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Why some Republicans have been against extending the unemployment benefits


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by Joseph Ernest July 20, 2010

 Newscast Media --  The GOP continued to filibuster against the extension of Unemployment Benefits for the jobless, but is there a method to the madness? Democrats have now passed a $33.9 billion in extra funds to aid jobless workers across the country who are in financial dire straits during this recession.


On Monday, in the Rose Garden, as he put pressure on the Republicans, Obama said, "A partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief. The same people who didn't have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn't offer relief to middle-class Americans like Jim or Leslie or Denise, who really need help."


The vote was 60-40 and the 60th vote came from newly sworn in Democrat Carte Goodwin, who made the decisive vote.  Goodwin was quickly sworn in before the vote, to replace the late Senator Robert Byrd. Other votes that helped pass the package came from Moderate Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.


The Republicans have long argued that they are not against helping the jobless by extending their Unemployment Benefits, they are against going into more debt, to fund this bill.  The GOP says that instead of adding an additional $33.9 billion to the deficit, the bill should be funded with the $210 billion unused TARP(Troubled Asset Relief Program) money that is leftover from last year's stimulus package.

Several days before the final vote took place, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, "The only reason the unemployment extension hasn’t passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn’t add to the debt." Democrats refused to touch the available funds, and have been accused of hoarding the $210 billion so they can use it to bail out Wall Street, and the Central bankers who operate in the shadows.  

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said, "TARP funds borrowed from the taxpayer should not become a slush fund for the political whims of Washington. The TARP was passed last fall because most experts believed that our capital markets were on the verge of absolute collapse.”

So it only made sense to the Republicans that the taxpayers receive the money the government borrowed from them that is sitting around, and use it form of Unemployment Benefits, rather than borrow an additional $33 billion, which those same taxpayers will eventually have to pay back, for years and generations to come.

It takes roughly six to nine months for the average American in a recession to find new employment, since companies tend to shy away from those who don't have jobs, but are more willing to hire people who are already employed and simply want to switch jobs.


Lisa Chenofsky Singer, a human resources consultant from Millburn, NJ, specializing in media and publishing jobs said, "Most executive recruiters won't look at a candidate unless they have a job, even if they don't like to admit to it. They think you must have been laid off for performance issues, this is a "myth" in a time of high unemployment."


Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project says firms that hire unemployed job seekers could also benefit from a recently-passed tax break that essentially exempts them from paying the 6.2% of the new hire's wages in Social Security taxes for the rest of this year.    Add Comments>>








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