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March 3rd, 2010
06:00 AM ET

After standoff, Senate votes to extend jobless benefits

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Jim Bunning says that if the benefits are so important, senators could find a way to fund them."]

Washington (CNN) - The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a $10 billion measure to extend benefits for unemployed workers and fund road projects after Sen. Jim Bunning agreed to end his filibuster.

"We cannot keep adding to the debt and passing the buck to generations of future workers and taxpayers, my children and your children and our grandchildren," Bunning said on the Senate floor after the agreement to end his filibuster was reached. "Tonight, tomorrow and on every spending bill in the future, we will see if they (Democrats) mean business on controlling the debt or if it's just words. We will see if pay-go has any teeth or not."

Bunning blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for Bunning's almost week-long block of a vote on the 30-day extensions and said his amendment would remove "black liquor" - a byproduct of the pulp and paper process - from eligibility for a bio-fuels producer tax credit, saving $24 billion.

But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said that very action is already part of a bill that will came up for a vote Wednesday - the long-term extension of those jobless benefits.

"The senator from Kentucky, after one week, has decided to accept exactly what was offered to him last week," Durbin said. "The senator from Kentucky said 'No, I may lose. I am not going to offer an amendment, I am just going to object.'"

Durbin urged a rejection of Bunning's amendment, saying passing it would further delay benefits already delayed by Bunning's filibuster. FULL STORY

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. nikki

    Yesterday, Roland Martin debated with a Republican supporter the need for unemployment insurance. The "supporter" said in effect that you don't need unemployment if you go get a job. Martin stated that his remarks were "trifling" and if he'd ever been in that position he would not have those views.

    I have worked most of my life. On one occasion I collected unemployment for 2 weeks. On another approximately 4 months. In both cases I was laid off unexpectedly and in both cases I found a job well before my benefits ran out. First of all, most "workers" want to work. However, when they are laid off, they are entitled to those benefits because the employee and his employer has paid into them. It's not welfare. As a single person, being unemployed was scary. I lost my credit worthiness, although I continued to pay my bills on time. I lost my self worth as well. Without a spouse to pick up the slack, I couldn't wait to get back to work. The "supporter" was callous, self-righteous and the embodiment of Republican arrogance that has become pervasive in America over the last 9 years. Although I dislike myself for feeling this way, my wish for that man is that he falls on hard times and finds himself without work, family and the means to rectify the situation for a long time. Let him walk in someone elses shoes and see how much they can hurt. Bunning, Anne Coulter and this man are cut from the same unsympathetic cloth because life has been good to them. They are truly un-American.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  2. kent, NJ

    Bunning proved one important thing, and that is that congress is not interested in solving the financial debt emergency of the u.s. government. Paygo says you can't spend money you don't have but both the dems and pubs continue to spend money they don't have. If extending unemployment benefits is a national emergency then make it part of fema. The federal debt is 65 trillion counting medicare and social security but nobody in washingon seems to care. 65 trillion seems to be just a number to people, but it exceeds the entire gross domestic product of the entire world which is 60 trillion. Sanity has left the building, hope is gone and it will all come crashing down very soon.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  3. Richard Gatling

    It is a sad day for our great country when just one person with an agenda can harm and almost destroy the lives of countless Americans in so many ways.

    I want Sen. Bunning and anybody else,regardless of what political affilliation, to know that it is un-Christian,un-American, and un-Godly that anyone could have that much power. Our laws need to be changed to prevent the unnecessary filibusters and other tactics that are being used to impede progress in areas that are over due an very much in need.

    I pray that in "their" process of trying to destroy the President of the United States and "make sure he fails", that they don't in turn bring about the down-fall of our society by dividing our nation as they are doing.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  4. Rochelle

    We have a family member affected by this issue–a single mom trying to finish technical training. Bunning and McConnell are representative of the "let them eat cake" attitude of callous Republicans who couldn't care less about working people. The didn't care about paying for programs during the Bush administration, so all this breast beating about the deficit is disingenuous.

    I was sad to see that CNN commentators were giving them a pass, saying the Democrats could have stopped this. Right. Like they could have stopped the 60 filibusters the Republicans have used to stop progress in the Congress. CNN continues to demonstrate a bias to the right, and that's why I seldom watch anymore.

    March 3, 2010 at 6:40 am |