If you ever had any doubt in your mind that Republicans were the “I’ve got mine so FU” party, that doubt should be utterly erased after this vote.
The Senate voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would restore emergency jobless benefits to millions of people who have been out of work for more than six months, finally overcoming Republican objections that the measure would add to the nation’s bloated budget deficit.
On a vote of 60-40 that ended a months-long stalemate, the Senate agreed to move to a final vote on the $34 billion measure later Tuesday. The bill would then go back to the House, where leaders hope to approve it Wednesday and send it on to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
For the record, one “Democrat” – Ben Nelson of Nebraska – voted against restoring unemployment benefits to 2.5 million Americans whose checks stopped coming back in early June. Only two Republicans – the “Maine Twins” – voted “yea.” According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “This debate is about whether, in extending these benefits, we should add to the debt or not.” We know, of course, that this is an outright lie, as Republicans themselves have admitted that the Bush tax cuts for the rich need not be paid for by compensatory spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere. Also recall that it was the last Democratic president who balanced our nation’s budget, and the last Republican president – with the help of a Republican Congress – who turned “black” to “red” practically overnight. As that Republican president liked to say, “heckuva job!”