Senate GOP to punish the unemployed, will filibuster unemployment insurance extension

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a test vote on Thursday to extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits after having rejected Republican requests that they be allowed to propose a number of "poison pill" amendments to the Democratic bill. Reid sets up test vote on jobless aid:

Democrats controlling the Senate have set up a test vote on Thursday for the party’s new plan to extend unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for more than six months.

The latest plan would extend long-term jobless benefits for three months at a cost of almost $7 billion, paid for by a tweak to pension law that Republicans call a gimmick.

Democrats don’t expect the measure to get enough GOP support to overcome a filibuster threshold of 60 votes. Democrats control the Senate with 55 votes and so far expect just three Republicans to join with them. They are Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

I would encourage you to call our senators, but we all know how these two losers will vote. By the way, in a real democracy without the tyranny of the minority engaging in obstruction and filibuster, this bill would have already passed the Senate.

The GOP is hellbent on punishing the unemployed for existing, victimizing them a second time after having destroyed the economy and their jobs with it in pursuit of their disproved and discredited faith based supply-side "trickle down" GOP austerity economics.

This punitive view is best expressed in the comments of one of the most ignorant members of Congress, Pete Sessions of Texas. Congressman: Extending Safety Net For Long-Term Unemployed Is ‘Immoral’:

JesusFacepalm2It is immoral to extend a meager monthly allowance to unemployed Americans still looking for work more than six months after losing their jobs, according to Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), which is why he and his fellow House conservatives are blocking Democrats’ efforts to reinstate the safety net program.

“I believe it is immoral for this country to have as a policy extending long-term unemployments [benefits] to people rather than us working on the creation of jobs,” Sessions said Tuesday on the House floor in response to questions about his party’s refusal to allow a vote on reinstating the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.

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Sessions went on to say that job creation is vital in part because working gives a person “self-respect enough to know that jobs are important,” and that “too much of the time we have been hung up on, instead of job creation, we talk about the symptoms that are related to unemployment and long-term unemployment.” The long-term unemployed know better than most how important a job is, however, and how impossible jobs are to find right now.

I would agree, congressman. it is "immoral" and indefensible that you and your Tea-Publican cohorts since taking control of Congress three years ago have not passed one single jobs bill, and have taken money out of the economy that would have boosted economic activity and created more jobs. The slow pace of job creation is directly attributable to the punitive GOP austerity measures that have the exact opposite effect of creating jobs.

The [unemployed] are people who have spent six months and longer sending out job applications by the hundreds without success. It is hard enough for any unemployed person to find work given that there are about three job-seekers for every job opening nationwide. But the long-term unemployed face even higher hurdles. Hiring managers view a lengthy stint of unemployment as disqualifying. Research shows that being out of work for nine months has the same effect as reducing an applicant’s work experience by four full years. A freshly out-of-work applicant gets called back about 16 percent of the time when she applies for a job, but that rate falls to 3 percent for the long-term unemployed. Only a handful of states ban discrimination against the unemployed.

Cutting these people off of benefits doesn’t help them get work. It makes it harder by undercutting the basic income they need to afford to hunt for jobs online, get to interviews and look presentable, and keep themselves and their families from sliding into poverty or homelessness. Unemployed people receiving benefits spend more time on the job hunt than unemployed people without that safety net.

The cessation of EUC has also pulled nearly $2 billion out of state economies already, which exacerbates unemployed people’s plight by undermining the consumer spending needed to drive businesses to hire more people.

Sessions’ ignorant comments are reminiscent of other Republicans’ criticisms of unemployment insurance, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calling it “a disservice” to recipients.

It's time to put all of these vindictive Tea-Publicans on the unemployment line.

UPDATE: Daily Kos reports, Republicans kill unemployment benefits for 1.7 million Americans. Twice.

A cloture vote on an amendment giving Republicans much of what they'd claimed to require to support an unemployment bill fell just one vote short of the 60-vote supermajority required. (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid subsequently changed his vote to no for procedural reasons, so the final vote was technically 58 to 40.) Republican Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire voted in favor of unemployment aid. Immediately after, Republicans again blocked the underlying bill without the set of concessions that hadn't been enough for them. In that vote, Heller was the only Republican voting yes.

So Congress has now cut food stamps and cut off extended unemployment benefits in the past week to the desperate long-term unemployed. Whatever happened to that "compassionate conservative" crap that George W. Bush used to shill? And whatever happend to their "Chrisitian values"? WWJD?

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