“Senator Reid has continued speaking with his Republican colleagues since yesterday afternoon and informed them that he is absolutely willing for the Senate to consider a reasonable number of relevant amendments from Republicans. He hopes Republicans will get serious about passing this emergency legislation and stop trying to distract from the issue at hand with more tired attacks on Obamacare and other unrelated issues. At the end of the day, the most important thing is keeping faith with those who are struggling to make ends meet, and they expect us to rise above partisan squabbling.”See, the current unemployment extension bill is already a compromise offer by Democrats that basically does what several Republican senators said they wanted:
From the Dem perspective, their 11 month extension bill already contains concessions to Republicans. After all, Republicans say they support extending benefits if there is a pay for; this bill offers them one. (Yes, the “pay-for” for is gimmicky, but not that much more gimmicky than the pay-for on the stimulus replacement bill that passed both houses easily.) What’s more, the Dem bill also shortens the duration of UI benefits, to bring down the price tag, in keeping with Republican demands for fiscal responsibility.The 26 amendments Republicans wanted to attach were much more about delaying the process and inflicting their temper tantrums on the country than about actually making policy: an attack on the American-citizen children of immigrants, yet another attempt to roll back Obamacare ... clearly Reid's stipulation that he'll consider "a reasonable number of relevant amendments" is going to be challenged repeatedly. The process of getting unemployment benefits restored to people unemployed for six months or more will be unnecessarily slowed down by a Republican Party that just doesn't care about the jobless—and that's just in the Senate. Things are looking even worse in the House, though if the Senate passes a bipartisan bill, the pressure will be on Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote.