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

    I had a job for 36+ years. I never had problems getting a job and have paid my dues into the system. Now is the time that I need help and the system has failed. I seriously hope that those Republicans who voted against this bill, will not be voted back into the House or the Senate. I'm sure that they have ample food on the table, a nice warm house to sleep in during this rough winter, and the ability to treat their families out to dinner, a movie, new clothes....Congress is a complete mess under Republican rule. We can only use "pens" to vote them out and make a statement.

    February 6, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. really

    Millions of people are hurt by this and not a word on cnn. As comical as our politicians.

    February 6, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Mommyof6

    I haved worked 18 years at my job and it closed. My husband lost his job of 19 years to downsizing. On the 5th of march we will be homeless. I never thought it would be us. We are both mid 40s and over experienced for everything we apply for. Panic is setting in.

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I am ashamed to be an American right now.

    February 6, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. You Were Warned

    Well, the overpaid useless idiots have turned their backs on the poor and unemployed in the USA, people who were already desparate, will now turn to whatever means necessary to feed their hungry babies, and stay in their homes. Better lock your doors up tight. Now the crime wave starts.

    February 6, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Amy

    How soon before we can vote all the Republic senators out of office? They have turned their back on their people. They are a shame to be called Americans. I have always voted by politician and not party but this year I will vote a straight ticket, so disgusted am I by the lack of humility and humanity shown by the Republican party. What a sad day for the American people when we turn our backs on our own.

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. ED

    The U.S. Gov. Spends billions in other countries yet fail to help american tax payers when they fall on hard times. They claim we are "milking it....FU Congress...my family and i will not forget this come election day.

    February 6, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Name J Hawkins

    I lost my job unwillingly... Now due to unemployment I lost my car, my apartment, and I don't know how I'm going to pay for daycare if I find a job or have an interview..... Thanks Congress for not caring for people who depended on unemployment..

    February 6, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. countingdown

    Sniffit

    A "filibuster" could prevent a vote however, the vote was taken and the measure defeated. Duh!

    February 6, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    You can't claim things are better, and then justify more hand outs. Even the mindless, are not that dumb.

    February 6, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. jeff

    So why font we just take their money away for a month cut their electric of tale food outta kids mouth have no way to.provide familys with and no.gas to go look for a job think.they should be pulled outta office with no job see how they like it this isn't fair to millions of Americans who are about to become homeless

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. spike

    Despite 2 weeks of non stop Christie on this news outlet, I bet you wont hear 1 peep about the Obama admin. drafting secret rules to target political opponents. Heres a snippet from the congressional hearing this week.

    The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois
    Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of
    conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to
    the House Committee on Ways and Means.

    The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,”
    meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They
    planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups
    was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify
    regulations as the administration has suggested.

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Archaled

    We as a country need to unite to stop this wrong doing of those who are loosing their homes and have no answer to their children when being asked for food or proper clothing. I watched CSPAN today and saw them vote twice on the extension. Both times the Republicans voted against that extension. Even through the pleading letters from American citizens. As i remeber, they are paid by our taxes. As long as they are paid, we do not matter. Such a shame that these Senators of these respected states choose to let their unemployed and their children starve or have no means of putting gas in the car to get to job interviews. We as Americans need to vote them out. As we can impeach a President, we can do the same to those that are not in the Senate to help the Americans. Stop sending funds to other countries before we help our own. We as Americans say we want change. Now is that time to make that happen or our own will loose their livelihood.

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. disgusted

    Thanks again! And how can we impeach all of you? Think of us tonight when you go home to a hot meal. Heat... and don't let me forget. ..a HOME!!

    February 6, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Matt

    Once again the pro life party really shows how much they hate it.

    February 6, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. disgusted

    Thanks again! And how do we impeach all of you? Think of all us unemployed tonight when you go home to a hot meal..heat... and don't let me forget. ...a HOME!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Name

    This government really needs to get it together!! It has been an entire month with people not being able to pay bills, take care of their families because this crap government cannot see the bigger picture. Obama wants to take the reins and do more for the people, this right here is his opportunity

    February 6, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Namemichelle

    Why is the congress having such a hard time at extending unemployment? Stop sending money all over the damn world and take care if our people that are on the verge of losing homes, starving, and without heat or electricity! But it seems like the congress just doesn't care, they are making their wages and able to eat and not worry about anything. I'm 45 years old and have worked all my life. And now I can't get a job, and can't even get unemployment. I thought I lived in America, not some third world country. But maybe what I have to do to get money is be an immigrant or from another country.

    February 6, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    And this serves as a great highlight for what the GOP/Teatrolls are really arguing in terms of future elections:

    "We know this hurts...it's supposed to...but we promise, if you give us total control over everything, we'll at least start using lube."

    February 6, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    What a supprize that the GOP slugs and Koch STOOGES won't extend unemployment benifits while most of them live off their daddy's money. But these GOP fools might need these benifits come November and it can't get here fast enough. If these GOP clowns are counting on a lite turn out they are in for a big suprize and a sure lose of the house and senate for the GOP morons!!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. terry

    its not right to put 1.7 million out in the cold its unamerican to us who collect unemplouyment ,you would think that the republicans would grow a brain ,but i guess they never kneew what its like to basically scratch and claw for money that you need to help youself ,but instead theyre freezing people out in the cold and thats not right at all.

    February 6, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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