Politics Magazine

GOP Blocks Extension Of Jobless Benefits - Again

Posted on the 15 January 2014 by Jobsanger
GOP Blocks Extension Of Jobless Benefits - Again Once again the congressional Republicans have shown that they just don't care about America's jobless workers. After killing several efforts at creating new jobs, they have now made it clear that they will not approve extending benefits for the long-term unemployed. That program, with affects more than 1.3 million people, was not included in the budget negotiations and expired at the end of 2013 -- leaving many of those jobless Americans with no alternative but to drop below the poverty level (and depend on government programs like welfare and food stamps to survive, programs also suffering from GOP cuts).
The Democrats have been trying to get an extension of those jobless benefits approved, but the Republicans are filibustering that bill in the U.S. Senate. First, they said they were filibustering the bill because no provision had been made to pay for the benefit extension. So the Democrats went back to the drawing board and devised a way to pay for the benefits. But that wasn't good enough for the Republicans. They then said they would filibuster it because they weren't allowed to offer amendments. Majority Leader Reid then moved to allow 5 amendments from both parties (and give an hours debate time for each amendment).
That was still not good enough for the Senate Republicans. When Reid tried to invoke cloture to stop the filibuster yesterday, every single Republican except one (Dean Heller of Nevada), voted to sustain the filibuster -- and the Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture. The vote was 55 to 45 (with all Democrats and both Independents voting to stop the filibuster).
This makes it clear that the Republican excuses for filibustering the bill were just that -- excuses. They have no intention of helping the millions of jobless workers. Their constituency is the rich and the corporations, and they couldn't care less about ordinary Americans.

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