Extended unemployment benefits for nearly 2 million Americans begin to run out Wednesday, cutting off a steady stream of income and guaranteeing a dismal holiday season for people already struggling with bills they cannot pay.But meanwhile,
Unless Congress changes its mind, benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks will end this month.
Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress.Are you clear on this? The Senate Republicans will block ALL bills unless tax cuts for millionaires are extended. Proving that they are completely out of touch with real life.
This really isn't complicated -- when the unemployed get a check, they spend it. When it comes to getting a strong bang for the buck, jobless benefits have proven to be one of the best economic stimuli in policymakers' tool-belt….It's not just jobless benefits. Child nutrition is blocked in the house
The data on this is incontrovertible. If Republicans want what's best for the economy, why can't they think this through?
Also note the larger, Dickensian context -- Republicans are fighting tooth and nail for $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country, but they're poised to kill extended unemployment benefits for those struggling to find work in a weak economy, at a fraction of the cost.
Raising taxes on the rich under these circumstances is considered madness. Leaving jobless Americans with no benefits and no buying power under these circumstances is considered responsible.
This isn't a surprise, of course. Republicans have repeatedly argued throughout the recession that those struggling to find work in the midst of a jobs crisis are lazy and quite possibly drug addicts. Of course they're prepared to screw over the people most in need of assistance; they just don't like the unemployed.
But as the recovery continues to struggle, Republican opposition to jobless aid only guarantees more struggling, weaker economic activity, and more poverty. It's an easily-preventable disaster, which GOP officials in Congress are willing to just watch unfold.
House Republicans have temporarily blocked legislation to feed school meals to thousands more hungry children....And the defense bill. And everything else.
Republicans say the nutrition bill is too costly and an example of government overreach.
It's hard not to consider the charges of willful sabotage.
If you have a Republican senator (my condolences), now is the time to call their office and ask them WTF?????