GOP Takes Hardline on Federal Deficit By Killing Unemployment Benefits Extension

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Drawing a line in the sand over the federal deficit, Senate Republicans on Thursday killed a spending bill that included an extension of unemployment benefits and increased taxes on bonuses paid to executives at private equity firms.

The collapse of the comprehensive legislation spells the end of assistance for a total of 1.3 million unemployed Americans who were scheduled to lose their benefits at the end of last week. It also will leave a number of states with large budget holes they had expected to fill with federal cash to help with Medicaid.

Even though lawmakers voted 57-41 in favor of the measure, Democrats failed to secure the 60 votes needed to end a GOP-led filibuster. The legislators split along party lines with the exception of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE, who voted with the Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said this third vote on the matter would be the last, and that the Senate needed to move on to legislation cutting taxes for small businesses.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out at Republicans, who he said "obstructed a common-sense package that would save jobs, extend tax cuts for businesses and provide relief for American families who have suffered through the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression, even after Democrats offered multiple compromises to gain Republican support for the bill."

Among other provisions, the legislation would have provided $16 billion in aid to states and raised taxes on the share of profits paid to executives of buyout firms. The last version of the legislation had a price tag of $85.5 billion, down some $20 billion from last week and well below the more than $120 billion initially brought to the floor.

President Barack Obama earlier this month urged lawmakers to approve $50 billion in aid to states to help prevent layoffs. Economist Mark Zandi has projected that without additional aid states will have to fire 300,000 employees, Bloomberg News reported.

Even though Democrats repeatedly cut the bill in an effort to win Republican backing, the latest version would have added $33 billion – roughly the cost of the six-month extension of jobless benefits in the bill – to the budget shortfall.

Despite Democratic efforts, Republicans found any addition to a deficit expected to reach $1.4 trillion this fiscal year unacceptable, saying Democrats have lost sight of the economic risks posed by the nation's rapidly mounting debt.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, chided Democrats for refusing to fully pay for the legislation with offsetting savings or revenue increases.

"The principle Democrats are defending is that they will not pass a bill unless it adds to the deficit," McConnell told The Wall Street Journal.

Sen. Reid fired back at Republicans after the vote, telling The Journal they had "turned a deaf ear" to jobless workers.

"This is not a good day for America," he said, adding that the Senate would give up for now any efforts to push forward with the jobless-benefits extension.

Congress last year enacted a program granting jobless workers up to 99 weeks of aid, including 26 weeks of basic assistance provided by states plus longer-term federal payments. The Labor Department estimates that the long-term unemployed, meaning those out of a job for at least six months, make up 46% of all jobless workers in the United States.

Some economists say there are economic risks in ending the benefits, especially since workers receiving them tend to funnel money back into the economy immediately, increasing demand for goods and creating jobs.

In addition, if workers are unable to find work and are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits, some will turn to other government programs, such as disability and Social Security, Harvard economist Lawrence Katz told The Journal.

"If you're really concerned about the long-term deficit, you should be really concerned about the long-term unemployed," Katz said.

Other economists argue that extended benefits have encouraged people to stay off the job.

"There's a very large body of research that says that more generous benefits and benefits that last longer…encourage people to stay out of work longer," Bruce Meyer, an economist and public policy professor at the University of Chicago told The Journal.

The fate of other provisions that were to be included in the legislation are unknown, including some $50 billion in new taxes designed to help offset its cost. They included an increase in taxes paid by private equity firms, including hedge-fund firms and real-estate partnerships. Democrats are likely to revisit the issue down the road.

Another provision of the bill that will survive is a proposal to suspend a 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors that took effect this month. That was stripped from the bill last week in a cost-cutting step and sent to the House as a stand-alone measure. The House, voting 417 to 1, approved the six-month suspension of the cuts late Thursday.

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  1. Mary Jo | June 27, 2010

    My $180 a week doesnt even come close to what I was making. I am now back to school trying to better myself and get a good job. Because legislation cut my benefits this has put me in a situation that is unimaginable. I don't understand, if a person is trying hard to more forward with their life, why not help.

    • Mary Jo | June 27, 2010

      And to let you know I am 52 years old and having a hard time finding a job.

  2. MIKE ARROYIAN | June 27, 2010

    HEY SENATORS YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!I WAS WORKING A CONSTRUCTION JOB MAKING 18 DOLLARS PER HOUR PLUS 20 TO 25 HOURS PER WEEK OVERTIME UNTIL OUR HOME OFFICE SAID THEY HAD TO LAYOFF 60 PERCENT OF THE WORKERS IN THE FIELD TO BEGIN WITH AND ANOTHER 10 PERCENT LATER.I WAS PART OF THE LATER 10 PERCENT BUT HUNDREDS OF US WERE LAYEDOFF IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME NOT BY OUR CHOICE.MY UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOTHING COMPAIRED TO WHAT I WAS MAKING SO DONT STAND THERE AND SAY PEOPLE ARE HAPPY COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT YOU BASTARDS!I CANT FIND WORK RIGHT NOW SO I NEED THE LITTLE MONEY I WAS GETTING IN UNEMPLOYMET TO FEED MY FAMILY BUT NOW YOU CUT THAT OFF TOO.I HOPE YOU SLEEP WELL AT NIGHT.I KNOW IF I WERE YOU I WOULD NOT.YOU HAVE DESTROYED MANY AMERICAN PEOPLES LIFES WITH YOUR GREED BUT YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE.IM AFRAID YOU CAN NOT RUN AWAY FROM YOUR PASTS FOREVER,EVENTUALLY IT CATCHES UP AND YOU MUST ATONE.IM NOT TALKING ABOUT ATONEMENT TO ANY GOD EITHER.YOU THINK YOU CAN SIT IN YOUR MULTI MILLION DOLLAR HOMES,DRIVE YOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR CARS,EAT ALL THAT FANCY FOOD,WEAR YOUR FANCY CLOTHES,GO ON YOUR EXSPENSIVE VACATIONS,PUT YOUR CHILDREN IN THE FINEST SCHOOLS,HAVE YOUR PRIVATE MAIDS,BUTLERS,SECURITY ALL PAID FOR BY THE TAX DOLLARS OF THE AMERICAN WORKER AND THE MONEY YOU STEAL WHILE YOUR IN OFFICE NOT TO MENTION YOUR RETIREMENT FOR LIFE PAID FOR BY THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER.YOU THINK YOU WILL ENJOY ALL THAT WHILE YOU MAKE MILLIONS SUFFER,STARVE,LOSE THIER HOMES,CARS AND DESTROY FAMILYS?YOU THINK YOU WILL GET AWAY WITH THAT?IM AFRAID YOUR WRONG,PAINFULLY WRONG.

