July 22nd, 2010
12:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Ben Nelson goes against his party–again

Ben Nelson bucked his own party again this week, voting against a bill to extend unemployment benefits.
Ben Nelson bucked his own party again this week, voting against a bill to extend unemployment benefits.

Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson is not afraid to buck his party when it comes to fiscal issues.

The Nebraskan did it again this week, voting against a bill extending unemployment insurance benefits to millions of Americans. The bill passed Wednesday with the help of a couple of Repubican votes. It now goes to the House where it is expected to pass.

The extension, which lapsed in June, failed in an earlier Senate vote after a Republican filibuster.

In this week's votes, Nelson insisted that Democrats find a way to pay for the extension of benefits. He said there are some stimulus funds that could be used - an idea that Republicans back.

"I'm comfortable with my own decision on this," he said. "I made it clear what I think needs to be done." Nelson told CNN.

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Filed under: Ben Nelson • Democrats • Nebraska • Senate
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. independent

    I agree. There are ways to pay for it. Instead of waiting for the Bush tax cuts to expire, end them now.

    July 22, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Gang of traitors is more like it. Besides what does he care...with all his millions in the bank. Just tell us to eat cake...Marie would be proud.

    July 22, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Catrina Parker

    No one wants to withhold assistance from the unemployed. However, many honorable Americans want to PAY FOR the bill before it is signed into law. What's wrong with that?

    July 22, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. bobden

    I have an idea for cutting spending.
    Stop paying congressmen and their staff.

    July 22, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. valwayne

    After selling his vote on the corrupt healthcare bill for the Cornhusker Kickback Senator Nelson is desperately trying to pretend he isn't part of the arrogant radical left wing agenda. Folks....when it counted he sided with Nancy Pelosi and the left wing agenda. Now we are stuck with high UNEMPLOYMENT and a bad economy that may last for years. That may even tip back into a 2nd dip recession. If you think that Obama and Nancy Pelosi are what our country needs then vote for Sen Nelson because he will side with them when they have to have his vote every time! If you think the left wing agenda isn't the way to go then you have to vote against him!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Nebraska is like Kansas, clueless so they vote against their own interests, and the GOP runs laughing all the way to the bank.

    July 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. katiec

    I hope the people of Nebraska throw Nelson out come next election.
    He has sided with the republicans on everything favoring big business, the rich etc.
    He most certainly does not represent the Democratic party.

    July 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. ddt

    This idiot is not a Democrat, you can look at it's face, it's all racist
    The republican racists believe that unemployment Benefits are for blacks and Latinos that is the reason why they didn't vote for them

    July 22, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. katiec

    Well the republicans say they will not vote for any unfunded policies, yet they are trying to push through their extension of tax cuts, perks etc for the rich which will add an unfunded $3.5 trillion to the deficit.
    What irresponsible, unAmerican hypocrits.

    July 22, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Don

    Why dosen't Nelson just switch parties? He obviously could care less about the unemployed folks!

    July 22, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. bill

    well it looks like nebraska.have got a rightwing soooo called dem.its up to nebraskans.DO THE RIGHT THING VOTE HIM OUT.AND TO ALL AMERICANS IN NOVEMBER. VOTE VOTE VOTE.OR KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. PERIOD

    July 22, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Larry

    We've been feeding these clowns in Washington for free for way too long.

    VOTE OUT INCUMBENTS IN NOVEMBER!

    July 22, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Hundreds of billions available for two illegal unwarranted wars, yet suddenly time to tighten the belt when it comes to helping out American citizens? Give me a break!

    July 22, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Scott in Atlanta

    Ohhhh... So Nooooow you wanna pay for bills before passing them?

    July 22, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, what would he have cut to pay for unemployment benefits? That is what Republicans are claiming they would have done. They just never told us what they would cut.

    July 22, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. vet in tx

    Nebraska has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (4.5%) therefore why would he care about anyone else, Nebraska will re-elect him, although the rest of the countries citizens would have suffered.

    I say ALL of the private sector who benefited from the war in Iraq, cheap labor of outsourcing, and extremely low or none federal income tax should fund the unemployed!

    July 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. vic

    Nelson vote is so expensive we seen in health care debate good he go against the party

    July 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Rickster

    If you believe that the federal government could not find a way to cut spending in order to pay for the unemployment benefits, then you are part of the problem. By the way, if Obama and his policies weren't such utter failures, we wouldn't need to extend unemployment benefits because business would be hiring.

    July 22, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    It still won't make up for his support of the healthcare bill which a) funds abortions; b) requires everyone's health information to go into a government database – except for HIV and past abortions; and c) requires americans to file all purchases over $600.

    This is what happens when you don't read a bill and the bill is over 2000 pages long.

    Democrats are traitors to the individual.

    July 22, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. hillcrester

    Nelson is one of those DINOs (Democrats in Name Only) who are needed–unfortunately–to keep democratic control of the Senate. If there is any good to come from Republican't gains that are expected in the House this Fall, it will be to purge the Democratic Party of happenstance DINO's there who rode in on Obama's coat-tails. A purer, more Liberal Democratic legislative lineup, even if smaller, will clarify the Dem's message and aid the Obama agenda over the next two years. It will also clarify the unacceptable GOPher philosophy that a majority of Americans would reject if they really understood it. I'm looking forward to it.

    July 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Rick in OP

    Senator Nelson wanted to have the extension of unemployment benefits paid for rather than adding to the ballooning federal deficit, There are still substantial funds remaining in the TARP program that have not been spent and could have been allocated to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits.

    I noticed that Ezra Klein was quoted in this article. Just out of curiosity,
    who at CNN was on the JurnoList with Mr. Klein?

    July 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Dano

    Since the deficit suddenly matters to Sen. Nelson and the rest of the GOP (I know, I know), I'm sure they'll demand a reduction in spending before passing the 33 billion emergency war funding request too, right? And they couldn't possibly try to make the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy permanent without cutting spending an equal amount either, because that wouldn't be fiscally responsible.

    July 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. jim

    Can anyone explain why we limit the time frame for unemployment payouts? If the benefit to the economy is as great as our leaders in Washington say it is then everyone should have unlimited access to it and no one needs to work.

    July 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    End tax cuts for the wealthy NOW. And cut out the inheritance favors. A million is more than enough to leave kids or spouse. Tax the He!! out of them – they got wealthy by underpaying us anyway.

    July 22, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    I knew some would spew hatred. Liberals sure like to talk about being tolerant of independent thinkers in their party. They also love to talk about how the GOP marches in lockstep. REALLY?? REALLY?? Nelson didn't match in lockstep with your party AND is thinking independently on this matter and now all of a sudden he is a traitor AND a racist? All that just because you disgree with him? What happened to tolerance, Liberals?? Why didn't the liberals use unspent stimulous funding? After all Pelosi said entitlements are the best way to stimulate ecomonic growth, did she not?

    July 22, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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