Huge Victory for Democrats as Senate Republicans Cave on Unemployment Benefits

reid obama

Late this afternoon, Democrats scored a huge victory on President Obama’s agenda by getting Senate Republicans to cave on unemployment benefits that are paid for in part by effectively raising taxes on corporations. But heck, they’re paid for and that’s what Republicans said they wanted.

After the Senate reached a “bipartisan” deal to renew federal unemployment benefits to the more than two million Americans Thursday afternoon, Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) urged House Republicans to follow the bipartisan path and do the right thing. Republicans have already thrown 2 million off of unemployment benefits since December 28.

Levin focused on the responsibility to act, “The bipartisan Senate legislation on unemployment insurance is a major step forward for millions of job-seeking Americans. I urge Republicans in the House to follow this bipartisan path to assist the unemployed who have been without federal assistance since Dec. 28th. The need is urgent, as is our responsibility to act.”

The measure will extend benefits for five months and backdates the extension to December 28, 2013 when benefits expired, so that people who were kicked off of their benefits will be eligible for retroactive payments. While the push to reinstate long term emergency unemployment benefits came from Democrats, NBC News reported that Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine told reporters that the deal has enough Republican support, and she pointed out that the aid would be “paid for.”

This means that the measure has enough Republicans to overcome the 60 vote bar that conservative Republicans were hoping would stop it. This is bad news for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who probably doesn’t want to have to explain in an election year why his House is tossing 2 million to the curb. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending the benefits for another year would save 200,000 jobs, so it’s not just the jobless who benefit. Unemployment benefits during a recession also help the economy.

It’s toss the people to the curb or Boehner goes rogue again and works with Democrats to do what his party must do in order to avoid being defined as the party that holds the people in contempt. The measure will probably not be voted on in the Senate until late March, giving Boehner some time.

Even though the benefits are paid for, House Republicans will probably try to claim it isn’t paid for, and that will be due to them having issue with how it’s paid for.

The extension is paid for in part via alteration to the way corporations deal with pensions, and as the AP put it, “in effect increasing their taxes.” As you all know, whenever corporations are involved, Republicans do the Koch Puppet dance. Translation, if it raises taxes on corporations, it ain’t happening in this House, where raising costs due to “austerity” is reserved for the people.

The AP also points out that the agreement ends jobless payments for those earning over $1 million. Republicans would rather try to make a “moral” argument for denying food to starving children than take a penny away from a millionaire, so it looks like poor John Boehner will be stuck between the tea and an election.

Unless of course John Boehner goes rogue again. And then anything is possible. Either way, this is a huge victory for Democrats. Now we need that victory to translate into a victory for the people, but for that, we need John Boehner to go rogue.

35 Replies to “Huge Victory for Democrats as Senate Republicans Cave on Unemployment Benefits”

  1. Excellent step forward. I hope the Senate will seriously lean on the House to build a bipartisan coalition as they did with the Farm Bill and food stamp funding restoration (it WAS restored NOT cut – the cuts came Nov. 2013 and are now ended) and with the budget.

    To make this work raise your voices. The pressure from constituents in great numbers will push out the impact of money. VOTES matter, and constituents vote. If they hear from you, they will have to pay attention.

    Let’s hope we can do as well with this as we have with the two other ‘wins’. It’s on us to make sure that occurs.

  2. Well, at least it’s a start in the right direction for the Unemployed! Just tie up John Boehner that day & put him in closet!


  4. I hope this goes through people need those benefits. I know they pay attention to their fb pages and tweets. Light them up and they will know they are being watched on what they do and how they vote.

  5. Pass it now!!!! PLEASE! My family has no food , fixin to loose everything I got!!! PLEASE !!!!!!!I am a dislocated worker enrolled in college to better myself, an will have to quit college today if this doesnt take effect now! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

  6. So here we go,now they get to go on vacation and we have to wait two more weeks to vote on this and then it has to go to the house??? What the hell is wrong here. They need to vote on this now and pass this threw the house before they can even get to go on vacation. We the people have waitd oo long ready and this is just a bunch of shit that they are goin to make us starve for two more weeks. It will be april then we we will have one more monthbefore the benefits exspire again. What bullshit!!!

  7. How about we remove all those bullshit expressions from of our vernacular?
    The GOP didn’t cave, the Dems didn’t win. Instead, the working American public finally got something they justly deserve

  8. More money is now going to leave the country. No money no jobs. The house will not pass this just like it did not pass immigration which the senate did pass. The biggest problem is that money (property) is taken from one person and given to another. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet they neighbors property. God to Adam after the expulsion from the garden – from now on you work for your bread.

