April 5th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Unemployment benefits expire for thousands

Extended unemployment benefits will temporarily expire for thousands of Americans on Monday because the Senate went on its spring recess without approving a one-month deadline extension.

The extension, which had bipartisan support, would have cost about $10 billion, but a lone Republican, Sen. Tom Coburn, said no until the costs are offset.

The Oklahoma senator objected to a commonly used unanimous-consent agreement to pass the bill under emergency conditions, even if it increases the federal deficit. Coburn wants to eliminate additional government spending to pay for the bill.

"The legitimate debate is whether we borrow and steal from our kids or we get out of town and send the bill to our kids for something that we're going to consume today," Coburn said on the Senate floor.

It's the second time a Republican has blocked a so-called "emergency extension" of jobless benefits.

Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning objected to adding to the deficit back in February.

"We can't do everything we'd like to do," Bunning said at the time. "We don't have the money."

Asked whether President Obama believes that the benefits extension should be paid for, Lawrence Summers, one of Obama's top economic advisers, said, "He believes that in an emergency, families who are depending on unemployment insurance to buy medicine for their kids should not have that unemployment insurance cut off."

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. mariah

    Seems like this lone Republican is hurting those in his party and well as those who are not...but someone Republicans will find a way to blame President (who is a Democrat) for it. It will be interesting to see what kind of "spin" it will take to do that.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gwen Smith

    Once again the Republicans showed their true colors. When are you going to learn that the Republicans do not care what the American people are going threw. They only care about their self, and their political careers. Please people wake up, and see what the Republican party is all about. They think Americans are stupid and believe they can pull anything over on them. Dont let those Jerks convince you of anything, use your brain to examine facts. They will do anything to bring the President down, and they dont care who they hurt. Wise up people, use your head to THINK, dont buy their lies, and deception.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Will

    Yet, Senators Bunning and Coburn have the luxury of never having to worry about themselves or their families going without electricity or food or medicine. Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of unemployed Americans are soon going to find themselves unable to pay for the gas that gets them to their job interviews or pay for their family's medicine and food. Nope....what REALLY matters is staying true to your political party's goals of sticking it to the current administration. After all, spite is what REALLY matters here, doesn't it?

    April 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    I for one agree. We cannot continue the complete insanity of spending money we do not have. Unemployment assistance was not meant as a way of life. This article shows poor reporting skills. How long was the extension? How many weeks of unemployment was allowed prior to this disallowed extension period? How come this is still a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Our leaders have a responsibility to lead and protect5 all Americans, those paying for the programs as well as those receiving the programs. How long is long enough for unemployment? Eventually we are going to create a society of unemployed people.....oh wait, we already have!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    #4 Mike you must be working a 12hr day and have plenty of money, while the poor people have try and find a job on a daily bases like me . You know I worked 38 years in a company only to have it move out of the USA. Now I can't find work because of other people working 12hr days instead of an 8 hrhr shift. Come on people lets work together

    April 6, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |