Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The benefits extension measure is in a gridlock, as Democrats and Republicans neither one can determine how they will pay for the bill. Democrats want to "add it to the tab", and also pay for the measure by increasing taxes on small businesses, oil companies, and investment fund managers.
Republicans want to pay for it out of unused stimulus funds, citing that some of the tax hikes in the Democrats' desired bill could actually end up stifling job growth and increasing costs for hardworking and honest Americans.
Only a couple Republicans are voting for the bill, and both of them are from Maine. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins are moderate Republicans who know the bill needs to pass.
Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska is the sole Democrat that has voted AGAINST the bill. If he voted with the rest of his party, they measure would have the 60 votes needed to pass. Instead, he's against the extension (likely because his state would only benefit from 2 of the 4 tiers of benefits and they have a less than 5% unemployment rate in Nebraska) and won't budge.
The Senators that are stopping the droves of unemployed individuals will be remembered during the mid-term elections later this year. Still yet, Republicans are sticking their ground. Hopefully the vote doesn't lose any more Senators before Robert Byrd's replacement can be sworn in!