  9. The problem is not taking from one to give to another. This country is built on that when they wrote the constitution. The nation needed taxes and any nation always will. It is not stealing, its part of living together. The earliest peoples in villages gathered their food together and shared it. You seem to think roads and every thing we use together will just appear out of thin air

    That stealing bs is just a lazy persons way of shirking their duty as citizens

  10. So god denied adam unemployment benefits which adam paid into when he was working? And you wonder why I go off on people

  11. Ok, so they signed the bill in the Senate. Now we have to wait on the House to sign the final bill. People please remember who the Republicans are! They are evil and selfish! They can not connect with people who are in need. They will take food out of your mouth and give it to the rich! I have read so many hearth braking stories of people who are homeless and living out in their cars. Can you imagine the impact this has on children???? You think the republicans care about who lost their homes, car, and most of all their livelihood?? Boehner is so afraid of the tea party and perhaps he will not sign the bill in fear of losing his job as a speaker. Well guess what?? What goes around, comes around. Also, what goes up must come down. One day they will know how the people of America felt when they were down and out. Have no fear Americans. Keep your head up high and do what is right for you and your children. Keep the faith!

  12. David, and those like him, are stuck in the Old Testament and refuse to acknowledge the New Testament. Try the Sermon On The Mount, David, Matthew 5-7. Then come preaching what God says, m’kay?

  13. That is one big stinking pile of bu11sh1t. Want to hear a more relevant quote from the Bible? “For I was hungry and you did not feed me, naked and you did not clothe me,” etc. You, as an apologist for the rich bloodsuckers of this nation, will end up departing “into the lake of fire prepared for Satan and his angels”. IF you believe that stuff. I doubt, however, that you really do. You have no shred of compassion or true morality; just a pathetic need to justify your selfishness.

  14. I’m telling you, we haven’t seen the last of 1789 or 1917. When enough people are foreclosed upon and/or can’t feed themselves and their kids, the gated communities of the 1% will not protect them from the mobs. And the 1% will have earned that fate.

  15. I am well, thank you.

    I’ve had guests visiting from out-of-town for the last couple of weeks.

    Just starting to get caught up on all the news.

    Don’t worry, I’ll have you wishing I’d go away again in no time.

    Hope you are okay too.

  16. Rom.13.7: “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

    Matthew 18-21
    18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?

    19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,

    20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

    21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.”

    “Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    Anyone who says the Bible tells us not to pay taxes, or that paying taxes is theft of others’ property, is lying for selfish reasons.

  17. I very happy to see this done. Now the GOP house will play with it for another 2 months. That being said, I CAN’T wait to see when these benefits are REINSTATED! Man oh man are you gonna see some s*it! ALL the lies will be uncovered, the who’s who’s of analysts will look like complete MORONS! because guess what babies? When these people go back on the rolls? The UI rate is going SKYROCKET! I wouldn’t be too surprised if she shoots back up to 7.5! if not higher.

    I have been saying thins for years now since HR4213 that when people drop off the rolls the UI rate drops also! So just watch… trk387

  18. THIS POST IS WRONG… HOW CAN YOU POST SOMETHING LIKE THIS? I just watched the hearings, the bill S2148 ALL Reid said was (they) have come to a bipartisan agreements, it hasn’t even been VOTED on! This is REALLY bad reporting sorry. 2.Million people are waiting on this ext. and you pull this crap. trk387

  19. hey the bill hasn’t even been voted on… ALL the Reid said was the bill has bipartisan agreement. They have to vote on the bill S2148 before it even goes to the house, and that vote isn’t taking place until next week. trk387

  20. OK wtf happened! The senators are talking about flood insurance, earned income child credit, and BAM! on the bottom of the screen it says ” they reached a deal to extend the insurance ” I didn’t even hear reid say a damn word about that all day. OK so I owe the reporter an apology, but in my defense, I have no idea where it came from. Even the announcer at the end of the day at around 10pm said all the things the senate accomplished today, how come he didn’t mention the extensions? That doesn’t make any sense. trk387

  21. So have I.

    When people have nothing, they have nothing to lose. People cannot rely on crumbs forever. I think that these billionaires who are building these bomb shelters in their own mansions know this and deep down they are terrified.

  22. Obviously we know our taxes pay for everything the government does, including roads and so on. However, we are in a horrible conflict between helping these people, and spending tomorrow’s money today. We can’t help these people without getting them back to work, not paying them with taxpayers money

  23. Another know nothing who don’t have a clue who really is robbing America
    Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs

    To break it down so even you can understand the average wage in America is about 50k. Out of that you pay 43 dollars for all of social welfare. You pay 4000 to your Koch masters in corporate welfare. Now who are the real takers here.

  24. When you work, you pay into Unemployment INSURANCE!!!!!!!
    When your company lays you off, you have a RIGHT to collect that INSURANCE!!!!
    Notice how the Republicans are all for the “free market” until it helps out the working man?

  25. Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    Hope you’re not rich!

  26. I’d love the retro benefits but Boener is fighting this also. But if it’s his way or nothing I’d rather have the benefits go back one month and go 4 more after. I wonder why the GOP doesn’t write a bill themselves. Then , if the Dems say ” no ” they would b to blame. The GOP is in trouble for 2014 by not providing any alternative bill.

  27. I certainly do hope that the House votes yes for this extension for five months. I am at the age where people won’t hire me. I lost my car and barely have food to eat. I’m in the BEGGING stage right now. iT TAKES AWAY ALL YOUR SELF ESTEEM. PLEASE VOTE YES!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.