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. Virgil Icasiano

    I've staunchly supported the GOP for years, but nevermore! It appears that their solution for all the jobless is to simply let them lose everything, including their dignity, and hope we all die soon.

    February 6, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. never again republican

    Wow, how much more terrible can Congress get. I bet they left the vote and went to get their daily 30 dollar steak after. While 1.7 million people have no income. IM sure they voted no because their wasn't enough incentives in the bill for their selfish agenda's. I was a republican before this politically biased fiasco happened but never again. My vote and whoever I can change will not be republican

    February 6, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Chris

    When did it become the government's job to safe guard our futures? What happened to personal responsibility and not living beyond your means? I took a 50% pay cut and I adjusted my spending habits and continued to work. Quit being a victim and blaming other and move on.

    February 6, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. BJC

    I cannot begin to explain how devastating this vote is to me personally. While I understand the Republican idea of using the money to create jobs, that does not happen fast enough to make an immediate difference. They are using the unemployed as their "sword" to make a point. I have worked for 34 years, served in the military and this is the first time I have had to draw on unemployment. I just turned 50 and really needed the $290 a week just to have the gas to continue to try to find a job and interview. It's time for the President to do what he said he had the power to do and enforce the extended benefits. People are now in the second month without any benefits and beyond desperation.

    February 6, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Elizabeth

    I'm right there with you Jackie Hill, I was laid off in June due to cuts in research. I have worked for 40 years without ever collecting UI and now that I need it these people have once again failed us. I'm sick about it.

    February 6, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    Hang in there Jackie Hill, hang in there girl. I was in your shoes at the end of 2008. I'm praying for you!

    February 6, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Rhoda

    1.7 million people get screwed again!.. Congress is not the ones who have to worry about how they are going to pay their next set of bills, keep food on the table, keep animals fed, kids clothed, etc. They act like the long term unemployed are doing nothing to find work and that is FAR from the truth. I have been unemployed for almost 8 months now and have put in over 170 applications and resumes, yet most of these companies don't want someone my age( 40+) even with all of the experience and qualifications I have. They need to keep voting and get it passed, because the extention was the lifeline for so many of us.

    February 6, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Name Roz

    You know thats a shame...this country and congress can sent money and supplies to foreign countries but
    Cannot help the very people who put these jerks in office. .here's a suggestion..for paying for the benefits take the salaries of the very jerks who oppose extending the benefits and there's the answer of how to pay for it.....let them foot the bill....

    For the ones who opposed have probably never felt the hardship of not being able to eat or feed their children, possibly loosing their homes, nit being able to heat or keep the lights on...

    Please heavenly father forgive them for they no not what they do....lord have mercy on them and make away for us unemployed please and amen..

    Mr.president please pass this without them please

    February 6, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Rhoda

    1.7 million people get screwed again!.. Congress is not the ones who have to worry about how they are going to pay their next set of bills, keep food on the table, keep animals fed, kids clothed, etc. They act like the long term unemployed are doing nothing to find work and that is FAR from the truth. I have been unemployed for almost 8 months now and have put in over 170 applications and resumes,yet most of these companies don't want someone my age( 40+) even with all of the experience and qualifications I have. (I have 2 college degrees- Computer programming and Computer Information Systems) I have applied to everything from retail, customer service, data entry to fast food, to No avail!. Money has run out and next month I have no idea how the bills will be paid. They need to keep voting and get it passed, because the extention was the lifeline for so many of us.

    February 6, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. RF

    Thanks GOP, You are giving the next round of elections away!

    February 6, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. bret

    GOP doesn't care about the people that vote them in. They don't care about the fact crime rate going to go up due to the fact people got bills to pay. Hell I'm homeless due to this rejects. I work 10 years of my life. You cannot repay a favor as a American. I wish a rich person live poor for a week. You would see something all different. GOP needs to die off. They are Nazi

    February 6, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Dina m.

