April 12th, 2010
06:38 PM ET

Jobless benefits extension advances in Senate

Senate Democrats managed to get enough Republican support to take up a proposed extension of unemployment benefits Monday evening, but whether they have the votes to get past further GOP opposition remained uncertain, Democratic aides said.

Republicans, led by fiscal hawk Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, say they don't oppose extending unemployment benefits - they want Democrats to find a way to offset the nearly $10 billion price tag for the one-month extension.

Democrats argue that cutting spending to pay for the jobless benefits, which average about $300 a week, would diminish the money's stimulative effect on the still-sagging economy.

"Do we have the presence of mind to do this in a way that doesn't hurt our children?" Coburn asked during a floor speech. 'We're debating whether to take from those who come after us and give to those today."

But four Republicans - Scott Brown of Massachusetts,; Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio - joined 56 Democrats in voting to bring up the bill. But Democrats are less confident they will get the 60 votes they need to get the bill through the Senate later this week, two Democratic leadership aides told CNN.

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Filed under: Economy • Politics
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Chedar

    My company used software to design pilot plants. The economy is so bad that my last project was on March 2008. The upgrade of just one software cost $1000 each year. Since there is no project starting 2008, the company who sells us the software keeps on calling for update. We could not update our software since there is no project. Since there is no project, I got laid-off. Unfortunately, that company who sell that software is where my son worked. He got laid-off 6 months after March 2008. This shows how a domino effect is in real life works. So hang in to your job. It is real. If congress does not continue bailing out the unemployed in main-street there will be sadness among you who are currently employed. If the republican think this is not an emergency. Try not to pass the unemployment extensions , you will see the domino effect and the job cut could be yours next

    April 12, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    Republicans fiscally responsible?Don't make me laugh! 1.3 million dollar charges for posh hotels and sleazy bondage clubs do not a moral majority make.They are a bunch of immoral pinheads who are out of touch with reality.I've been voting for 30+ years and am a genuine southern conservative and these are a bunch of spineless clowns!

    April 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George Poland

    Explain to me how our government can send billions in aide to help other countries but our government has to vote to help it's own citizens. It seems to me a wake up call needs to be made,but who am I. The same as everyone else, you put your trust in government and they sit back and laugh all the way to the bank that we bailed out.

    April 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Deborah

    The people who do not want to pass the unemployment extension are the rich. They do not care about the average middle class, thus forgetting, we pay their wages and their medical insurance. Fine, go ahead and not pass it, the next in line will be you and your family. Many of us are tired of paying their way, wait till we have another vote; maybe no more Republicans!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim West

    The Republicans under President Bush did not hesitate to spend billions of dollars on Iraq and did not hesitate to drive up one of the largest budget deficits in our history.
    Yet now all of a sudden, a Republican Senator from Kentucky is worried how we can pay for unemployment insurance. If these are not crociidile tears, then I don't know what this is. The shear hypocrisy of this situation is sad, since so many real people in desparate need are being denied help so a Senator from Kentucky can make a point.

    April 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    I laugh too when I think of 10 billion dollars for a one month extension for UI. The wars we are in easily cost that, and we are getting NOTHING for it. What fools pay 10 billion dollars a month and get nothing? How about both houses of congress and a President?

    April 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Susan

    Everyone talk about the problems with our government and I wholeheartedly agree. But where is everyone when the elections roll around? Someone has to be voting for these elected officials. I know Election Day is months away and we Americans have a short memory, however, I for one will express how I feel when it counts most. Perhaps if everyone did that, things might not improve immediately but we would be sending a strong message.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. tom kane

    I support federal assistance to the unemployed...
    It is great stimulus to small business and local government.

    On the other hand you have the 0% Fed Funds rate and The Troubled Asset Relief Program...
    they provide a great stimulus to DC lobbyists and campaign finance accounts.

    If you want broad GOP support for Unemployed America, attach the legislation to a combo of nation building and corporate tax cuts...
    THE DEFICIT WOULD THEN BECOME AN AFTERTHOUGHT.

    April 13, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bush Destroyed America

    Those of you who are unemployed you had better think about your votes in November. You will no longer be reading how the Republicans finally gave in and voted for continuing your unemployment checks, yet again as they do every single time this extension comes due. Democrats all have consistently on the other hand voted for the extension, and will continue to as long as unemployment is an issue. Even with this many Democrats seated the margin is so close as it stands that it only took one single Republican once again, to tip it against extending your benefits, your check will no longer be granted. Canceled, discontinued, cut, slashed, denied, no more check for you if you vote for even more Republicans as it will be harder to bridge the gap to keeping you funded. It only took one Republican this time to say no to it, you vote in more of them and that means more than one who votes no after November. You will then starve with no money and no job, think hard about your choice, don't cut your nose off to spite your face, you will still need to survive.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. enough

    Enough with the games!! Next election – let Congress feel the sting of the unemployment lines!!! – How many years have you paid taxes? 30? 40? Your government bails out bankers and Wallstreet execs using your tax dollars – but unemployment is allowed to expire? Congress wasn’t worried about the defecit when that big insurance company and wall street execs were giving themselves bonuses with taxpayer money! What happened to "by the people" or "for the people"? Or are the big campaign contributors the only "people" who count to congress? They are playing games and going on vacation while you are wondering how to feed your kids?

    April 13, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. AndrewB

    I remember reading in the Atlanta Journal Constitution a few weeks back about a reporter who was doing a story about Republicans blocking unemployment benefit legislation. He went back through Congressional Reocords from 2000-2010 and looked at unemployment benefit extensions during that time. It turns out, that neither Republicans nor Democrats provided funding sources for uenemployment benefit extensions during that time. None!! These extensions were used during national emergencies also, like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. But no funding set aside from either party. How is it that that was o.k. then, but isn't o.k. now?? Unemployment is indeed a National Emergency, and needs to be dealt with NOW!!! No more playing games, it needs to be dealt with quickly.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bye Republicans

    "We're debating whether to take from those who come after us and give to those today."

    Isn't that what Social Security is? Coburn, I'm switching parties... you're an idiot.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Guest

    +1 to the comments noting, accurately, that former President Bush spent a ton of money on his military interests, etc., that could and should have been used on domestic programs to prevent the current recession from ever happening, in the first place. And now Republicans are stalling on approving a little more in unemployment payments, to people who really need it . . . and who largely need it because of 8 years of Republican mismanagement? Unbelievable.

    April 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SandyA

    After working for 35 years, I have been on unemployment for over a year! My benefits ran out on March 17 and after not eating for 6 days, I got food stamps. I had to cry and beg and welfare gave me $10 for gas to go to the one job interview that I was granted. I was offered a job with full benefits and health insurance! I am turning down the job.....why? I cant raise gas money! Can you believe that I am moving into my car on April 30 due to losing my apartment and a job is sitting there!! I walked 8 miles to the welfare office begging them to give me less food stamps and some cash for gas and THEY SAID NO! Rebublican or Democrat.........? that is not the decision.....IT IS THEM ALL......AGAINST US

    April 14, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. alex

    Enough with the games!! Next election – let Congress feel the sting of the unemployment lines!!! – How many years have you paid taxes? 30? 40? Your government bails out bankers and Wallstreet execs using your tax dollars – but unemployment is allowed to expire? Congress wasn’t worried about the defecit when that big insurance company and wall street execs were giving themselves bonuses with taxpayer money! What happened to "by the people" or "for the people"? Or are the big campaign contributors the only "people" who count to congress? They are playing games and going on vacation while you are wondering how to feed your kids?

    April 14, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |