October 10, 2009


(from WMXdesign h/t Howie Klein)

If your unemployment ran out this week, you can thank Sen. Jon Kyl. Yes, the Republican whip objected to a quick vote that would have helped all those people. You can contact him here and thank him for his compassion:

Washington -- Key Senate Democrats tried unsuccessfully today to quickly pass legislation to give jobless workers in Michigan and other hard-hit states an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits.

That delays action on the high-stakes issue until at least next week.

Tom Clementson, a 58-year-old unemployed construction worker in Indian River, expressed frustration by the Senate's slow pace.

"So many people are out of work and need this extra money to put food on the table," said Clementson, who cashed his last check six weeks ago. "It seems like the Senate should spend more time on getting this passed."

Today's failed effort to quickly pass a bill followed the unveiling of a compromise bill by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and key allies. The bill would give all states an extra 14 weeks of jobless benefits, plus an extra six weeks for states with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent or greater.

[...] Reid introduced the bill after reaching a deal with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who had balked at the House-passed bill, which only gives extra benefits to the hardest-hit states.

[...] But when Reid asked senators to quickly pass the bill under a speedy procedure, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., objected. That's enough to prevent a quick vote.

Kyl said he wanted to have time to look at the proposal and consider possible Republican amendments, and also ask the independent Congressional Budget Office to estimate its cost.

[...] While objecting to quick passage, Kyl said he expects "at the appropriate time," Republicans will "be able to work out some kind of agreement."

Kyl helped cause this mess. It's only good manners to help clean it up - but then, Republicans aren't big on personal responsibility, are they?

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