    This is TERRIBLE!!!! Do they realize people are hurting. Bills need to be paid, children fed and gas in the car. Unbelievable!!!!!! People have got to vote to make sure the right people are in office.

    February 6, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Winning

    I have an undergraduate degree, but I've been trying to get a second job to pay off some bills. Honest truth: I can't even get calls back from Taco Bell, and I was a fast food manager for 4 years during college. Despite all their rhetoric in favor of the "working man," the GOP is so out of touch with what working people go through on a day-to-day basis. If I can't even get a second job with a ton of education and experience under my belt, how does the GOP expect these people they're kicking off of unemployment to find one? Magic?

    Magic seems to be the solution to all problems in GOP land.

    February 6, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Robert

    Forget Republicans they can work on amendment issues and other bills some other time give the americans in need the help especially those unable to find work. Unfortunately some americans do live check to check and it was impossible for them to have any type of saved money to help them in this situation which was so unexpected. Hopefully obama steps in and signs the bill himself He has already stated he would if he has to because the bickering going on with the senate and congress will not resolve the issue at hand.

    February 6, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. concerned citizen

    This is a time that pride in being American is lost and a state of the Union address is being laughed upon towards our president from Republican points of view.... Obama, it's time to show your strength and stand tall for the words you spoke and show them you were serious about going over there heads and make an executive decision, since congress aren't taking this seriously and won't either with all the excuses. It's time take the American vote and unite us as we did when we voted for you....

    February 6, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. missarkie

    So many people needed this extension just to survive. What will happen next? I hope Obama steps up to the plate it would go a long way in redeeming himself. I am definitely voting against everyone in congress when it comes time for reelection. Don't these senators realize that they are also hurting themselves and that this also hurts the economy. People nor receiving the income are not putting money back into the economy

    February 6, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. JJ Gildersneeze

    The Republicans said thy wanted the extension paid for –though they didn't impose the same requirement on the billions in giveaways included in the Farm bill they just got this week.

    The Democrats gave in and the Republicans voted to sustain their immoral filibuster anyway.

    Today's vote is a slap in the face to all the working, taxpaying victims of the economic disaster the Republicans and the big banks threw our country into five years ago.

    February 6, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. freisdead

    the republicans are not interested in anything. Don't fix anything broken, just live on the reforms done by our fore fathers! We don't have to innovate, innovation is alien! Don't fix it! The "europeans do that"!

    February 6, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. JJ Gildersneeze

    The Republican platform on jobs is the same as their platform on healthcare: "Let them die."

    February 6, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. George Glassford

    What are they playing at. People need this help, don't they know what two million votes will do in November
    Stop your games and fix this

    February 6, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Loretta

    Really? Who do you people think you are and what rock have you crawled under to think that all unemployed Americans don't actively seek employment? What fool wants to stay on unemployment? After seeing how the GOP has bungled the unemployment benefits crisis I vow not to vote Republican again and I'm a registered Republican.

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. matt

    thanks republican have to paid bills that i can't do.because you do not care about the people how are having a hard time.work for 39 yrs.thanks we are all hard works.

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Jim

    Republicans are garbage. I know the Democrats set them up on this but they jumped at the bait. People go into politics to get rich and not to do anything for anyone other than themselves. And they do this while collecting taxpayer dollars and perks and oh, yea, kickbacks from rich companies. I will never in my life defend America. The years I served this country, I wish I could take back..

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. todd

    73 job postings sent resume not one response 1.7 million people gonna be in the welfare line bills have to be paid would rather work. just have no choice its either that or the streets for me and kids..
    OUT WITH THE REPUBLICANT!!!!!!!!!!!!
    they cant get what they want so they are taking there ball and going home like a bunch of children

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. wpete

    Waste of money anyway. According to the Obama administration, the Unemployment rate continues to drop month after month. People are getting back to work. These funds are not necessary any longer.

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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