  3. TINA REGGLER | June 27, 2010

    by voting against the extension, people who are going to lose their benefits will start applying for welfare, food stamps etc. Why are the unemployment being punished because of big business greed . Politicians need to get their heads out of the sand and get in touch with the real world. The majority of people on unemployment are looking for jobs, we do not look at unemployment checks as our income, but we need help while we seek employment. If you want to cut spending, how about looking at welfare recipients who have been collecting checks for years and show no sign of wanting to help themselves????
    don't keep punishing the workers of this country

  4. larry | June 27, 2010

    Yup another death caused by failure…Authorities are investigating a suspected murder-suicide in an Exeter, N.H., trailer park. Foster's Daily Democrat says police responded to a 911 call at the Hayes Trailer Park on Saturday morning.

  5. Annie | June 27, 2010

    This is wrong on so many levels and shows how much these politicians (that voted down the unemployment extensions) really care about the "little" people. Not only will this have an effect on the economy and other jobs like stated in this article, but I feel like the crime rate is gonna rise as well. Yeah, there may be people out there that can file for social security and disability, but there are many more that can't. The ones of those that can't find a job or aren't lucky enough to have a family to help them out, are gonna be face with the problem of figuring out how to provide themselves or even their family with the bare necessities. Not saying that I would actually do it if faced with the problem, but I do believe that if I was forced to choose to steal to feed my kids or watch my kids starve/die, I would choose to steal.

    Congress is in office making mega bucks compared to the unemployed. Most of them probably have never known what it is like to struggle like that. Their lifestyle has plenty of cushion. I bet if a raise for Congress was on the unemployment extension bill, they would have passed it.

    Congress, if you really wanna bring the economy back up drastically and quickly, bring the manufacturers back to America. I lost my job because the plant I worked at was ALLOWED to close down and take my job to El Salvador. How is that my fault? I didn't ALLOW them to do it.

    I do agree that there are some people out their taking advantage of the extensions, but there are alot of people that are busting their butts to try to find work. I am actually being retrained in something else because there are no plants hiring around my area, and I sure don't have the money to move.

    HAVE A HEART – Either approve the extensions or bring back America's jobs! I would really prefer the jobs. Then the extensions would not be necessary.

  6. Jim Peterson | June 27, 2010

    it is time for a new form of government.this form of government has become corrupted and has lost touch with reality.there is to much in fighting between parties and neither are doing their job,the protection of America and helping the American people,not the rest of the world.vote both parties out and start with other parties that stand for america.the democrates and republicans have proven that they can not do their job.

  7. kkelly | June 27, 2010

    Let the REVOLUTION begin!!

    AMERICAN WORKERS on one side!!!
    Everyone else on the other!!!

  8. JP | June 27, 2010

    I am a life long repulican and out of work six months through no fault of my own, my benefits endend a few weeks ago so now I am completely in trouble and depleted savings and family is deceased. I have a colledge degree and would even take a job at Wal Mart but no one is hiring. I certainly hope both parties will bring the bill back standing alone without all the pork attached to it and USE some of the unused stimulous money instead of demorcrats refusing to budge and putting millions of Americans homeless and further crippling the US economy. Please BRING this bill back to the table re=written so it will pass and give the jobless some relief until jobs become available.

  9. JP | June 27, 2010

    Both parties need to make a bill they both agree upon or Repulicans are going to take a strong hit messing with millons of Americans ability to feed there families and live. I am a life long Repulican and I am embarassed with there behavior here and lack of feelings towards there fellow man. Please Repulicans DO NOT CALL YOURSELVES CHRISTIANS, because you most certainly are not.

  10. wjoseph | June 27, 2010

    I'm sure there are some that are collecting unemployment benefits that shouldn't be, as in any government program. However I am 59 years old, worked the last 30 years at the same job. I have no experience outside of that job. I've filled out countless applications, only to be told I'm over qualified, or not qualified (that is if I ever get a response back) Last time I went to school was 1969! No certifications.
    I don't qualify for any other programs, I am not disabled and can work. There are many out there in my boat. Now our only source of income to pay bills is gone. I don't know what I'm going to do. If I could find a minimum paying job, I could not pay my bills and soon, the wage attachments will come.
    A few more months of unemployment benefits would get us into summer and hopefully a better economic situation.
    Remember, benefits don't last forever, this is not an entitlement program. Everyone will eventually be off of them, but being able to better plan is the key, time is a factor.
    Now, we are all just cut off. No one in the government seems to care.
    Remember, people are STILL getting laid off. The economy is STILL a mess.
    The Congress/Senate needs to stop fighting long enough to see the "little people" or the President needs to step in and create an emergency benefit package for the millions that have lost their only source of income.
    Thanks for listening.

