In a 56-40 vote, the cloture vote on extending jobless benefits, FMAP state funding, and tax extensions failed. Ben Nelson and Lieberman joined Republicans, Byrd did not vote, and Reid voted yes, without changing his vote, signaling that this iteration of the bill is indeed dead.
Reid followed the vote by attempting to pass the emergency provisions of the bill, the "doc fix," unemployment benefits extension, and FMAP as well as the homebuyer tax credit, as separate bills under unanimous consent. McConnell objected to each, so we're stuck in further limbo.
All afternoon, Republican Senators stood up and said that the American people were demanding that the deficit be cut, that the Congress stop spending. Republican Senators, and the moderate Dems who enable them, are full of shit. Gallup says so:
Among four pieces of legislation Congress could consider this year, Americans are most supportive of authorizing more economic stimulus spending. Specifically, according to a June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll, 60% of Americans say they would favor "additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy."
It's not just Gallup. Ezra had this run down earlier, in response to Ben Nelson's opposition to further stimulus spending.
A Pew poll conducted June 3-6 found that "the job situation" was far and away the top concern, with 41 percent. "The federal budget deficit" lagged with 23 percent. An AP/GfK poll (pdf) done June 6-14 found that 91 percent thought the economy extremely or very important, and 77 percent thought the federal budget deficit extremely or very important. Jobs beat deficits in most of the head-to-head matchups I've seen.
It's not clear at the moment how Reid will be able to proceed on this, and how it goes forward from here. But it would help a lot if those in the Senate really understood what the American people wanted. That's to get back to work, and to feel that their jobs are secure.
Comments are closed on this story.