Effort to extend jobless benefits stalls in Senate

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) (L-R), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) speak to reporters after their weekly Republican caucus lunch meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 14, 2014. REUTERS-Jonathan ErnstReuters

Efforts to renew emergency federal jobless benefits for 1.5 million Americans stalled in the Senate on Tuesday when Democrats and Republicans rejected each other’s proposals.

Both sides vowed to keep looking for a compromise, but it appeared unlikely they would find one before next week’s Senate recess.  

“It is extremely important that we act, and today we failed to act,” said Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

“It is not over,” said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. “We are not going to give up.”

If and when the Democratic-led Senate passes a bill to extend benefits, the measure would have to be approved by the Republican-led House of Representatives before it could go to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Obama has been pushing Congress to renew the benefits for the long-term unemployed – people who have been out of work for at least six months. Their benefits expired on December 28.

Since then, the number of long-term unemployed has risen to 1.4 million from 1.3 million. Unless funding for the federal program that provided the benefits is restored, the number of jobless Americans losing benefits is expected to increase by 72,000 a week.

Republicans and Democrats have accused each other of being more interested in jockeying for political position than actually extending jobless benefits.

On Tuesday, Democrats rejected as inadequate a Republican proposal to renew benefits for three months at a cost of about $6.5 billion, which would have been offset by cuts elsewhere.

And Republicans rejected as excessive a Democratic proposal to extend benefits until the mid-November at a cost of $18 billion, which would also have been offset by other spending cuts.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid offered to allow Republican amendments on Tuesday, but Republicans rejected the terms requiring that amendments get at least 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to pass.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the Reid offer “ridiculous.”

Democrats control the Senate, 55-45.

Reid brushed off the criticism and said the Senate needs to step up and help the jobless.

“We need to remember the urgency of this matter,” Reid said. “There are lot of people who are desperate.”

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan; Editing by Dan Grebler and Meredith Mazzilli)


One thought on “Effort to extend jobless benefits stalls in Senate

  1. *************************************************************************************
    FROM: The Enemy-Force-In-Occupation (aka: The US Fed Gov’t)

    TO: ALL Stupid Americans

    SUBJECT: How we are going to continue screwing you over!

    DATE: From now on.

    Dear Stupid Americans:

    We here in the Enemy-Force-In-Occupation can not thank you enough for making it so easy to rape, pillage, burn and destroy your country on behalf of the NWO, the International Banksters, Israel, and of course our boss,.. the Rothchilds (we particularly enjoyed our handi work on 9/11,… Wow,.. what a great show that was!).

    In continuing with this fine tradition of fukin you over,.. we have decided to appear indecisive in extending unemployment benefits for over 1.3 MILLION of you mongrel Americans,, with the understaning that will soon balllon into 4 or 5 million of you parasites that will simply start the starvation process (Personally we feel,.. the sooner you all die,.. the better)

    We hold you in such disdain,.. we are not even going to give you half-ass reason anymore,… instead,… we here in the US Congress (the Enemy-Force-In-Occupation) feel that the time is right to simply start pissing in your face directly, and enjoying the feeling of knowing we have screwed you, your children, your families and your country over, and will continue to do so on a daily basis now.

    Ultimately, it is FAR more important that ALL the wealth of this country be givin to the Banksters, and one of the ways to achieve this goal,.. is to STOP giving you any form of support or any of your own wealth back!

    Please do not take this personally,… its just business,…. as we seek to rob you blind, destroy your country, enslave you,.. and finally,… just exterminate the lot of you.

    Thank you very little.

    Sign – The hand puppets of the US Congress, and Your Overlords at the NWO.

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