Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A bill to extend emergency unemployment insurance to the long-term unemployed passed its first procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday morning with six Republican votes.

As recently as yesterday, only one Republican senator had announced support for the bill, which will renew the benefit that expired at the end of December for another three months.

The legislation, which is co-sponsored by senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jack Reed (D-RI), will need to reach the 60-vote threshold again before heading to the House and several of the Republican senators who voted to open the debate on the bill — including Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dan Coats (R-IN) — have said they will not support the extension unless it’s paid for by other cuts.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) immediately issued a statement saying he would not consider any bill unless it is both paid for and includes other “jobs” provisions that would “ease job-destroying burdens on small businesses,” also known as cutting regulations.

Extending benefits for those out of work for several months is popular with voters, especially in swing districts. In an effort to reframe the conversation, Republicans have been stressing the need to “pay” for the bill, which will cost $6.4 billion — though historically emergency benefits have been extended without any such requirements. President George W. Bush signed five different unfunded extensions of unemployment insurance. The budget agreement that passed both houses of Congress in December increases the Pentagon’s budget by $22 billion, which is almost enough to extend emergency unemployment insurance for a year.

The long-term unemployment rate is currently 2.6 percent, twice as high as the typical threshold for offering emergency benefits.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dusted off the Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) playbook to demand a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act. This suspension of the tax on those who do not obtain insurance coverage would seem to actually raise the deficit. But delaying the mandate would result in fewer people signing up for Medicaid and saving the federal government money, as millions remain uninsured.

The federal government is already saving tens of billions of dollars because Republican-led states are rejecting Medicaid expansion. The federal deficit was down by 37 percent, more than $400 billion, last year.

President Obama appeared with a group of those who have lost their benefits about an hour after the vote and called on Congress to “put partisanship aside to offer some security to jobseekers with no strings attached.”

“If we don’t extend unemployment, we make it more difficult for them to find a job,” the president said.

He also took on the claim by some Republicans — including Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) — who have argued that extending benefits encourages joblessness and cited the story of Katherine, a woman in attendance for the event.

“She wrote me last month to say, please let those who think I’m sitting at home enjoying being unemployed know that I’d much rather be working,” he said.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Here are my recommendations for paying for unemployment extensions.
    1. Make every company that moved jobs overseas to save money have to pay a tax equal to what twice the pay would have been for an American worker for each job done so.
    2. Eliminate subsidies for farming conglomerates and let them only be paid to family farms as they were meant to be.
    3. Eliminate the COLA for all Congressional pensions.
    4. Redefine “charitable giving” in the tax code so the money goes to organizations that actually benefit the public (ARC, Big Brothers – Big Sisters, etc.), instead of providing for continuation of family legacies (art museums, university endowment funds, etc).
    5. Tax “investment returns” at the same rate as earned income.

    • daniel bostdorf

      extremely well stated! Cant agree more….great post…

      • daniel bostdorf

        bikejedi….I enjoy your perspective.

        What comes to mind is that when someone has based opinions on a false premise full of distortions and inaccuarte stating of actual facts, it is difficult to expect that the conclusion reached are accurate.

        What most anti obama posters don’t realize or want to ever except is that Obama inherited a 8 year in the making GOP mess, and is trying to clean it up. That is a fact.

        A GOP/Teaparty/libertarian obstructionist game plan is in the way of ecomomic recovery, not Obama and his policies. That is a fact.

      • docb

        “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. ” — Plutarch

    • Lake girl

      Great ideas. May I add that we hire more agents to go after the hidden money in illegal offshore accounts and so-called tax shelters. These wealthy tax cheats should pay their fair share of tax.

    • Lake girl

      Also, why are we giving Big Oil huge subsidies when Big Oil is making record profits?

      • jmprint

        Texas, Governor Perry gave a grant to Chevron, they make over 3 billion profit and we taxpayers have to subsidies, but we can’t insurance our families, unbelievable. Oh yea I know Gvette that’s Obama’s fault too.

    • jmprint

      To add to #4. Eliminate non-profit status to all the organization that promote republican ideology. With all the millions the Kock brothers donate, that should cover unemployment for a couple of years. And how about congress pays back for the days they don’t work. OMG problem solved.

      • Lake girl

        And we can take it a step further by eliminating all exempt corporations, and shut down the IRS Exempt org division and move those employees to jobs that go after tax cheats who are moving money out of the US into hidden accounts so they don’t pay tax on the investments in those accounts. To explained, this year the market went up 30%. For every $1 million in a hidden account that went up 30%, is $300,000 in taxable income that was cheated from taxation. Some of these cheats are able to take unreported cash income from their business, so even the $1 million investment was never taxed. Look at your tax return and see how much richer you could be if you did not pay the tax on your “total tax” line.

        • jmprint

          Yes, I’m with ya.

    • joe schmo

      As a Conservative, I would have to say that most of us on the other end would agree with you on these 5 points. We also would agree on a flat tax for all….

      -We do not believe in outsourcing
      -We believe in the family farm
      -COLA can go stuff itself since greedy Congress makes too much money on both sides
      -Charitable giving should be given to the needy in the US specifically to those who are disabled and single mothers trying to take care of their families

    • mandinka

      Eliminating the $8B from Obamacare advertising would be the 1st place to start. Then the $50B in illegal alien tax credits needs to be eliminated.
      Then we need to start eliminating agencies that provide no benefit for the taxpayers IE:
      and 1/2 of State and justice

  • Lake girl

    If no extension, the unemployed will go onto public aid. Unemployment insurance is paid by employers. If no extension and the unemployed go to public aid, the burden is shifted from the corporations to the American people to pay.

    • 1standlastword

      Do you mean to suggest that the lobbyist for the US Chamber of Commerce is working in the back ground and that BIG Business is paying JB to do his job but that he is stalling for ca$h…you’re right!!!

    • JD Mulvey

      What is “public aid”?

      • joe schmo

        Are you kidding…..welfare which comes out of the taxpayers pocket….. I guess that’s a good thing because maybe you have never had to use it?

    • mandinka

      The US is the only industrialized country that has businesses paying for UE. In Europe the WORKERS fund the kitty. That’s the way it should be done here

      • joe schmo

        Totally agree….the taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay a dime….

  • 1standlastword

    I say all the longterm head out to Janesville for overnights in Paul Ryan’s big hammock.

    No really! The unemployed should march in MASS to the homes of republicans and demand their rights to what the constitution demands.

    If Americans got HARD on heartless politicians like the Arabs do they might listen

    We don’t have to go as far as a Gaddifi solution but people…we are surely hellbound if we don’t get on our feet and protest LOUD AS HELL!!

    • joe schmo

      Problem is that this extension depending on the state you reside in becomes a loan of sorts through the Federal Government which has to be paid back with interest. Guess who’s pocket that comes out of? Why do you think Congress is holding back the reins…..

    • mandinka

      I agree… there should be no limit on how much of our children’s inheritance we spend. Sure they now have a debt load of $150,000 each. So they will just have to start working when they turn 5

  • charleo1

    In spite of all the good reasons, and the great ideas from commenters such as
    disqus, and others, on how unemployment could be extended, and completely
    paid for. I don’t see a snowball’s chance Boehner is even going to bring it up. Remember back in 2009, as horrible as the job market was then, Republicans in the Senate were filibustering unemployment benefits, But now with the Republicans controlling the House, and the T-Party controlling the Republicans, I mean really, what are we to expect? Add to that, they simply cannot be shamed into passing
    the measure. And painting them as cruel, non caring shills, governing for the rich, doesn’t bother them at all. In fact, if a Liberal says it, they raise money on it! Their entire election strategy for 2014 is going to be about the notion, that the lazy, underclass have become too dependent on the government, And the only ones contributing are the over burdened, and over regulated producers. And, they are tapped out. And the sooner the loafers recognize the government gravy train they’ve been riding, has come to an end, the sooner they’ll all find jobs. So given that, why would they agree to pass the Senate’s unemployment extension? It’s just the way they roll nowadays. This all comes back of course, to the 2010 election cycle. And they are counting on all manner of Democrats, Progressives, Anyone with half a heart, staying home next year, They’re planning on taking back the Senate, with this stuff.

    • 1standlastword

      “I don’t see a snowball’s chance Boehner is even going to bring it up.”

      See Peter Schweizer’ Extortion: How Politicians Exract Your Money, Buy Votes, And Line Their Own Pockets”

      You can hear the interview on Diane Rehm. I think it was two weeks ago.

      He named JB as one of the most effect money raisers American politics has seen. In his language this is the “toll gate” strategy. When politicians buy time it’s so they can extort money from somebody somewhere who wants to use their monitary influence to kill/ and or pass the bill.

      This book requires the reader can tolerate eating a lot of glass–

    • daniel bostdorf

      Your opinion “And the sooner the loafers recognize the government gravy train they’ve
      been riding, has come to an end, the sooner they’ll all find jobs.” is simply the same old tactic of victimizing the victim.”

      and you state: “And painting them as cruel, non caring shills, governing for the rich, doesn’t bother them at all.’

      Well it should bother them.

      “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ……Nelson Mandela

      • charleo1

        I wasn’t stating my opinion about the loafers getting jobs, My point
        was, since Republicans fought unemployment extensions in ’09, when
        the job market was much worse, and are planning to make the 2014 campaign about welfare, healthcare, and the growing dependency
        on government. I don’t see them even taking a vote on it in the House.
        Unless Boehner is sure it will fail. And was only making an observation, when President Obama, or others, like Elizabeth Warren, call them out on this kind of stuff, they include it in their solicitations for money. As
        in, see we’re holding the line on spending. You’ve no doubt heard
        Paul Ryan’s touching story about how as a young man, he read Ayn
        Rand’s, “Atlas Shrugged,” and it made him decide to get into public
        service. Well, that’s who they are today.

      • jmprint


        • joe schmo

          Really…..were did you get your facts? The unemployment has continued to go downhill since Obama’s reign.

          Did you just happen to see the new statistics? The AP has a new article out entitled ‘Surprisingly weak job report puzzles economists.’ Duhh, even someone who didn’t study finance can guess that one. At the end of each year, Companies will hire temp workers to meet the demands of the Holiday rush. Many lost their jobs in the New Year.

          Some highlights from the article:

          -a key reason the Federal Reserve decided last month to slow its economic stimulus.

          -It’s unclear whether the sharp hiring slowdown might lead the Federal Reserve to rethink its plan to slow its stimulus efforts. The Fed decided last month to pare its monthly bond purchases, which have been designed to lower interest rates to spur borrowing and spending.

          -Perhaps as surprising as last month’s weak job growth was the flood of people – 347,000 – who stopped looking for jobs. The proportion of people either working or looking for work fell to 62.8 percent, matching a nearly 36-year low.

          -Several economists also highlighted statistical quirks in the report that they say are unlikely to be repeated. Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo noted that several industries reported unusually steep job losses. Accounting and bookkeeping services, for example, lost 24,700 jobs, the most in nearly 11 years.

          And performing arts and spectator sports cut 11,600, the most in 2 1/2 years. The movie industry shed 13,700 jobs.”

          Can no longer blame Bush.
          By now employment figures should be better.
          Include the rich Dems in Congress to your list because the Repubs are not the only ones at fault…

    • mandinka

      when Germany reduced the size and duration of their UE something magically happened. People went to work..surprise surprise

    • joe schmo

      That is because your man wants to pilfer it through the American taxpayer….and the Repubs are standing their ground. Don’t you realize that the states have to pay all this borrowed unemployment for the unemployed back with interest which only adds to the deficit…..Jesus!

      Rich! How many times do I have to comment on the fact that it is the rich Liberals that are causing the problem. Not the rich Repubs. If you need facts I can again drum them up for the umpteen time. Yes, Darrel Issa is on top of the rich in Congress but the next 3 or 4 down from him are Democrats. Don’t think you all are the lone ranger. You need to speak to your representatives and above all that you should never trust them. Conservatives don’t and we are suspicious of everything. We question authority.

      I need facts not complaints…..

  • virginiadeppstanton

    Cutting the Unemployment compensations will be even more devastating to USA’s business economy. Think about what the dollars pay for. Remember that people out of work cannot afford to gamble with stocks and save the dollars in banks. This is a “no-brainer” decision to extend the benefits for people in need. Want to see more homeless families?

  • 1olderbutwiser1

    It’s time for an equal tax on every adult American If you don’t pay the tax, you get no benefits. with current expenditures as they are, would be about 18,000 per adult, possibly more. Many wealthy individuals are paying a hundred or even a thousand, times that much. They are each, individually, one person. All men are created equal. Equal rights mandate equal responsibility. Let’s have the people who pay less than 18 thousand speak up, and send in the loot. If you have equal rights, why should you think you deserve a break when it’s time to pay. Everybody who has made wrong choices and underachieved wants to punish those who have done better. If you describe that as equality, you need your head examined.

    • daniel bostdorf

      interesting perspective, but what does it have to do with Jason’s article premise that GOP is letting unemployment debate to survive as they prepare to kill it?

      Quoting Jason:
      “A bill to extend emergency unemployment insurance to the long-term
      unemployed passed its first procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday
      morning with six Republican votes….As recently as yesterday, only one Republican senator had announced support for the bill, which will renew the benefit that expired at the end of December for another three months.”

      You state : “It’s time for an equal tax on every adult American If you don’t pay the tax, you get no benefits….. Everybody who has made wrong choices and underachieved wants to punish those who have done better. If you describe that as equality, you need your head examined.”

      Can you post something that relates to the articles main point about GOP wanting to kll extension of unemployment benefits?

    • Yappy2

      I don’t know any other way to say it, so I’m just going to say, you are and idiot!

      • 1olderbutwiser1

        Are you saying I am an idiot because I want you to pay your fair share, or because I am waiting for you to pay your fair share. What is fair about you getting the same benefits as someone who pays 100 times their fair share? That’s not equality by anyone’s definition.

        • jmprint


    • jmprint


      • daniel bostdorf

        Can you both knock off the personal attacks and bullying?

        jmprint—you are dealing with a troll OK/ Save your righteous indignation for other battles .

        Hey “troll 1olderbutwiser1″….definition of troll:

        A social media troll as someone who seeks to lure or bait people into negative, disruptive rhetoric for their own edification or to commandeer an otherwise free-flowing discussion among colleagues.

        They don’t recognize anyone that may be interested in discussing something that bores them and opt to criticize or yell “boring” instead of engaging in the discussion.

        They choose to belittle those who seek the information and discourse as well as those who try to provide it. They simply have no interest in anything that is not self-serving.

        Trolls will defend their focus on expressing contrary opinions as an honorable attempt to rid the online community of fake-experts, get to the truth of a matter or enlighten their followers; however, their intent has nothing to do with community building or public enlightenment.

        • jmprint

          Yes, sir

  • daniel bostdorf
  • Francisco Ringoli

    Omnipresent fraud: While Obama was lying about Obamacare, he was also lying about the 2013 sequester: