The House of Representatives passed an extension of unemployment benefits on a voice vote. The Senate, however, has yet to act on the same measure, as various republican senators are throwing up procedural roadblocks. Evening 2.24.2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) asked for unanimous consent to approve an extension (kinda a no-brainer amidst what is a Depression), only to see the motion blocked by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) over “a dispute over how [the bill] should be funded.” Late that night, Democrats made repeated attempts to pass the extension by unanimous consent, and Bunning blocked them all.
Bunning then complained that the Democrats’ insistence on trying to ensure that unemployment benefits not expire had caused him to miss a college basketball game (Oh! My!). But at one point, while Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) were asking him to relent, Bunning was overhead blurting out “tough sh*t” as he sat in the back row.
The legislation Bunning is blocking “would extend unemployment payments to laid-off workers and provide them with subsidies to help pay health premiums through the COBRA program” for an additional month. Both provisions are set to expire on Sunday. Approximately 1.1 million workers are scheduled to have their unemployment benefits expire next month, and 5 million will lose their benefits by June.
As usual, Republicans do not give a damn!
Reps, and in particular Senator Jim Bunning-R, won’t necessarily extend unemployment benefits during the Great Recession they created, but apparently Senator Bunning will offer the unemployed a tasty treat!
So… one might say, “Republicans do not give a damn! But they do give a Sh*t.”