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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY) speaks to reporters after Senate luncheons as he is accompanied by  Sen. John Cornyn,( R-TX)  at Capitol Hill in Washington, July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana
Will Senate Republicans keep standing in the way?
Nearly 1.7 million people are without emergency unemployment aid since that program's expiration in late December. Congressional Republicans continue to stand in the way of extending the unemployment insurance for those who've been jobless for six months or more. But Senate Democrats aren't giving up, trying yet again to pass an aid bill:
Reid is trying a new tactic Thursday, putting a three-month extension of EUC up for a vote that not only pays for the $6.4 billion price tag but also reduces the deficit by $1.2 billion. This is achieved through a method called “pension smoothing” that allows companies to use historic interest rate averages to calculate pension contributions, and by ending unemployment insurance payments to any person whose adjusted gross income in the preceding year was $1 million or more.
A big question is if Republicans will continue insisting that their gripes about Senate procedure are reason to block unemployment insurance—that's not an argument that a majority of voters are buying, but the last time around they flogged it for all it was worth anyway. The Senate is expected to vote on ending debate late Thursday morning; will enough Republicans vote for their constituents rather than as an expression of their resentment of Harry Reid for it to get to 60?

Sign and send the petition to Senate Republicans: Restore emergency unemployment benefits.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  isn't it time to end the filibuster completely? (7+ / 0-)
    •  it is time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      American Expat, hbanks

      plus Reid should be using the power of his big microphone as well, so that Republicans pay a political price if they continue to oppose

      Hillary Clinton criticized China for letting Snowden go

      by GideonAB on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:09:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Watching congressional Republicans (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bufffan20, tb mare, hbanks

        I can't figure out why anyone who isn't a self-righteous hate monger votes for these people.  I reconcile my bafflement by assuming most Republican voters don't pay enough attention to what the representatives of their party are doing to know any better and are just following the label "Republican."

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:24:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Laura, the petition does not seem to be viable. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Amber6541, hbanks

    Thanks for the diary.

    The Dems need to fight for this with all they've got after their shameful acceptance of the Farm Bill that cut food stamps and SNAP.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:36:17 AM PST

  •  Uh-huh. (0+ / 0-)

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:36:27 AM PST

  •  Offsets (5+ / 0-)

    Absolutely No Problem, especially for teapubs, to rubber stamp war costs, as they abandoned the main missions after 9/11, with no-bid private contracts galore and all held off the books till the executive branch changed, oh add in the CIA secret prisons and the booty for those countries that signed on to support the Iraq invasion and especially to those that didn't send troops. Finding also no problem obstructing job creating policies as they don't offer any themselves. But as to those, not fired or quiting, laid off workers who get only a fraction of their once weekly income and must pay the fuel costs, ink replacements if they have printers or outside printing costs for resumes etc. looking for work and required to along with keeping records of, get an extension because them 'job creators' today don't recognize the experienced needed for what they require or say they do and are quicker to bring on board! Welcome to reagan capitalism ideology of the represented by!!

    By the way, Nobody has yet paid for these wars and especially the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again!!

    "12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
    to a generation of service members, veterans and their families."
    Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'

    "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
    our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
    specific ante by every American."
    -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    Right now, nearly 21,000 veterans have been without unemployment benefits since Congress failed to extend them in December — and three thousand more join their ranks each month we fail to act.

    They aren’t lazy, or looking for a check so they can sit at home and do nothing. Our country is just coming out of a great recession and there are three unemployed Americans for every job opening right now. - America's 21st Century Patriots | Tell Congress: Extend unemployment benefits

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:40:52 AM PST

  •  Hey GOPers, if you ain't no better than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ebenezer Scrooge, the ghost of Richard Nixon will continue to haunt you.
    Tricky Dicky in the Republican house!

  •  I don't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, maryabein, La Gitane, tb mare

    quite understand whose pensions are being smoothed and how that works?

    Anyone with a short clear explanation?  I'd need to understand that in order to support it. Does this give more to corporations? Take from employees, Military? Who?

    Thanks if anyone can help

  •  Did I read this correctly: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    and by ending unemployment insurance payments to any person whose adjusted gross income in the preceding year was $1 million or more.
    They will end unemployment for people who made over a mil? How dare they! How are they going to live and pay their bills? How will they get the new Benz? Those poor people worked very hard for that money and they EARNED their unemployment. Not like those moochers who only managed a few measly tens of thousands. How much did they pay into the system? Surely not as much as the guy who made a mil.

