Senate fails to advance unemployment bill
February 6th, 2014
02:42 PM ET
9 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. Vance

    I would really like to see the statistics on how many unemployed have a bachelors degree or higher education. I would bet it would surprise you how many of these unemployed people have some sort of degree even an Associates Degree. These are not a bunch of uneducated worthless people! I know several long term unemployed that have more than just a high school diploma. My friend has her Masters Degree and she can not get a job because she is "overqualified". Your voice will only be heard if you VOTE! Today has completely changed my mind about the Republican party. This is not Ronald Reagan's GOP!!! This is a spineless group of idiots! The Dems were two votes shy of passing this now millions will suffer. Hopefully Obama can do something about this with his power!

    February 6, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. NameRenee

    I have been working since the age of 16. My mother and father taught me and my siblings to not depend on the government for anything. This is the first time I have ever been in a situation like this because the company I had been at for the past 5 years laid off last year. I truly believe that most Americans are looking for work. I would rather work than get any kind of public assistance, but right now, the landlord want his money, the light company wants their money, and so on. They don't care whats going on with the government or your finances. I know exactly hou I am voting in November, and it is not Republican.

    February 6, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Stacey

    I guess I just don't understand how we can continue to fund people that are on welfare, but we cannot fund people that have paid for unemployment insurance. People that worked and paid for this and should have access to it. People on welfare do not work and receive money. I'm worried that more people that are now unemployed and cannot receive the money that they paid into and will go to the state for welfare. What is the difference. Welfare or unemployment. Eventually the money will go out to people just from a resource that is humiliating to those that shouldn't have to apply for it.

    February 6, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Mike

    Chris: You do realize you need to have lost your job by no fault of your own to receive unemployment, right?

    wpete: The reason the unemployment rate is dropping every month is because less and less people are receiving benefits BECAUSE THEY WERE CUT BY THE GOVERNMENT. Watch, next month the average rate will be around 5%

    February 6, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Dee

    I am going to be losing my place now. I have pawned everything I could to pay rent in January. We are trying. Have worked for 15 years and this my first time on unemployment which was discontinued after only 4 checks. We apply for jobs including minimum wage but the typical response is you are over qualified for the position and we want someone that plans to be here long term. What do they want, for people to steal? I don't plan on voting for anyone ever again.

    February 6, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Red Ice

    When are you people going to really "see" what is going on here in America? Its Kabucki Theater at its finest. They have everyone bewildered and confused...thats the point. Good Cop, bad Cop, rep vs dem, rich vs poor . All resulting in civil unrest , disorder, poverty, Disobedience. It takes your mind and your eyes away from what these thieves are doing to this once good country. Just read peoples comments..They have become greedy, mean spirited, angry, desperate. this is thier ultimate goal. They want you to take your eyes off of the "ball"...so thet you all of a sudden wake up...and everything has changed. Paranoia...is just another word for "heightened awareness". Wake up...lets stop bashing one another and become "United"..as in the "United States". Dont fall for these tricks. Beware!

    February 6, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. phil

    Since the republicans can't get it right it right, they should be ignored and it be passed anyway. since they don't care about the people they shouldn't be over anything. anyone over a certain income should not be allowed to have a political position I feel this will happen in the future.

    February 6, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "The reason the unemployment rate is dropping every month is because less and less people are receiving benefits BECAUSE THEY WERE CUT BY THE GOVERNMENT."

    Filed under: "It doesn't work like that...try again."

    February 6, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. sun

    It is unfortunate that people believe unemployment is no longer needed. I have worked for 20 years in my field and when I was let go last June because I broke my ankle in March and didn't heal like my boss felt I should, she offered unemplotment(because there were not any short term/long term disability benefits available)... I had another job within a month... then she had me terminated because she wanted to sue me and the company for my having a non-compete... now that I can't work in that field, I have applied at places like the gas station or subway.... nobody will hire me saying I am over-qualified... I pray those who are against this bill never lose their jobs.... then they would want this restored! unemployment is a right!!! we didn't chose for the economy to be like this!!! and stop judging people when you don't know their situations!!!! But GOD does not like ugly and you all will pay while passing judgement onto others!!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    The stories I am reading are heartbreaking. Ladies and gentlemen I feel your pain. I too was unemployed at September 08. I couldn't find a job for years, except a temp job with the Census. If not for President Obama fighting hard for our extended benefits, I don't know what I would have done. I feel your pain and I pray something comes along for all of you. For those that consider the unemployed moochers, you better hope you don't lose your job and have to endure the humiliation of applying for food stamps.

    February 6, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Joe

    Thank you so much. It has been a struggle trying to find work and I will most likely now lose my truck. I also don't have money to take public transportation either. I have never looked for handouts all I am asking to for our government to help us. Enjoy being a millionaire congressmen while your people starve and go homeless. O wait let's just give our money to other countries instead of helping ourselves. Shame on you

    February 6, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Not extending unemployment insurance hurts the economy by hurting demand. Belts get tightened, household budgets get blown up, consumer and household debt increases and people fall below the poverty line and suffer foreclosures and bankruptcies and they end up even less able to get employment when these things happen. This isn't debatable: This filibuster is the GOP/Teatrolls punishing the country for voting for Obama and doing their utmost to hamper economic recovery while he is in office.

    February 6, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. JOe

    We will never again see a republican president. We just have to work on getting them out of the Senate and Congress.

    February 6, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. RealityCheck

    Sad that so many are not seeing the real cause of our problems in America. The government is creating regulations and tax policies that are are forcing companies to make money by buying back their stock and not investing in new factories. Couple this with the inability to establish an energy policy that can drive down energy costs thus making it more attractive for manufacturing and the chemical industry to build new plants.

    Keep complaining of the current situation without understanding the cause will keep this country moving in the wrong direction.

    February 6, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Jasmyn

    Wow–I have a degree-I went on Unemployment for the first time in my life three months ago-and my benefits are going to expire in three more weeks. I have applied for jobs everywhere-in my county-and in other states-I don't even get a response. I have had a couple interviews in the past where the HR person doing the interview actually told me they would not hire me because I was OVERQUALIFIED. And they felt I would not stick around-so I was not worth investing the time in training for the job, because I would be looking for something better and leave the job. I assured her I would not-I needed a JOB. But nope-denied. I stood in line to apply for jobs that pay anything-with people who have master's degree's-so how does someone with a HS diploma compete with that? When I did work at a local hospital for a bit-the HR person told me he only posted the jobs for three days-because in that three day's they would have so many job applicants that it would overwhelm the computer system. The majority of people they hired were people that were referred by word of mouth by other employees-rather than being fair and looking at all the applications-and qualifications. Or jobs that were posted publicly-knowing before it was posted it was going to be filled by an internal employee in another position. But they were required by law to post a job and take applications and interview people knowing they are only going to promote-hire from within. That was a Social services job in Baltimore, MD. So now all these people that are as Governor Reid was so proud of himself for learning a new term today- "couch surfing"-living on other people's couches instead of being homeless-are going to get a raise in Food stamps- or SNAP benefits because they will have NO income. That makes more sense then extending the Unemployment that we paid into by working jobs for years? You are lucky if you have a JOB! Even working at Wendy's-you cannot afford to pay for a home working at those places...that's why they don't take a job that is "beneath them". Do the math before you judge. Look how much it costs to rent a one bedroom apt in your area. Check and see how much Wendy's or another low paying job pay's per hour. And when they take taxes out-how much you have left working full time at a job like that to live on?! Oh and then you have kids? So now you have to pay for child care. Or elderly parent to take care of? Look how long the lists are to get into low income housing and how much you still have to pay for that rent even subsidized. Oh and now we supposedly have free health care with Obama care-NOPE- I tried to sign up with $150 a month income-and the catastrophic plan only pays 60% of your health care expenses-with a $6,000 deductible-and the monthly premium is what? $315 a month! I called asking how can I afford that when I am only living on $150.00 a month? Well we don't know-but if you DON'T figure it out and pick a plan by March 31st-you get a $95.00 a year fine-or 1% of your 2014 income taken away at tax time next year–which will go up each year. I moved out of my house I was able to buy when I was working-to avoid foreclosure-to rent it out-because I couldn't afford the payments on my own anymore. So at least I have it rented-but I too am now couch surfing-until that elusive low paying job comes along...What a life. But I'll stop crying now since you all know the answers right?!

    February 6, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. L.Reid

    We should be focusing on the 40 that voted against restoring benefits. They are obviously not interested in whats good for the American people. They need to be voted out and replaced with more Human representation.

    February 6, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. i would rather

    i hate this country, shoot me in the back as I run for another country, shoot me in the back as I starve to death on your street. I will die trying to jump over your walls escaping this place, and I will risk my life swimming the oceans to get away from this country.

    Anyone ever thought why they give free money without asking to noncitizens illegals? Yet when you ask for food they denies you like the plague.

    The worse off we are, the fatter their pockets get.

    February 6, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. matt

    I am going to school through the unemployment program to have a better chance of getting a job. my spouse is supporting the whole family till school is finished, now they cut off benefits and am forced to leave school and TRY to find work. how can you republicans call that lazy? maybe you should try to differentiate lazy and non-lazy. if you cant find a way to support the non-lazy people than you are not qualified to do your job and should be unemployed and see how if feels.

    February 6, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. shame on the Republicans

    As a once staunch republican I will never ever vote for another republican. I am currently employed but there are many threats of getting laid off. The Republicans have shown just how much they do not care about the American people by not passing this bill to extend the unemployment benefits. Let them loose their jobs or have their families affected oh then it makes a difference, hmmm. People are loosing their homes, apt, cars, cell phones, no gas to even go to a job interview. Perhaps the President could do something about this I don't know, but really shame on the senate for not helping the people who most likely voted them in office

    February 6, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. NameDonald

    This is crazy people have familys

    February 6, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "WHAT DO I DO NOW WHAT DO I TELL MY CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we are gonna be homeless I cant believe this"

    Have no fear. The GOP/Teatrolls will soon propose that the private prison industry be funneled billions in federal money to set up debtors prisons...I mean "housing"...for the poor and bankrupt.

    February 6, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Rocketdan

    The real reason there is no deal here is simply that Republicans, from day one, have insisted that the cost be paid for with cuts to the current year budget somewhere. Otherwise, this just adds to the expenditure limit reached in a bipartisan agreement recently. This is not an extreme or unreasonable position. All the back and forth is due to the refusal of Senate Democrats, who have already agreed to the negotiated budget level, to adhere to that level. They would rather frame this as a political point against Republicans rather than actually do something for the unemployed. Falling for this scam only encourages more of this type of politicking from both parties.

    February 6, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. shame on the Republicans

    A second thought amazing that we can fund Syria with billions and billions of dollars yet we still can not help the long term unemployed

    February 6, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. tom l

    @Sniffit
    ""I believe that even Sniffit will agree this is not me as I am totally opposed to all of our foreign follies"

    I'll have to give you that one, tom...you have been pretty clear on that point."
    =====

    Gracias. I appreciate it. And I think you do have a sense of humor (responding to your comment yesterday) :)

    February 6, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Sherry Wagoner

    The president needs to step in now.

    February 6, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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