Senate fails to advance unemployment bill
February 6th, 2014
02:42 PM ET
2 months ago

Senate fails to advance unemployment bill

Washington (CNN) - A Democratic proposal to continue long term unemployment benefits failed Thursday to get the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate despite support from some Republicans.

It was defeated 58 to 40. Four Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the measure that would have extended for three months benefits that expired in December.

The outcome leaves in doubt the prospects for extending the payments to people who are chronically out of work. Bipartisan negotiators have worked for several weeks to reach agreement but they haven't been able to bridge their differences.

Democrats insisted they have bent over backwards to address GOP concerns, including offsetting the costs and allowing votes on a handful of Republican amendments to the bill. They say Republicans fundamentally oppose extending the benefits any further.

Some Republicans have argued the extended benefits are a disincentive for people to find jobs and have wanted to tie reforms to the unemployment insurance program to the extension.

Republican negotiators wanted to vote on more amendments than Democrats were willing to accept and also wanted to repeal a reduction in cost of living increases for retired military personnel that was imposed as part of a recent budget agreement.

Recent national polling indicated strong majority support for extending long term unemployment benefits.


Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Obama - The new DemocRAT poison

    We are coming up to the fourth anniversary of "Recovery Summer of 2010". Trillions and trillions of dollars and debt later, a flat stagnant economy is what we have to show for it. Democrats have been running the show for 8 years now. Ran us into a recession and have proven they can't get us back and going strong.

    Time for a change. The Democrat way is a failure.

    February 6, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. rs

    Hey GOP- it IS an election year. Have you considered the possibility that actually doing something *might* improve your standing with the American voter?

    February 6, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. aellin

    It's pretty clear Reid didn't really want this to pass. He didn't have the votes, he knew it, yet he went for a vote anyway. Had he wanted to have a shot at it passing, he probably needed to meet all the Republican conditions and see whether they were serious. Instead, he went for a symbolic gesture that he knew would fail, perhaps hoping it would make a good campaign issue later.

    If the Dems were serious about passing this, the time to do it was in the big budget compromise last December, or as part of the costly Farm Bill. Shame on Reid, Reed, and others for going for headlines instead of results.

    February 6, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. ferris

    Guess Republicans don't mind letting people "Couch-Surf" at their cozy homes...

    February 6, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    The heartless republicans are continuing their war on the unfortunate. Even with their demands being met, they're still in a Grinch mood.

    February 6, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Crystal Gibson

    The Comgress simply does not care that this leave my children now without electricity

    February 6, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. rs

    aellin

    It's pretty clear Reid didn't really want this to pass. He didn't have the votes, he knew it, yet he went for a vote anyway. Had he wanted to have a shot at it passing, he probably needed to meet all the Republican conditions and see whether they were serious. Instead, he went for a symbolic gesture that he knew would fail, perhaps hoping it would make a good campaign issue later.
    ________________________________________
    Sorry, I can not disagree with you more- the nation should not have to "negotiate" with the elected members of the GOP to actually do their jobs. The GOP says it wants to extend extended unemployment benefits, but when given the opportunity, they vote it down. They either need to do what they say, or be honest about their motivations. This is yet another case of the GOP lying to the public, and deliberately trying to stall the economic recovery. Their rather blatant anti-Americanism is disgusting!

    February 6, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. mike

    Why do republicans want to stab the back of Millions of their own people? What is wrong with them? I cant bring myself to vote for folks like this anymore knowing what they are doing. It's sad.

    February 6, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Walter

    All this screaming and squawking about extending unemployment for a subset of the population for 3 months. What are the libs proposing for the millions of unemployed who have exhausted all extensions?

    February 6, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Namerepublicants will hear the voices next electon

    Time to let our voices be heard. Don't want to hear about it when you lose the seats that WE THE PEOPLE voted you to do the right thing!!!!!!

    February 6, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Percy

    Let me get this straight, you think this is the Dems fault because the Republicans didn't vote to pass this bill? Crawl back under your ignorant rocks.....

    February 6, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. rs

    Obama – The new DemocRAT poison

    We are coming up to the fourth anniversary of "Recovery Summer of 2010". Trillions and trillions of dollars and debt later, a flat stagnant economy is what we have to show for it. Democrats have been running the show for 8 years now. Ran us into a recession and have proven they can't get us back and going strong.

    Time for a change. The Democrat way is a failure.
    _____________________
    Hmmm. A record 3.4% economic growth rate to close out 2013 doesn't seem "stagnant". Nor does a Stock Market up over 100% in 5 years. Nor, does record automobile sales, or executive compensation. How about the 6.7% unemployment? Yeah, to bad the GOPpers failed to pass any jobs bills, or even a budget in that time frame. Sure they did conduct 450 filibusters and stopped 158 judges from being empanelled for no good reason.
    Remind me again- who is the failure? I don't think its the Democrats. The true loserss are the elected GOP who do nothing for America.

    February 6, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Vicki-Ann Bush

    I have no legitimate use for the Republican party. I feel that they are the largest collective group of politicians who are the most out of touch with reality. If you do not own a business or have a million dollars in your pocket, they will not give you the time of day. Yes, there are those who abuse the system but to penalize families who have children to feed because of their muted sense of right and wrong is heartless. Yes, we should stimulate more jobs and get people back to work, but how long will that process take? A month? Two? Three? What will those people do for food? What will those people do for fuel? What will those people do for rent? And what will they tell they're children when they go to bed hungry? How did you Republican party, get so out of touch with the average American and the needs of your people? You are pompous and cold to play such games with those who literally put you where you are today. Shame on you and your ignorant sense of judgement.

    February 6, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Crystal Gibson

    I have no money at all! No money to turn On my water or pay rent or electricity. We are going to be homeless in just a few short weeks as we cannot pay rent. I have tried relentlessly to get a job. I have master degree and in the rural community in southeat kentucky I can't even get a job at the one gas station. I so not have the money to cute the 2 hour drive to the nearest city where I could. There are NO JOBS. That was all we had. So thank you Gongress for leavings children without running water and electricity and soon no roof over there head. Thank you America. I paid into to unemployment with my taxes for years and now due to the economy was laid off and cannot find a job as a cashier let alone one that I have went to college for. I will default in loans. I can't afford to pay 2000 to file bankruptcy. Thank you. Please help Mr. President . You are the only one who can since Congress is heartless and refuse to work yet still they get paid. Unfair. God help us all in this situation.

    February 6, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    People work hard all their lives and pay their taxes. When then need help from their our government they voted in they turn their backs on them. Its a same what this country is becoming. Our founding fathers are all turning over in their graves. This county was built for the people – not who can gain the most power.

    February 6, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Chantel

    I think its time to vote republican out nothing can get done with them and all this fighting .We are the American people and we support extending the benefits. There are Veterans who served this country on them benefits. My husband was one of them. Its time to IMPEACH BOHNER and any other republican that is so mean spirited that they will not extend for three months. I thought they wanted it paid for so what the reason now.They have to go. They are allowing the American people to suffer while they take expensive vacations, We are trying to feed our families.

    February 6, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Laura

    So now what happens my husband worked 26 years company went overseas he can't find a job collected on week of the euc and now has no income coming in I don't get it how can these people in congress not help our own here at home maybe they should try figuring out how to live without a income so sad what this country is coming to

    February 6, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. just saying

    we have borrowed and spent a quarter of a trillion dollars on this already. the recession ended 4.5 yeara ago. people unemployed now are not unemployed as a part of the recession. they are unemployed because the democrats have wrecked the economy and endless attacked businesses with rules, regulations and taxes. time to admit the democrats just don't know what the heck they are doing when it comes to the economy. all they ever come up with is another government giveaway.

    February 6, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. V M

    Really? People are starving, going homeless, cant pay their rent or bills!!!! This is our people. Americans that have been on unemployment by no fault of their own!!!! And this is what we have to go through for pennies! Whats really going on here? Someone please help us!!!! This is sad! They dont care. Heartless, no soul!!

    February 6, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Republicans

    Since most republicans are wealthy they don't care about other people .. We all struggling and they can't approve for a extension!!

    February 6, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Vance

    This lack of compassion from my party has shook my faith in our GOP leaders. There are single mothers and their children being evicted from their homes and to no fault of their own. I personally know of one of these single mothers, that was laid off along with 150 others because the company had to down size to save the company. Since then, this mother of two has applied over and over with no success. She has a Masters degree and has been told she is overqualified over and over. I am very disturbed at the lack of compassion that the Republicans obviously don't have for these people. Don't blame Reid! It was two votes shy of passing and all the Dems voted yes. Blame my party. This is going to make me reconsider my affiliation with the GOP. Shame on them. I can't believe this!

    February 6, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    GOP does NOT give darn hoot for USA. Period.

    February 6, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. smith

    Time to get a job like the rest of us. The dems don`t care and neither do the repubs, the only solution is to help yourself.

    February 6, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Scott Greene

    Sad day to see that clowns refuse to help Americans that have paid into this program for years only to have the door shut in their face. I’m so sick and tired of hearing each party blame the other. Forget the political party side, it is time to be AMERICAN and take care of our people. We can give money to other countries, help illegal immigrants but can’t help our own people who have paid into this system their entire lives, and continue to pay taxes. The fact that people are being called lazy or even dependent on unemployment is a disgrace and a complete embarrassment. I will not vote for anyone who said NO to this vote today. These people have been without benefits for over a month and it is heartbreaking to hear these tragic stories because our country has been a recession. I truly hope that Mr. President has that pen available that he claimed he was not afraid to use.

    February 6, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Tim

    I hate Republicans.

    February 6, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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