Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)(L), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) leave the weekly Senate Republican meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed
Blame these guys.
It's been more than 10 weeks since 1.3 million people unemployed for six months or more lost their emergency unemployment benefits, and in that time their ranks have grown to two million. And after Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked bills renewing that emergency unemployment aid, further efforts appear stalled:
With the Senate rushing to pass a complicated package on Ukrainian aid, confirm nominees and complete a bipartisan child care bill, Democrats and Republicans are no closer to a resolution on how to pay for a five- or six-month retroactive restoration of long-term benefits that were cut off in December. There’s no agreement on which, if any, structural reforms need to be made to the UI program.

“Slim to none,” said Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) of the chances of an immediate break-through. “I don’t anticipate a vote this week.”

No vote this week takes the Senate into recess next week, so there won't be a vote then, either. Republicans, who left a bill that met most of their demands just one vote short of breaking a filibuster in February, predictably have more demands that would weaken the bill and are claiming it's all the Democrats' fault for not having caved.

Republicans say they want to push unemployed people toward jobs, but there's one small problem with that: There are no jobs for more than 60 percent of job seekers, and since people unemployed for six months or more—exactly the people who would benefit from this aid—face serious hiring discrimination, they're likely to fall into the 60 percent who won't get jobs no matter how hard they try. But Republicans insist on adding insult to injury by blaming them for not trying hard enough while blocking the unemployment aid that could pay for printing out the next set of resumes or for the tank of gas needed to get to the next interview.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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