Republicans Filibuster Help For The Unemployed For The Third Time
Republicans have successfully filibustered a bill to provide help for the unemployed for the third time in three weeks.
The jobless aid measure is one of the last remnants of the Democrats’ jobs agenda, which has largely fallen prey to GOP concerns about the deficit. Although a hiring tax break passed in February, ambitious plans for new road construction, incentives for so-called green jobs and, more recently, funding for cash-starved state governments and local school districts are languishing in the face of Republican resistance.
Save for GOP moderates Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Republicans uniformly opposed the $33-billion jobless aid measure because its cost would be added to the nation’s $13-trillion national debt.
Ben Nelson is the sole Democrat opposing the jobs bill. Yes, the bill would add to the deficit, but it would also help circulate more money and continue much-needed relief from what had been an imploding economy.
The Democrats’ unemployment bill would provide up to 99 weekly unemployment checks averaging about $300 to people whose 26 weeks of state-paid benefits have run out. The benefits would be available through the end of November, at a cost of $33 billion. There are no offsets in the bill, so the cost would add to the deficit.Click here for reuse options!
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