAYEMS) of the Deptof Labor.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/congress/Dems-refuse-compromise-to-extend-unemployment-benefits-97625324.html#ixzz0sZAOpXIm
I don’t get this ... don’t they have a majority and didn’t they pass health care without any help from the Republicans? How can they blame this on Republicans when they have the majority and can (and have) do/done anything they want?
“Agreed, since they took over Congress in 2006 unemployment has more than doubled while the deficit has tripled. The GOP needs to hammer on this. Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
I hear ya. All the GOP needs is to explain their side of the story in simple terms that the average person can relate to- instead they keep panicking (Joe Barton, FinReg reform, unemployment benefits, etc.) at the first hint of Dem demagoguery. IMHO, the Washington Examiner article explained what was really happening here 100X better than anything I’ve heard out of the GOP. Why can’t the GOP understand this?
Keynsians believe (and I think they are right) that automatic payments like unemployment maintain demand in tough economic times. In this case the pubbies are right because all they are asking for is that half the Democrap slush fund of 700 BILLION be used to pay for the unemployment rather than piling on debt to our kids.
It was just a couple years ago that the 350 billion they are talking about was greater than our ENTIRE deficit for the year.
That data is just screaming for a chart (like the famous chart that compares Obama’s deficits to Bush’s)!
They need to hire experienced people to get the message out. I don't always agree with Gingrich today but he was good at that.
Correct, but then it doesn't buy any influence.
Handing out unemployment checks may slightly help to stimulate the economy but it's only temporary. When the money runs out they have to write more checks while increasing the debt in perpetuity unless they're also taking measures that assist businesses in creating jobs.
Since they're not I liken their check giveaways as a short-term fix similar to the Disclose Act. It's designed to help the democrats stay in power and nothing more. At least the GOP is saying pay for it first.
“They need to hire experienced people to get the message out. I don’t always agree with Gingrich today but he was good at that.”