  11. Mr. Vallon | June 27, 2010

    we need to round up the dead rabbits (unemployed) and raid paradise Square (homes of the pigs laid back chewing on the fat provided by those employed and unemployed) and show them their place! Gangs of New York Style. These @$$hole$ dont act unless it impacts them directly. we can not rely on the Senate anymore its filled with greedy self-interest, corrupt, bastards I say we storm the house and take it over!!!!!!!!!

  12. Barbara | June 27, 2010

    SEE THE COMMENT BELOW: ARE THEY KIDDING? STAY OFF "WHAT JOBS? ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO STAY OUT OF WORK LONGER???? THERE ARE NO JOBS TO STAY OUT OF WORK LONGER OR SHOULD I SAY……THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE APPLYING FOR WHATEVER JOBS ARE OUT THERE. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO "FIX" THE DEFICIT AT OUR EXPENSE. MOST OF THE UNEMPLOYED WANT JOBS. YOU CANNOT SAY ALL 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE JUST WANT TO STAY ON UNEMPLOYMENT. THAT'S INSANE!

    PLEASE READ THIS – NOT TRUE AT ALL! THIS IS A CRISIS!!

    "Other economists argue that extended benefits have encouraged people to stay off the job."

    "There's a very large body of research that says that more generous benefits and benefits that last longer…encourage people to stay out of work longer," Bruce Meyer, an economist and public policy professor at the University of Chicago told The Journal."…….. WHAT RESEARCH? THEY RESEARCHED 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE?????

    YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS ASSUMPTION WITH 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE OUT OF WORK AND THERE WILL BE MORE. WE NEED THE JOBS TO GO TO WORK! WE NEED MONEY TO SEARCH FOR JOBS. CARFARE? EVER HEARD OF THAT? NOT EVERYONE HAS A CAR AND PROBABLY CAN'T AFFORD ONE NOW.

    I WORKED 49 YEARS AND STILL WANT TO WORK UNTIL 70 YRS OLD. I AM 64 YRS OLD AND QUITE CAPABLE AND HAVE MANY YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH TRANSFERABLE SKILLS. I CAN WORK UNTIL 70 AND PUT BACK INTO THE ECONOMY AS MANY OF US CAN.

    THE SENATE IS STOPPING US FROM HELPING THE ECONOMY. GIVE US JOBS. THIS WILL TAKE A LITTLE MORE TIME UNTIL THE JOB SITUATION GETS BETTER, BUT THE MAJORITY NEED THESE BENEFITS TO LIVE ON UNTIL THEY GET WORK. ESPECIALLY FAMILIES WITH KIDS.

    OF COURSE, THERE IS PROBABLY SOME THAT ARE ABUSING THE SYSTEM, BUT YOU CAN'T STOP INCOME FROM ALL THESE PEOPLE NOW. FIND ANOTHER WAY TO CUT THE DEFICIT!
    THEY ARE WASTING OUR MONEY ON PROGRAMS THAT ARE NOT NEEDED NOW.

    EVERYONE IN THE SENATE WILL BE OUSTED IF THIS DOES NOT PASS. WE WILL VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT. BET ON IT.

  13. bruce | June 27, 2010

    this is from a unemployed person,i going to washington dc people, are you with me, i say are you with me, o i forgot i aint got enough money to get there. Bummer

  14. Bob | June 27, 2010

    So, now there is no way to get experience for new graduates, but there is also a blockade for those of us who want to work:
    In a separate incident reported earlier this month by the Huffington Post, The People Place, a job recruiting company, reportedly posted a job description with a message along the bottom that read, “Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason.”
    Another incident occurred with Sony/Ericsson, where the company posted a help wanted ad, with the the following message, “NO UNEMPLOYED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONSIDERED AT ALL.”

    Nice work. These are the great business owners. The intelligent people of my country. Very nice.

  15. kevin s | June 27, 2010

    Right on katz….You spoke my mind!!!!

  16. Out of Work and Out of Options | June 27, 2010

    So, all of a sudden the Republicans are so concerned about the national debt? Where were their objections during the eight-year slide, when George W. pushed this country into this phenomenal deficit, at the same time allowing corporations to ship our jobs to India, China and Mexico? No one wants to stay on unemployment, but the GOP need to understand that, thanks to their own policies, the jobs are no longer here in this country.

    Oh, and BTW, when we are not working, we are not paying taxes, and we are not buying goods, so any corporation which might still be willing to hire in the USA won't be able to anyway. Sort of a vicious cycle those Republicans got us into, wouldn't you say?

    Next thing you know, they'll be renting us space on the sidewalk in front of their glitzy offices where we can set up the refrigerator cartons that we'll be calling home. I'm sure it's okay for the GOP, though, as long as it lines their pockets!

  17. Teacher | June 27, 2010

    Sony Ericson recently posted a want ad for a job that said no unemployed people need apply. Interesting that businesses don't understand Americans don't only have the right to vote, but determine where they spend their dollars. I will no longer spend another dime on anything a company sells if they do not promote American interests: our workers. Also, why would a company even put that in a classified ad for a job? It's bad all round.