    GOP must not let this pass.

    (Do I really need a snark tag?)

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:22:55 AM PST

  •  Title the extension bill... (0+ / 0-)

    ..."Kentucky and other states unemployment insurance extension"

  •  oh come on. (0+ / 0-)

    you want me to believe that washington Dems want to extend benefits while they allowed food stamps to be cut?

    the distance between what brand Dems say and what actually happens is mind boggling. and i include Liz Warren. yes i do. i'm really done with it. Liz, we know what the problems are: tell me: how do we help? what banks do we withdraw our money from and which banks are willing to take our savings and direct deposits in exchange for low low student loan rates... how do we revitalize regional economies and stop the ravages of a global one that is killing main street and the middle class.

    keyrist. this is sad. really. we citizens aren't able to see past labels and brands and focus on issues.

    this is no longer about third party politics, Laura. this is about third eye politics... the citizen and the issues and how do we exert muscle locally to change this game.

    we are losing playing their game. it is really that simple.

    TPP, ACA, keystone, fracking, coal, oil, printing money and giving it to banks, no justice, militarization of police and a continued stream of police running over our civil rights and armed citizens allowed to kill people of color... afghanistan, the iran bullshit...

    i mean what the fuck is going on? we need better and more active citizens as part of the regulatory system of the body politic.

    really. that more and better Dem thing is drowning this place. how does a place with this kind of traffic and potential reach connect communities who have ideas, implemented them, and are fighting corporate bullies, fighting against the privatization of water/schools/police/prisons. These issues can be wielded locally/regionally and where we can change the game and restore our lives.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:25:03 AM PST

  •  Remember "Embrace the Suck" (0+ / 0-)

    in December?  The "Suck" was the budget deal that did not include UI.  The presumption was supposedly that the UI would be extended anyway.

    This is the result.

  •  screw them all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John in Denver

    I just got my last UI benefit this week from Md. I was making over 60K on my last job that I had for 20 years. It's a field that is no longer around I am going to have to take a PT job for close to min wage since I have zero income beginning next week. I am  60 and pissed.
    I am lucky my wife will keep us from starving but our comfortable middle class life is over.

  •  Time to tie unemployment extension to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    American Expat, munbeam666

    the debt limit extension.  Republicans are very afraid of a default because that would upset their Big Money Boys and the American public in general would blame Republicans if a default actually took place.  At least talking about tying the debt limit to an unemployment benefit extension might make Republicans squirm enough to accept such a deal.

  •  Details on high income exclusion? (0+ / 0-)
    and by ending unemployment insurance payments to any person whose adjusted gross income in the preceding year was $1 million or more.
    I wonder if this is per "person" or per "tax return" (i.e., if one spouse is making a lot of money, does that exclude the other from collecting unemployment under this scheme if they file a joint return?).

    Also, I wonder how much of the savings comes from elimination of benefits for those (couples?) with high income. I'd think it would not be very large and that this aspect is mostly a "feel good" provision.

    (The linked article could, like, actually provide information such as this, but that would require CBS News to think their readers can read and understand numbers. After all, "math is hard".)

  •  An opportunity for underfunding pensions? (0+ / 0-)
    achieved through a method called “pension smoothing”
    This sounds like a shell game although I don't see details on how this works.

    I assume this would allow corporations to contribute less to their pension funds by assuming higher ROI by using a longer "look back" period for interest rate assumptions and thereby reduce the impact of the very low interest rates for the recent years. And, I assume, the additional revenue to the federal government would come from taxes on increased corporate profits that would result.

    This sounds like kicking the can down the road. Either the "extended look back period" remains in effect forever which means that in times of high interest rates/inflation in the coming years, corporations will have to contribute more to the funds as the "look back" period would still include the very low rates of recent years - so it just delays the impact on corporations and reduces profits and taxes in later years. If the "extended look back period" expires, then it seems like corporations get away with underfunding their pension plans for longer. In any event, it's not immediately obvious where the free lunch is here for anyone and this just sounds like another financial accounting trick.

    It seems like we should implement a federal UI tax on employers that is sufficient to build up a trust fund to see UI carried through recessions.

  •  No unemployment insurance for millionaires? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans will never stand for that. To hell with the 1.7 million others who currently can't get unemployment if the 1% doesn't get their's.

    ''Over the last 30 odd years, Democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into the mental hospital."-Bill Maher

    by shoeless on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:41:56 AM PST

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