The clock is ticking. Everyday the unemployment benefits extension is delayed, another 7000 jobless persons lose benefits. "Another 7,000 jobless Americans will lose their unemployment insurance today – just as 7,000 lost theirs yesterday, and 7,000 more lost theirs the day before" remarked Senator Reid Thursday night on the Senate floor. "The Republican response to that idea might sound familiar. It's a word we've heard from them more than any other in recent days. The Republican response to helping the unemployed is: No." (The clock is available here: http://democrats.senate.gov/unemployment/ )
Senator Reid has been instrumental in pushing passage of Bill H.R. 3548 in the Senate. "Republican Senators from Louisiana and Alabama and Arizona and Kentucky are saying 'no' to helping unemployed citizens in Louisiana and Alabama and Arizona and Kentucky. I doubt that's the kind of legislating their constituents had in mind when they sent them here to the capital and asked them to be their voices in Congress." The Bill, H.R. 3548 has been stalled for 3 weeks by Senate Republicans who have made it clear they prefer a partisan fight. It has become blatantly obvious, that The party of NO (Republicans) would rather make a political statement by demanding additional completely irrelevant amendments. These added amendments have absolutely nothing to do with unemployment and yet the GOP is blocking passage of this Bill with their demand that they be included. Instead of focusing on helping their constituents, their political statement has become more important.
Obstruction is the GOP's new mantra and they are determined to invoke cloture on every Bill that is being brought forward in the Senate. At the forefront of this obstructionism is Minority Leader, Senator McConnell from KY who had this to say about Majority Leader Senator Reid, "At some point the Majority Leader will try to move to proceed to the bill, and I think it's appropriate to make the point at the outset that a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill will be treated as a vote on the merits of the bill." Reid responded "By his logic, if Senate Republicans vote later today against proceeding to the unemployment insurance bill, it means they could care less about the thousands of Americans who are losing the relief they need every day. Thank you, Senator McConnell. Democrats couldn't have put it any better."
So, here it is Friday, another 7000 jobless have lost benefits and still no passage of the Bill that would provide much needed benefits. Another week gone and still no assistance for the unemployed. The Bill H.R 3548 is scheduled for debate at 4:00 pm on Monday and hopefully a final vote at 5:00 pm to pass this Bill. With the clock still ticking, by Monday, another 21,000 jobless Americans have now lost their benefits. It's time to pass this Bill and put a stop to the partisan obstructive politics.