  18. Dee NY | June 27, 2010

    Seriously, what economist? The same dudes that thought things were going great right up to the point the train wreck happened. Yea, they know what they are talking about. The economist that I', seeing are saying the opposite.
    You can't stop a bleeding artery by putting on a band aid. They must pass the unemployment extension. Anyone with a brain knows this.
    The republican party is not realizing that although the media plays this differently, they can no longer present themselves as a party for the people. Apologizing for the BP shakedown, calling the American unemployed, hobos, lazy and so on. This is now how they defend their actions and their attack on the American worker. They had complete control of this counrty what have they done? how do they treat the people? What great things have developed over the many years of their power and leadership? What? Actions are louder than all the words in the world.
    There is no other way to see this, other than a direct attack on the American people. They have no idea how they have unified all the people against them. November will not be the traditional check and balance removal of seats. Oh no, They have forgotten what it was like when Obama ran. See you in November, don't let the door hit you as you are leaving.
    Keep ignoring the masses of unemployed people and all that are connected to them, all the Americans that fought your wars, built this country. Keep in mind the unemployment emergency spending is not what will break the bank. Go ask your economist what really is breaking the bank.
    They are under estimating the American people

  19. Priscilla Pearson | June 27, 2010

    I am a 63 year old whilte female that has been unemployed for a year. I am only on tier 2 and am in the government WIA re-training program. In two weeks, I will lose my only income. I live in a county that has a 10.5% unemployment rate. Our two major employers left leaving other companies to layoff or close due to the loss of business from these companies. One was Alcoa. I'm sure the work went overseas. In desparation I have filed early for my Social Security retirement benefits. My IRA account is non-existent. Now I have received an emergency email from AARP that there are plans under way to raid Social Security. The only hope that I have here is that the elderly have a strong lobby in AARP where the unemployed have none. I want to hear all these insensitive, rude people cry foul when the government starts putting its hand in their future to solve their current deficit problems. Hurts – doesn't it. The people drawing unemployment are not unemployed through any fault of their own. I have heard that layoffs are a way for a company to trim deadwood. That may be true to an extent, but when a company closes the whole tree dies.

  20. Sara | June 27, 2010

    When will the Democrats quit slamming the Republicans and stick to the issues? The Democrats rejected a bill submitted by Thune (R) on June 17 – a bill which would have paid unemployment benefits and which would have done it without running up the deficit. If that measure had passed, all of us would have unemployment benefits and wouldn't be where we are today! Democrats should get their acts together. So far, they've used stimulus money to pay out billions of dollars to those who got them elected, and none of it has created jobs or stimulated the economy. It's time to use stimulus money for what it was intended – to stimulate the economy – and the best way to stimulate the economy is to pay us unemployment benefits in the short-term (with stimulus money), and then get busy doing what's good for this country and all Americans – create jobs!

    Do what you were elected to do – represent us, the American people – instead of supporting the big businesses who elected you. Start using stimulus money wisely – pay us unemployment benefits. We've lost our jobs due to no fault of our own, let us help get this country back on track. Quit putting our country more in debt, and stop playing political games.

  21. Michael | June 27, 2010

    "Senate Republicans on Thursday killed a spending bill that included an extension of unemployment benefits and increased taxes on bonuses paid to executives at private equity firms. "

    If that doesn't tell you that this political party doesn't give a damn about the American people then you will forever be blind. Forced to choose between American families in need and rewarding business executives with even more money, they are content to leave families homeless so that the rich can get richer.

  22. Glenn Cox | June 27, 2010

    The U.S. Senate and GOP should be asamed by abondoning the average milddle American. Extending Unemployment Benefits beyond the initial 26 weeks. Extensions must allow those unemployed at least 52 weeks and include those who ran out of benefits teir one initail benefits and teirs 2-4 during the month of June It is inconvievable that Washington can bail out big banks, large corporations, and corporate billionares, then turn a deaf ear to middle American families. Middle American families hold the key to economic growth. The average American needs jobs to get back to work and start buying goods and services which will stimulate the economy. With out the average American buying goods and services there is no economic growth. Bail out money is being repaid and this money has to go to helping American families get back on their feet again. By June 30th nearly 2 million Americans will have souce of income at all. Someone explain to me how putting 2 million Americans out on the street is going to stimulate the economy!?!? Should a bill not be passed by June 30th the American people have to demand real change in Washington by voting out All sitting Senators and Representatives regardless of party or length of service, when they come up for re-election. A complete overhal is needed to return goverment back to by the people for the people. U.S. Senators should be so asamed of themselves a Americans should call for the resignation of all Senators not just those who voted against helping Americans when they needed it most because even those who voted for the bill did not do enough to convince those against. All elected government officials should be working tireless on behalf of the American people.

  23. Michael r | June 27, 2010

    For the past several decades ,our leadership in business and government has allowed our jobs and wealth to hemmeroge outside our shores…now we are in a crisis and those that have caused this problem are telling the working Joe's and Jane's of our nation to drop dead…They caused this problem, let them correct it…or support those they have hurt

  24. Yeggo | June 27, 2010

    I understand the POLITICAL argument to be made for not extending unemployment benefits. While I think public opinion is pretty clearly on the side of bolstering jobs even if it comes at the expense of the deficit, people are making arguments of political philosophy that I understand, even if I disagree with them.

    What I'm wondering is if there's an ECONOMICS argument to make. I want someone to explain how the economy benefits from failing to extend these benefits. I'm all ears:

  25. Janet McPartlan | June 27, 2010

    The only thing that will make me feel better is if Mitch McConnell drops dead this weekend. But before he dies I hope his whole family suffers. He is the ANTI-CHRIST!

  26. Janet McPartlan | June 27, 2010

    The only thing that will make me feel better is if Mitch McConnell drops dead this weekend. But before he dies I hope his whole family suffers. He is the ANTI-CHRIST!

  27. Joe | June 27, 2010

    I've unemployed since 10/1/08 . Although I've applied at over 150 jobs , I feel the economy isn't any better today then it was 2 years ago . I feel they should abolish "tears" of unemployment and just go by percentage of jobs available. This does nothing for suffering unemployed but make them feel insucure about there lively hood and there country . God Bless America and please extend unemployment ASAP !!!!

  28. jamie | June 27, 2010

    Well ijust they knw what they r doin we r leavein in a bad time,its a lot of robbery ,muder and other stuff goin on people goin to b actin crazy tryin to find a way to feed there family,I hope the repub party got it togeather,we need to vote much careful next term

  29. joseph wirth | June 27, 2010

    I'm a union laborer who is laid off. Republican Senators are all for the rich not for the working class people. They look at the unemployed as the scum of the earth.The only way to get rid of these senators is vote them out of office. Fox news is also for the rich and backs the republicans in what ever they do.Time to shut out the republicans and Fox news. GOD BLESS THE WORKING CLASS AND THE POOR PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP.

  30. Kathy J | June 27, 2010

    REPUBLICAN BASTARDS
    Republicans- The true Enemy Of The State
    Republicans intentionally stall the economy so that the
    Democrats will take the blame.

    Republicans block unemployment benefits extension for
    lazy drug addicted breeding hobos…
    Amazingly, it appears, through their words and actions,
    Republicans are kicking the unemployed and those on
    assistance when they’re down. Consider the following
    statements:

    Andre Bauer- Republican Lieutenant Governor of South
    Carolina: “My grandmother was not a highly educated
    woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding
    stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re
    facilitating the problem if you give an animal or
    person ample food supply. They will reproduce,
    especially ones that don't think too much further than
    that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to
    curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any
    better.”

    Sharron Angle- Republican Senator candidate: “What's
    happened to us, is that we have put in so much
    entitlement into our government that we really have
    spoiled our citizenry and said you don't want the jobs
    that are available."

    John Kyle- Republican Senator of Arizona: “It doesn't
    create new jobs, in fact, if anything, continuing to
    pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive
    for them to seek new work.”

    Dean Heller- Republican Congressman of Nevada: “I
    believe there should be a federal safety net.“ Heller
    said. But he’s not sure about extending unemployment
    benefits because he’s concerned about hobos as he
    asked,” is the government now creating hobos?”

    Orrin Hatch- Republican Senator of Utah: "We should not
    be giving cash to people who basically are just going
    to blow it on drugs." (Hatch proposed an amendment to
    the jobs bill earlier this month forcing anyone getting
    unemployment benefits to undergo drug testing.)
    Curiously, this action comes on the heels of recent
    reports that the job market may be loosening up a bit.

    Some have said that the move by Republicans was to
    intentionally stall the economy so that the Democrats
    will take the blame.

    So, if you’re an unemployed, lazy, drug addicted,
    reproducing hobo, stop attempting to collect the
    unemployment benefits that you paid into while you were
    working. But since you don’t know any better, the
    Republicans will block your benefits while you spend
    your days breeding and seeking drugs.

    If you are too dumb and stupid to see that the
    republicans are "The true Enemy Of The State", then you
    are part of this massive problem!

    Regards
    Kathy

  31. brad in wisconsin | June 27, 2010

    well there you have it. we have a bunch of people that insist on loading every bill that causes an uprising from the people with pork and gravey… oboma will not stand up and tell them to offer a stand alone bill on unemployment itself. another 20 billion to states to bail them out! 20 billion of the money i paid in to unemployment for 25 years. now after 6 months im shafted! oh well….

  32. Paul Brogan | June 27, 2010

    I began working in 1966 as a teenager and continued working for 42 years until I lost my job in 2008. With the exception of the time I served in the Navy and when I later collected unemployment benefits for a total of 27 weeks a number of years ago, I have been employed. Since losing my job I have applied for 789 jobs including positions at convenience stores, Wal Mart, K Mart, Macy's, Sears, etc. never limiting myself to the kind of work I had done previously. I was granted only 29 interviews and NO OFFERS. I continue to make seeking a job my full-time work and collecting benefits, which amount to less than 1/2 of what I earned, is not something I would chose to do. It has, however, kept a roof over my head although Wachovia repossessed my car. I have been willing to accept any job but getting someone to take a chance on someone in their late 50's is not easy. While an employer cannot ask your age they can, in the Internet era, find it out easily enough and determine that you are not a fit. Congress helped bail out banks, automakers and so many others but those of us who have worked diligently for decades now face ruin as our benefits cease and we lose our homes and the last remnants of dignity. Finding work has been a full-time job that I spend hours each day working at without luck. This experience has not been a cushy entitlement as some have alleged but a means to survive. I am proud of my decades of work and my service to this country but disappointed in their dismissive attitude toward a lot of really fine Americans who now need help.

  33. Rayt | June 27, 2010

    I am amazed and shocked the Senate abandoned 1.5 milllion American's. Not to mention the lives they have put in jepardy. While it is true that some Americans do abuse the system of benefits they always have and will, but that number is so small its not worth noting. If there are no jobs to be had what is the option. Yes I knwo there are those who say there is work at the local Burger King and Wendy's no one wants. Well that is simply not true people are applying for just about anything. I hear all the comments on the talk shows people calling in saying people don't want those jobs that they can't find people who want to work. Those kind of statements fuel a fire that just has no traction. Let me tell you a real story and you tell me how what they (the senate) really did.
    I am 62 years old and have worked for over 45 years and never even once asked this Gov't for a dime. Never been on unemployment until just over a year ago. I worked hard paid my taxes and and raised a family and bought a home and saved money and had a 401K. I was living an American dream. Happy secure and healthy. When my country called on me I did not hesitate I inlisted in the Navy and never once thought of turning my back on the country I loved so much.
    After loosing my job I spent down all of my savings to keep afloat and spent down my 401K, well what was left of it after the marked tanked which was less than half. I lost my home because I could not make the payments and I only had about 15 years left to pay on it and now its gone and the value is half or less than what it was. Now I am being left behind at my age to collect social security and make ends meet.
    I have no health ins and have severe diabetes and no Im not over weight and LAZY as some might say we are but can't afford ins because its more than my SSI. and I am not 65 yet.
    Folks this is just one story there are millions out there.
    So to my Gov't I say don't ever ask me to vote again or to support you in any way. All of you in DC should be kicked out of office and into the streets just as you have dont to us. You are dispickable and have no right to have the jobs you have. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
    you have lost my respect but most of all you have lost my vote.

  34. laurie | June 27, 2010

    i am one of those who was laid off, have been on unemployment. I have a self employed husband who is trying but money is sparse. I have three boys, one of them a paraplegic. Because of this cut I will not be able to buy groceries or gas for our family. Very, very depressed because of it

  35. marc | June 27, 2010

    this is wrong, i have been trying to find a job for a very long time. My unemployment check is the only thing keeping me and my family a float. Even though its hard to get by with what comes in every month. I have been working sence i was 15 years old doing the after school programs. And this is the first time i have ever asked for help from the goverment and know that they are trying to cut the bill, My family and i get put at risk!!!!! For being 27 years old im starting to see how this problem and defect was never my fault but and the end its people like me that have to pay the bill!!!

  36. Diane | June 27, 2010

    President Obama needs to issue an executive order to extend unemployment benefits now!!!!

  37. TimOregon | June 27, 2010

    Congress has failed not the GOP, the Dems are just as much to bail here.

    I am not one of the unemployed however see the need for Unemployment extensions… The fact that Congress cannot find other cuts is unacceptable; they always go after what is needed the most and save their pet projects and Wall Street friends.

    Congress needs to be held accountable for the their failure to create a jobs bill and a jobs market. Extending Unemployment is not the answer however it what is needed now.

    The Answer is to create jobs, which will take Congress placing higher taxes on any company that out sources jobs over seas, higher taxes on any funds leaving the US and higher tariffs on imports. Until then we have to pay out unemployment for the failure of our leaders.
    Support unemployment here, it is one of Change.org highest all time petitions.

  38. Heywood JaBlome | June 27, 2010

    Just finished maxing out my credit cards, well stocked with food and bills paid(not credit cards) In two weeks I'm going to file for unemployment and welfare.God Bless America

  39. Heywood JaBlome | June 27, 2010

    Whooops, I mean BANKRUPTCY

  40. John | June 27, 2010

    Andre Bauer- Republican Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina: “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better.”

    Sharron Angle- Republican Senator candidate: “What's happened to us, is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don't want the jobs that are available."

    John Kyle- Republican Senator of Arizona: “It doesn't create new jobs, in fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

    Dean Heller- Republican Congressman of Nevada: “I believe there should be a federal safety net.“ Heller said. But he’s not sure about extending unemployment benefits because he’s concerned about hobos as he asked,” is the government now creating hobos?”

    Orrin Hatch- Republican Senator of Utah: "We should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to blow it on drugs." (Hatch proposed an amendment to the jobs bill earlier this month forcing anyone getting unemployment benefits to undergo drug testing.)

  41. Mike | June 27, 2010

    The goverment is broke

  42. Jim | June 27, 2010

    I can't think of anything much worse than cutting off unemployment benefits for people who can't find jobs. What exactly does the GOP think these people will do when they are down to their last dollar; suddenly find a job that doesn't exist, or do they just not care.
    Do they really want to run for election on the platform that they denied the long term unemployed the means of providing for themselves and their families until the economy turns around? And also on the platform that they would not tax hedge fund managers (of all people) to offset the expense. In addition, the bill that they blocked provided funds for the cash strapped states to avoid laying off their personnel including police and others that we all count for safety.
    There is no way any such policy as blocking this bill can help to bring down deficits; it will add important already employed people to the ranks of the unemployed, further reducing taxes that they otherwise would have paid.

  43. Tim | June 27, 2010

    Why can't we use the money that GM will be paying back for their loan from the Government? It would be more than enough to cover the unemployment bill.

  44. Ed Ells | June 27, 2010

    This is insane. You in the senate MUST pass an unemployment extension NOW! I have worked for 30 years and collected maybe 5 unemployment cheks ever. Until this time! This time is different. I have been unemployed for 18 months, searching everyday, every way, and nothing. I have switched my focus to jobs other than my normal career (electrical designer), and nothing. I live in Houston Texas, which until this time has always had plenty of jobs for all. There are so many of us out there who need this bill passed now!

  45. steve | June 27, 2010

    Yep, help the rich and screw the struggling people. That's the way GOP!

  46. Amm | June 27, 2010

    cut senator salaries………….there's the extra money you need to fund this. These people make me ill.

  47. Jennifer | June 27, 2010

    My husband is 48 years old, and has been unemployed for over 6 months. We live in "oil and gas" country in Oklahoma. My husband had the same job for nearly 18 years, but big companies don't care. Working in the oilfield is the only kind of work he's ever done. Knows it like the back of his hand, but knowledge does not create jobs. We've lived off his unemployment benefits, which hasn't been easy, but we've done it! I have been trying since 2000 for disability benifits, but I'm continuously turned down, but every quarter I receive a statement from SOCIAL SECURITY stating if I become disabled, I can draw a certain amount of money each month! REALLY? It's a lie!!! I personally know a mexican man who brought his mother to the US from Mexico, and within a month or so, she was recieving food stamps, medicaid, and a monthly check, all from our government!! Please can someone explain to me how all of this is possible when this woman has not paid ONE DIME of taxes, or paid into Social Security! This sh@t goes on all the time, but my husbands unemployment has been cut off, and before long, we will be living in a card board box!!

  48. Joe | June 28, 2010

    – better yet : Why not put the 1.3 million who's benifits expired, on social security ?? After all nobody really knows when and where that many jobs will open considering most of America's work went over seas.

  49. Barbara Lohse | June 28, 2010

    I think that the Republicans, need to remember that 1.plus million people who are going to be affected by this vote of suspending unemployment are also voters. Come this fall when the American people are voteing and they don't have a place to live or food to feed their families their going to remember why!!!!!!!!

  50. Josef blough | June 28, 2010

    Not so fast! The money is there for the unemployment extensions in unused stimulus and always has been. The Republicans want to use that, the Democrats don't. The Republicans want to use the unused stimulus so as not to add to the deficit, even tho it's rather late for that. The Democrats don't want to use it and want to add to the deficit, which is irresponsible. Irregardless, obviously neither side were worried too much about the deficit when they both agreed to bailing out delibertate coprporate greed, yet drag their heels for the for the unemployed thru no fault of their own. So actually the Democrats are just as guilty as the Republicans are of obstructionism in this situation. Like 2 spoiled rich kids on the playground argueing over who gets the swing 1st. What a country.

  51. RFG | June 28, 2010

    When will the people matter to congress or the senate ? When it is to late ?

  52. TIM BRAGG | June 28, 2010

    DEMOCRATS VOTED TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT. REPUBLICANS VOTED NO, WHO CARES WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM, ALL THE REPUBLICANS WANT TO SPEND MONEY ON IS WARS, & GIVING TRILLIONS TO OTHER COUNTRIES.

  53. Emily Goodall | June 28, 2010

    This is the biggest betrayal of the American worker in recent history.

    The reason for the layoffs in the first place was the sub-prime crisis that originated in the Republican Bush Administration. This is why most of us lost our good jobs!! Jobs that were hard to get in the best of economic conditions.

    This is the same Republican government that desperately wanted the Iraq war that killed nearly 5000 U.S. service men and women, and SHACKLED OUR GRANDCHILDREN WITH A 1 TRILLION DEBT. NOT ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR ASKED, DURING THE IRAQ DEBATE ABOUT WHERE WE WOULD GET THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THAT ACTION. Not one.

    Now, the very same Republicans have turned against the American worker, cutting off life-line benefits to more than a million people during the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    This is a nightmare scenario.

  54. Joyse Huber | June 28, 2010

    As part of the 2 million out of work in California and the United States I would like to thank you for caring enough about us to kill the extension bill. As you know we don't need to eat, pay our bills, buy insulin for diabetes, feed our children. You must have enough to worry about when you go to your big houses, with a lot of food to eat, utilities on, taking your meds every nite that you buy with your kick backs from the rich people you help steal from us LOWER CLASS citizens. So I just wanted you to know that come the next election, don't expect our votes, we will be out on the streets with our baskets looking for someplace warm to sleep that we won't be getting our voting materials. We'll be trying to be safe and not hungry. But do look for us on the street corners begging for a couple of dollars so we can have at least our one meal for the day. I am having my internet turned off so I don't get the emails from job recruiters that I need to hear from because I can't afford it anymore. I can't afford to buy gas, pay for utilities so I'll get those turned off, no food, insulin, the other meds I need. Oh I think I'll sell my car since I don't have a job to go to can't afford the insurance anymore. Do you know actually care that you have put my life on the line, that I'm as scared as I have ever been in my life for the future. I would never want anyone to feel the way you have made me feel at this very moment. col; crying out loud!!

  55. One up the Reds... | June 28, 2010

    You should think twice before you turn your backs on the people of this country…You want to blame Obama for this mess…It's Bush's past Admin that has and is making us suffer as a whole…Send the Reps and Senators children to the war fronts and see how they would quickly regress their appetites for destruction and greed…

  56. MT | June 28, 2010

    Wouldn't the greatest fix to the economy be to have each member of congress give a percentage of their wages, benefits, etc. to help fund the unemployment extension. Fix the unemployment, food stamp problem by having them justify the money and benefits they receive. Have them turn in recipts for food etc., or have them show that they are drug free and looking for new employment. There are alot of people who will work the system to their advantage, but most are hard working americans who just got a bad break in these times. Fix the problem, don't add to it.

  57. Emily | June 29, 2010

    Each and everyone of the members of the US Senate should be ashamed of themselves. Both sides are stubborn and don't give one iota for the American people. The only thing they care about is Wall Street and the money from lobbiest that line their pockets. I never thought the day would come when I would be ashamed to be an American. I hope the American people wake up vote each and everyone one of you out of office. You don't deserve to be there.

  58. Sherry M | June 29, 2010

    I have to agree with Emily that each and every member of the Senate should be ashamed of themselves. Each and every one of our so-called representatives are sitting pretty with their salaries, insurance and pension benefits as well as the numerous perks. And if there is one that is NOT controlled by a lobbyist, then he or she is in an elite group. They get into office on the promise that they are here for the citizens, but once on the throne, they develop diminished capacity for caring for the people of the US. The constant referral to not wanting to increase the deficit with additional monies is a farce. The amount for extended benefits is truly miniscule when compared to all of the waste that is allowed on their special projects. As for jobs in my area, there are postings for dancers (no experience necessary which says a lot) and paper carriers. I know that the senators think that any wage is acceptable, but I don't envision paying too many bills with those sources of income. I never had to collect unemployment before but after 37 years of employment found myself out of work. Now I can say that I have never had to collect welfare, but… Anyway, I will be sure to exercise my voting rights come this fall and would not hesitate to join a grassroots movement to oust as many of the senators voting "no" so they can see themselves in the real life!

  59. Toni | June 29, 2010

    THe jerks in the Senate do not read our comments on blogs. Make your voices heard by emailing and calling your Senators. The understand that a bunch of angry calls or emails means means votes they will not get. They see us a losers who are too lazy to even vote, Show them we will act when wronged. CALL THE JERKS AND TELL THEM HOW ANGRY YOU ARE!

