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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) is photographed as he talks to reporters about the senate's vote on debt ceiling legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, August 2, 2011. Congress buried the specter of a debt default by finally pass
Senate Republicans have been having a temper tantrum (dutifully relayed by the stenographers at the New York Times and elsewhere) over Harry Reid's refusal to allow them to insist on votes on dozens of unrelated or poison-pill amendments to the bill extending emergency unemployment aid. Now, Reid is essentially calling their bluff. His office told Greg Sargent:
“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.

Sign and send a petition your Republican senator or senators, demanding that they restore benefits to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This needs to get done without further delay, (8+ / 0-)

    and we need to keep our eyes on it to make sure it does.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:10:55 PM PST

  •  Good lord, our economy just sucks. it just sucks. (6+ / 0-)

    We're witnessing the semi-permanent ossification of the US economy.  We need this extension in the worst way.  

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:16:51 PM PST

    •  All this is being done in the name of.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      reducing the deficit?  Why??????

      According to the latest figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the red ink for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which began Oct. 1, dropped by almost 40 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

      The deficit has gone down so much that the federal government actually ran a surplus for December — a one-time occurrence that resulted from some special circumstances but still an indicator of the rapidly improving state of the government’s finances.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:36:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I continue to hear so much about how our unemployment is improving greatly and how our economy is improving exponentially.  

      Now this?  I'm unsure on all of it, to be honest.

      •  We read a lot. Most is trash (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        THe economy is stagnant for everyone who is not living primarily off of the dividend checks or the bonuses from Stock ownership or Stock Trading. The figures for unemployment, jobs created, etc are not accurate and get revised and re-revised over the next months. The best number for real recovery is the Labor Participation Rate - essentially the percentage of workers who are engaged in work or seeking work in a variety of jobs which could actually provide a living - not part time McDonald's. It is at the lowest rate it has ever been since they began figuring it out. It puts the real unemployment rate for workers not on LONG TERM unemployment at above 7.5%. It means the real rate of people not being able to work to earn a LIVING is around 27-29% which is WAY above the actual rate during the great depression. We are in a pure mess cutting and slashing and being on the austerity wagon while everyone else has long jumped off and seen the recovery soar.

  •  Code for; "Cuts, cuts, and more cuts" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, divineorder, Losty, daeros

    You poor people don't really need to eat for the next decade anyway, right? Oh and how about money for heat, you old folks? Hey it's almost summer! And you sick people - here's an aspirin. Make it last.

    HOORAY ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC VICTORY!! Now don't forget to send us more donations, otherwise the Republicans might take over and cut food stamps, Medicare and Social Security!

    "You don't know me, but I'm your brother - I was raised here in this living Hell. You don't know my kind in your world - fairly soon, the time will tell." - Doobies

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:52:48 PM PST

  •  Can someone tell me... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How long have the long term unemployed now been without bennies? Specifically the 1.3 million who ran out after xmas?

    ~10 days?


  •  Oh, quelle surprise! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, flowerfarmer, maryabein, daeros

    Too bad we weren't paying attention to them yesterday! Now we've all got to mad-scramble mobilize a phone and email pushback on a fucking Friday afternoon. Yeah, that'll happen....

    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
    Right. Because Harry Reid deciding to allow a "reasonable number of relevant amendments" had nothing to do with slowing down this process.

    (bangs head on desk)


    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:55:42 PM PST

  •  What a one-sided hit job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, daeros

    He cites Reid's "75 percent of the total. That is fewer than former Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee gave Democrats when he was majority leader — 117, or 76 percent." Really? There is a significant difference in 76 & 75 %?

    And, of course, he plays down the real contrast:
    "— but more than Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi gave minority Democrats, 90 votes a year, 54 percent of the total."

    Pay back is a bitch, eh, GOP?

    Nowhere in the article did I see that the GOP wanted 26 amendments.

  •  Reid should keep 'em in town all weekend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, daeros

    to have their amendment vote-a-rama.  As much as anything, this is about the GOP effort to burn the clock on this session of Congress in case they manage to retake control in November.

    Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    by bear83 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:10:12 PM PST

  •  How about the House GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    OK, so let's say the Senate passes an extension.

    What will House republicans do??

    Will Speaker Boehner allow a vote??

    He has effectively said, "No."


  •  But let's not forget, that any extension is just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, daeros

    a rolling window.  People will fall off of unemployment every day, even when the extension passes. What we need are jobs. The extension is a band-aid and it helps, but it does not resolve the problem.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:19:31 PM PST

  •  maybe if reid (0+ / 0-)

    stood firm once in awhile the repugs wouldn't be so fast in testing him, just a thought.

  •  What panache! nt (0+ / 0-)


    by otto on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:08:51 PM PST

  •  Harry is NOT on the side of Progressives (0+ / 0-)

    Harry is selling us down the river. YES it is "this or nothing" DUH. We the PEOPLE are already hurting beyond belief and Harry is going to work very hard to get us all a small band aid. Of course it will not stop the bleeding. DAMN he is stubborn and refuses to listen to his voters - wanted Gun Control, wanted filibuster GONE and - nope - Harry knew he could work for - I mean with- the GOP "Colleagues". So I think he should put up a clean 1 year bill and let whoever wants to vote it down do so. He won't - he will sell off another bit of the middle class with so-called Pay-fors. I hope the entire Senate (except for maybe 3 of them gets paid for at the voting booth.

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