Democrats have shocked the political world by defeating Republican obstruction and moving on to a final vote on extending unemployment benefits by a margin of 60-37.
All Democrats voted for the bill, and were joined by Republicans co-sponsor of the bill Dean Heller, Susan Collins, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ben Coats, and Lisa Murkowski. These 6 Republicans deserve praise for doing what is right for their constituents who are out there looking every single day, but are struggling to find a job.
Before the vote, Majority Leader Harry Reid said that, “It’s true that the rich are getting richer, and everyone else is getting squeezed.” Reid said that among the unemployed who need an unemployment extension are 20,000 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Reid said, “For many Americans these benefits make the difference between being able to live a decent life and becoming homeless.”
The last time emergency jobless benefits were allowed to expire was in November 2008. At the time, benefits were extended for three months by a voice vote in the Senate. Republicans in both the House and Senate supported an extension under President Bush that was not paid for, but they are objecting to the same extension under President Obama, and demanding that it be paid for.0