Obama Pushes For Unemployment Insurance In Congress
Matt | On 08, Jan 2014
President Obama used the power of the bully pulpit on Tuesday to highlight a serious issue facing out-of-work Americans. Federal unemployment insurance expired on December 28. This left over one million Americans with no additional financial help this week as we kick off the new year.
The White House specifically hosted the event to push Congress to renew the benefits for at least three more months while a more long-term solution could be found. The benefits come from the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program enacted by former President George W. Bush.
Not long after Obama gave his speech, flanked by real unemployed people from across the country, there was a slight shift in the Senate. A cloture vote took place allowing the issue of unemployment insurance to come up for debate in the Senate. That was a major hurdle in that chamber because 60 votes are needed to invoke cloture. Since there are not 60 Democrats in the Senate, that vote needed some Republican support.
The unemployment insurance measure still needs to come up for a full vote in the Senate, where it will likely pass. But, the real test will be in the Republican-controlled House. The chamber wants to find a way to offset the $6.4 billion that will be spent over three months on the benefits.
I’m all for responsible spending. But, I find it laughable that the House Republicans only want to pass this bill with offset spending elsewhere. They wasted $24 billion on a pointless government shutdown in October and still have yet to offset the lost revenue or their stupidity.
But, of course, we have to balance all the financial responsibilities on the backs of hardworking Americans. No need to make the members of Congress do the same for their actions. *side-eye*