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Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Jefferson Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Those are the Republican senators who voted against cloture on a bill extending unemployment benefits. Apparently, those Republicans do not care too much about the plight of those who are unemployed and whose unemployment insurance checks have run out. And why would they care? Most of those senators are wealthy. Why would they be in a hurry to help unemployed Americans?
Although last night the senate voted in favor of cloture on the unemployment extension bill by 87-13....there's still one more filibusterable step left before the extension is made law.
What are Republicans dragging their feet about here?
The Republican amendments include at least two provisions related to ACORN; one related to the E-Verify program; one to pay for the UI benefits with unspent stimulus money; and one providing tax relief.
Of course we know why ACORN is being used as an excuse to stall unemployment checks. Republicans are at war with blacks in America,....because blacks vote Democratic. Not personal, you understand, simply political. So, any bill to extend unemployment insurance, a necessary measure in our depressed economic environment, is a great opportunity, Republicans think, to hold hostage those unemployment checks to more FOX-style bashing of ACORN. Good luck with lowering that 5%-of-blacks-voting-GOP.....down to one percent.
E-Verify has to do with monitoring immigration through the crosschecking of citizenship on employment applications. Naturally, documenting immigration status has nothing to do with extending unemployment checks to, like, unemployed American workers.....but Republicans could care less about that. Republicans know that their political party takes a ridgid stand against undocumented workers....Republicans are tough border patrollers, don't ya' know. Nation protectors. "Amnesty" rejecters. Republicans rarely miss an opportunity to bash the "other" (see Jennings, Kevin) (see Sotomayor, Judge), and that's what they are doing with the unemployment insurance extension bill. If bashing "illegals" slows down the unemployed's checks, well....that's just the cost Americans must pay for the GOP's vigilance in it's fight against non-white skinned people. Undocumenteds threaten our very existence...or at least that's what FOX and Rush tell us....and they run the information-arm of the GOP.
The third "concern" of Republicans, which simply had to be addressed by stalling an extension of unemployment benefits, is paying for any extension with "unspent stimulus money." I got an extra special kick out of this one. Three Republicans in the Senate, Spector, Collins and Snowe voted for the stimulus package back in February. That's it....and Spector is now a Democrat. I just think that it requires big brass wingnut balls to stall unemployment extensions while those who voted against the stimulus tell the rest how that stimulus money should be spent. Big brass wingnut balls.
The last stall tactic is typical boilerplate Republican policy. "Tax relief." I mean, Jesus.....is there any piece of legislation....ever....that Republicans won't try to attach a tax cut to? Think about it. Republicans are holding up an extension of paltry unemployment checks in order to consider more tax cuts. Republican tax cuts during Bush cost the Treasury $1.5 trillion....enough money to pay for 10 years of national health care AND pay the unemployment insurance extensions needed now. BECAUSE cutting taxes radically for the wealthiest Americans didn't really create jobs, as the numbers demonstrate....it's particularly ironic that those who have lost their jobs and need those benefits are having those benefits held up, delayed, by yet another attempt to cut taxes.
Republicans can't govern....they've proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt with the Bush/Cheney administration. Still today, GOP'ers repeat Father Reagan's wingnut advice...."government isn't the solution, government is the problem", and when in power, do everything to prove that government isn't the solution.
Then when only the government can provide the "solution", as with unemployment insurance extensions, Republicans do their damnest to stop that "solution" from being passed.
The Republicans in office are obstructionists. They are not a loyal opposition. They are the disloyal opposition. They don't care about typical Americans having health insurance. You've heard them....they just say no to health care reform. They don't care whether an unemployed American runs out of unemployment checks. They have stalled and drug their feet at every turn to slow down any extension of unemployment for America's unemployed.
These GOP'ers are beyond shaming. They are shame-resistant.
Yes, Congress will pass an unemployment insurance extension. But it won't be because the Republicans didn't try to stop it.
More than a dime's worth of difference in the parties when it comes to this issue, I'd say.