Lone senator blocks unemployment benefit extensions

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 14, 2004
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Ho boy. As if the senate needed any more of a black eye.

Lone senator blocks unemployment benefit extensions

From Ted Barrett, CNN Congressional Producer


Washington (CNN) -- The Senate adjourned Friday without approving extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed after a lone senator blocked swift passage due to his insistence that Congress first pay for the $10 billion package.

Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, led a spirited Senate debate with Democrats over the issue -- at one time cursing at another senator on the floor. Bunning said he doesn't oppose extending the programs -- he just doesn't want to add to the deficit.

According to two Democratic aides on the Senate floor Thursday night, Bunning muttered "tough s---" as Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, criticized Bunning's stance on the package.

An aide to Merkley said the senator didn't hear the remark. A spokesman for Bunning said he was aware of the reports about the senator's language but didn't have a comment.

On Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, sent Bunning a letter asking him to "stand down immediately" from his stance.

"Unemployment insurance is a lifeline to the long-term unemployed whose families have been hit very hard by this recession," she said.

For his part, Bunning maintained on Friday that if all senators could agree that the benefits are so important, then they should find a way to pay for them.

"If we can't find $10 billion somewhere for a bill that everybody in this body supports, we will never pay for anything," he said.

Democrats argued the safety net funds are classified as "emergency" and therefore don't need to be offset.

Starting Monday, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.

With the Senate not in a position to vote on the extensions until next Tuesday at the earliest, senators and their staffs scrambled to determine the practical implication of letting the programs lapse -- even if for just a few days.
I think Bunning needs to stop taking his congressional salary and live on unemployment alone for a year. He might rethink his priorities.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I think he's going to find himself alone here but if this is how he wants to go out then so be it. A true dumbass.
 

adroit

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2005
271
132
Victoria, BC
"If we can't find $10 billion somewhere for a bill that everybody in this body supports, we will never pay for anything," he said.
I hate to agree with this guy but he does have a good, albeit small, point here.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
Why spend money we don't have?

I thought this was a Obama thing, don't buy things we can't pay for.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
You can't rely on unemployment forever, we've already extended benefits beyond 2 years.. for **** sake.. You can't rely on this **** forever, its supposed to be a stepping stone not a god damn permanent ladder point.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,988
You can't rely on unemployment forever, we've already extended benefits beyond 2 years.. for **** sake.. You can't rely on this **** forever, its supposed to be a stepping stone not a god damn permanent ladder point.
What do you suggest then for those who still can't get hired? It's not like jobs are any easier to come by?

I love that you continue to live in your own fantasy world were the only thing that matters is your rhetoric. Look around at the country you supposedly love, its in the ****ing ******* because our people are going through tough times. Go ahead and give them your ladder speech as you take away next weeks food on the table. You don't give a **** about the people, you'd rather rally against the minority that are abusing the system at the expense of those who actually need it AKA THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT.

You don't care about this country or its people, only your precious ideals, no matter what reality has to say about them.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
What do you suggest then for those who still can't get hired? It's not like jobs are any easier to come by?

I love that you continue to live in your own fantasy world were the only thing that matters is your rhetoric. Look around at the country you supposedly love, its in the ****ing ******* because our people are going through tough times. Go ahead and give them your ladder speech as you take away next weeks food on the table. You don't give a **** about the people, you'd rather rally against the minority that are abusing the system at the expense of those who actually need it AKA THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT.

You don't care about this country or its people, only your precious ideals, no matter what reality has to say about them.
Last time I looked we weren't a socialist state.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,988
Last time I looked we weren't a socialist state.
Last time I checked PEOPLE mattered more than your ****ing LABELS, however wrong they may be. Extensions don't make something last forever, however much you'd like to skew it to look that way.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
Last time I checked PEOPLE mattered more than your ****ing LABELS, however wrong they may be. Extensions don't make something last forever, however much you'd like to skew it to look that way.
Last time I checked it's these same extensions that make our war in Iraq sustainable and on going. But don't worry, that doesn't make it wrong or make it last forever. :rolleyes:
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,550
2,273
I hope I never find myself in the position where I an unemployed for 2 year or worse being unemployed, collecting and working under the table to subsidize unemployment.

I would like to heaar from people that have been out of work for that long. What is your profession and how are you making it on unemployment?
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
Standing in line, marking time
waiting for a welfare dime
because they can't buy a job...

Man in a silk suit hurries by
as he catches an poor old lady's eyes.
Just for fun, he says, "get a job."
The Way It Is, by Bruce Hornsby and the Range.

Funny how a song from 1986 (won a Grammy, BTW) rings true today, and he was talking about the Depression.

Morally and fundamentally, this jerk of a senator failed his constituents, whom he knows are hurting for ways to support their families, as jobs are still scarce. What makes it worse, is that his vote hurts not only his constituents, but other people in the country.

He's worried about the deficit? This fool doesn't realize that those not having jobs don't help in bringing that deficit down, and that he has just denied a lot of people the chance to keep their families fed, roofs over their head, and the chance to hold on for another chance at work so they can help to pay down that deficit.

Label me all that you want; I don't smegging care. But there does come a time when people just need to do the right thing. This Senator failed in that.

BL.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
I hope I never find myself in the position where I an unemployed for 2 year or worse being unemployed, collecting and working under the table to subsidize unemployment.

I would like to heaar from people that have been out of work for that long. What is your profession and how are you making it on unemployment?
I was there shortly before 9/11 all the way up to June 2003. the job I had at a phone company was eliminated in May 2001 (subsequently, the company went Ch. 11 followed by Ch. 7). This also happened to be in the .com bust. 9/11 happened, then all jobs went belly up. 6 months on unemployment, followed by 2 sets of extensions. Any positions in my field were posted just so employers could either do the "hurry up, get applicants, and wait", or simply collect resumes. Meanwhile, bills rack up, borrow from parents, and feel absolutely s****y because I can't support myself.

year and a half later, I finally get a job at my doctor's office doing simple data entry (I only got that job because he was a friend of the family). I was told by the office manager at that time that I'd only be there for 5 months, as it was temporary. That ran out. Luckily, I got a call for a job in my field in Sacramento, which I get the job.

Total unemployed time: 2 years, 3 months.*

BL.

*unemployed = not having a job in my profession.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,373
UK
Last time I checked PEOPLE mattered more than your ****ing LABELS, however wrong they may be. Extensions don't make something last forever, however much you'd like to skew it to look that way.
Exactly. You can't expect people to live on no money at all, what are they supposed to do to feed themselves? Steal?

Total unemployed time: 2 years, 3 months.*

BL.

*unemployed = not having a job in my profession.
I would only count being without work as unemployed, but still it seems like that lasted nearly 2 years.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
Ho boy. As if the senate needed any more of a black eye.
Just curious if you read the last sentence of the story you quoted? I cite it below:

"With the Senate not in a position to vote on the extensions until next Tuesday at the earliest, senators and their staffs scrambled to determine the practical implication of letting the programs lapse -- even if for just a few days."
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
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OBJECTIVE reality
I hate to agree with this guy but he does have a good, albeit small, point here.
And I wouldn't argue that point, but that's why I mentioned priorities. People gotta survive, and that's more imperative right now than even a balanced budget. (Wonder how much pork this guy has voted for?)

But wait -- Bunning is an even bigger ass than we thought:

Bunning: My Obstruction Of Unemployment Extension Made Me Miss My Basketball Game
Brian Beutler | February 26, 2010, 10:10AM

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is widely understood to be one of the upper chamber's crankiest members. But his latest episode could keep thousands of out of work Americans from receiving unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits. And it comes at a time when joblessness is through the roof.

Here's what's happening. Ninety-nine of the Senate's 100 members have agreed that people whose benefits are set to run out should be allowed to continue receiving them past the February 28 deadline. One senator--Bunning--disagrees. He says the benefits should only be extended if they're paid for with stimulus dollars. Democrats don't like that at all.

If Bunning were to relent, the extensions would be granted automatically. But, per the Senate rules, any single member can throw a wrench into an otherwise universal agreement.

Unsurprisingly, Bunning couldn't care less about any of it: "I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00 and it's the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they're the only team that has beat Kentucky this year," he said on the Senate floor.
Are you ****ing kidding me?!? :eek:
 

freeny

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2005
2,065
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Location: Location:
From what I understand, the extension will happen anyway but late. Everyone's unemployment will lapse. This will mean that everyone will need to reapply as well as the government will have to redo all their paperwork again costing a s#itload of money that wasnt necessary to spend...

Should we pat this guy on the back or poke him in the eye?

Of all the places this guy could choose to prove a point and he chooses to take it out on the unemployed?
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,373
UK
If Bunning were to relent, the extensions would be granted automatically. But, per the Senate rules, any single member can throw a wrench into an otherwise universal agreement.
That is a moronic rule. It makes the filibuster look sensible.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
Exactly. You can't expect people to live on no money at all, what are they supposed to do to feed themselves? Steal?
You'd be surprised how much quicker you look for a job when unemployment doesn't last 2 years.. its a statistical fact the longer you extend benefits the longer people stay on them.