  60. carlie | June 29, 2010

    Do they have it wrong or what before I was laid off I made in one day what i'm getting for a week on unemployment I would prefer to be working now how am I going to pay for my insurance and gas to look for work talk about bad timing to get thrifty with the money boy do the republicans have it WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. elizabeth | June 29, 2010

    Both administrations are wrong, and we are the ones suffering without jobs. I just hope after reading these posts, that congress will change and pass the bill. I look evey day for a job and
    they just don't exist. No one is hiring and I have a family to feed too. Life is not easy for anyone, rich or poor but we do need help at times. I am just praying for this to pass in
    July. I don't know what I will do if it doesn't.

  62. Cheryl | June 29, 2010

    I am 51 years old and have worked all my life until I was laid off. Without the unemployment extension I will not have the money to pay my bills. I have cut back on everything possible and I diligently try to find work. I have never taken handouts or food stamps and have always managed to support myself and my family and pay my bills on time, even if it meant mac and cheese, toast, or ramen noodles several meals a week. Without the extension, I cannot get by. I hope all our chosen representatives think of the less fortunate while they enjoy their fancy meals and pray they are never in a similar situation as we are.

  63. Patricia | June 29, 2010

    My Dear Fellow Americans, like you I am not at all satisfied with the lack of response to the needs of the people especially with regards to unemployment & realistic jobs to afford to live in our United States of America. What I believe is no one is going to pay us what we are worth except ourselves. I have taken control of my life, future and monetary needs by investing in myself. If you are seriously interested in doing the same thing email me at pdaviszamzuu@yahoo.com with your name, email address & a phone number with the best time to reach you. This information I am offering is FREE! I share information regardless of age(21yrs & over), race, religion or life preferences. Together we can make a difference by getting into office those individuals who will honor their oath of "For the People" who have elected them to office, not those who take the opportunity to line their own pockets at our expense.

  64. mary lou | June 30, 2010

    Let me get this straight, they are going on July 4th vacation, where sre you going me I just have to sit here and worry boy am I going to have a wonderful holiday. What a bunch of loosers

  65. Brian Korta | June 30, 2010

    I can not believe this is the way my government acts. I have worked and paid taxes for yje past 27 yrs. I hade a kidney transplant 30 tyrs ago, I could have sucked on the systems titts for all these years and now I need help and this is what I get.. Thank you american government and " In God I do trust" so ya thanx….

  66. Bob Gifford | June 30, 2010

    No use talking about these people and how they feel. I will tell you how they feel
    they have plenty of money and everything they need to live a happy life.
    They know that there are no jobs to look for, but they wan't to break this country
    yes "break this country". For seventy years they have tried to dismatle Social Socerty, Medi-care, and all intitlement programs. They failed in this, but one way they can do it is bankrpt
    the country.
    When this country is bankrupt there will be no money for any of these program, now they
    will have all the money and, to keep from starving we will work for them six or seven days
    a week for just enough to keep from starving.
    It's the 1929 deprecission all over again, The Republicans will do what ever it takes to do this.
    It's in there blood, and their idealogy to bring the black slaves here and make them work for
    just enough to live on, who caused the siviel war and killed hundreds of thousands of people
    They started the two war's we are fighting now, you see, they like to start wars but don't like
    to fight in them, like theiri big Russ Limpbaugh who run to Canada to excape the Viet-nam
    draft.
    The only way we can save this country is vote them, out All of them out don't believe a word
    they say the truth is not in them. They will lie when the truth would fit better. Bob Gifford.

  67. frank roman | July 3, 2010

    today's republicans could'nt stand it when the democrats balanced the budget with clinton so they ran the democrats out of the white house with monica luinsky, then they stole the election, fell asleep at the switch on 9/11,then started a war with the wrong country,wasted a lot of money and lives, and ran this country into the ground. now, they refuse to help the unemployed, well, we have elections and those people who voted for republicans can vote them out!

  68. Marcus | July 3, 2010

    This Unemployment Extension is sorely needed. I have NEVER, not had a "good" job since I was 16 (41 now). I spent 6 years in the Marine Corps and came out and continued to be a great American Citizen. After the company I worked with for 13 years downsized and released me I found another job that soon closed its doors after over 40 years. Now I have been searching for employment since 12/08! I have never felt so helpless and it seems nowhere to turn. My savings is gone. At least with unemployment I could keep a roof over my head and food on my plate…Now I am close to being homeless! NEVER would I have envisioned this. The government has always been so quick to bail out Billion dollar companies in America and abroad but now finds it hard to help its own citizens??! What a tragic state of political and social insolvency are we in!
    I’m normally not one to complain, but this is despicable; even for politicians. Two week long paid vacations in the same month! Both taken, when Good American citizens desperately need help feeding their families!? I don’t want unemployment, I NEED IT… What I want, is a damn JOB! I have been laid off for over a year and a half. Sent out countless resumes, hit the bricks, everything I can think of and I simply can’t find work. The minimum wage jobs say I have too much experience or I am overqualified. What? Then hire me because I will do a better job!
    I didn’t run this country into the ground….Mr. Senator, Congressmen, President, faceless political lobbyist, you did! I hope you enjoy your lavish holiday celebrations while the people you’re elected to represent go hungry.

  69. Doug | July 9, 2010

    The real answer to america's problems is simple. Start up a third party made up of real american that looks out for the working man/woman in this country and the best interest of this country. Until now I've been a hard core Republican since I was 18, I'm now 52! Lets all face the facts both the Republican and Democrats have been playing us for years. The average Congressman/Senator is worth 5.5 million dollars. If you do a little digging "follow the money trail" most of these red white and blue flag waving phonies are the same people that have out sourced all the jobs out of America. Once again follow the money trail! Bottom-line we can do better than to keep sending 90 plus year old men to Washington DC to run this country. That's just is embarrassing.

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