Senate Overcomes GOP Filibuster On Unemployment Benefit Extension
by Deacon Blues
After months of GOP delays and filibusters while millions of Americans lost their unemployment insurance and fell off of the labor rolls, the Senate today finally got 60 votes to overcome the GOP's newfound concern for deficit spending. Among the 60 senators who voted for cloture to stop the filibuster were both Maine GOP senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, as well as both independents Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders.
And still Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson voted "no" and with the GOP.
"I support extending unemployment benefits for Nebraskans and Americans who remain out of work," Nelson said in a statement. "However, I opposed the Senate's unemployment bill today because it should have, and it could have, been paid for."
This comes from a man who voted for both Bush tax cuts and the Iraq/Afghanistan war supplementals, without a peep from him about paying for those. Thirty billion is too much for Ben Nelson, even if it means his constituents lose their homes and see family devastation. But trillions in deficit spending for HMOs, war profiteers, the disaster capitalist community, and the country club set is fine with good ole' Ben, who isn't on the ballot in 2010. He's truly a despicable excuse for a human being.
Well, at least the GOP sunk it's own boat rhetorically with this pathetic display of contempt for Main Street.
Republicans said they backed the idea of extending benefits, but were determined to prevent the costs from being piled onto the mounting deficit.
"We believe the federal debt has grown to an alarming level, where it is threatening the future of our children and grandchildren," said Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate.
Really Lamar? If $30 billion for the unemployed is "threatening the future of our children and grandchildren", then what does that say about the damage to our kids and all furry animals from extending the Bush tax cuts at a multi-trillion cost?