On Thursday, November 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (258-154) to approve the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act. Good news, right? Well, no, unfortunately, because under whatever arcane rule (actually, “suspension of the rules”) of the House this emergency legislation was brought up for a vote, it required a 2/3 majority to pass.
Given how extreme their party is these days, Republicans voted 143-21 against extending unemployment benefits for 3 months, to the end of February 2011. That’s inexcusable, but it’s not surprising given the current state of the Republican Party, sad to say. Meanwhile, Democrats voted overwhelmingly – by a 237-11 margin – in favor of extending the unemployment benefits. Thank you to the 237 Democrats who voted “yea,” including Virginians Rick Boucher, Gerry Connolly, Tom Perriello, and Bobby Scott (Jim Moran didn’t vote). But wait, you say, there were actually 11 “Democrats” who voted against emergency extension of unemployment benefits? What the @#@#$@?
Yes, it’s true. Fortunately, 8 of these “Democrats in Name Only” – Berry, Boyd, Bright, Lincoln Davis, Hill, Minnick, Nye, Taylor – will not be returning to do any more damage come January 2011. Good riddance. Unfortunately, 3 of them – Cooper, Peterson, Shuler – will be returning. That’s too bad, but at least it’s not a large number. Still, none of these 11 “Democrats” – the 8 who lost and the 3 who managed to hang on – should ever serve in Congress again (note: it’s not just this vote, it’s pretty much everything). Either that, or they should switch to the Republican Party, which is where anyone who would vote against an emergency extension of unemployment benefits in the midst of a nasty recession – and right before the holidays – belongs.
P.S. That includes Glenn Nye, who’s reportedly thinking about running again in 2012. I sincerely hope that 2nd CD Democrats find a real Democrat to run instead. They have a little over a year to do that – good luck!
P.P.S. Needless to say, none of the Republicans who voted “nay” should be returned to Congress ever again. That includes Virginians Eric Can’tor, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte, Rob Wittman, and supposed “moderate” Frank Wolf.
UPDATE: I just realized that Boyd and Hill voted for both “cap and trade” and health care reform. Yes, they’re still generally conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats, but they’re not all bad it seems.