Friday, June 18, 2010

Senate Republicans kill jobs bill, unemployment

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the Republican’s action toSenate Republicans last night blocked a jobs bill that would have extended unemployment insurance (UI) for long-term jobless workers. Some 250,000 unemployed workers a week are losing their unemployment benefits because they can’t find jobs.

block unemployment benefits for the hardest-hit jobless Americans is an outrage–sadly, it’s simply the latest shame. All members, both Republicans and Democrats, must remember that come November, voters will be thinking about one thing—jobs.
Senate leaders scaled back the bill to win the 60 votes needed to end the Republican filibuster against the bill. The 56-40 vote included all Republicans present and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
The extended UI program expired May 31 after the Senate left town for the Memorial Day recess without acting on a House-passed jobs bill that would have kept the long-term unemployment benefits program alive. The U.S. unemployment rate is near 10 percent, at least 15 million people are out of work and 6.8 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

Not only did Senate Republicans turn their backs on jobless workers–they also protected Wall Street investors and big oil companies like BP. The bill would have closed tax loopholes that allow hedge fund and other investments managers to shelter income at lower tax rates than working families pay on their income. It also increased the liability taxes on oil companies. Sen. Richard  Durbin (D-Ill.) said Republicans
said “Yes” to the special interest groups they always stand by.
Further Senate action on the bill is not expected until next week
From AFL-CIO blog..
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