Friday, October 03, 2008

Republicans Will Provide Billions to Wall Street But Not Extend Unemployment Benefits

According to the website ProPublica, whose motto is "Journalism in the public interest", Republicans are blocking efforts to extend unemployment benefits to the jobless. This week, it is estimated that 800,000 workers who run out of unemployment benefits. Although bills have been introduced in both houses to extend such benefits by 13 weeks, Republican leaders wouldn't agree to add this to the bail-out bill.

Here is a quote from the article:

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Jim Manley, told ProPublica yesterday that Senate Republicans had "balked" at an attempt to attach an unemployment-benefits extension to the Wall Street rescue.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spokesman, Don Stewart, said any extension bill "would be subject to debate and amendments."

What that last part means is that the bill would be subject to the Senate Rules which allow 40 Senators to threaten to filibuster legislation, thus requiring a cloture vote to cut off debate. In the 1950s and 60s Southern Senators used this trick to deprive African-Americans of their rights. Now, Republicans use this tactic to deprive the unemployed of more aid.

Republicans: Billions for their friends on Wall Street, nothing for the unemployed of Main Street.

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