Reid strips bipartisan ‘jobs bill’, cuts Unemployment and COBRA extensions from bill…

Smooth move Harry. I am sure the unemployed people and folks who need the COBRA subsidy will appreciate your newfound ‘toughness’ on spending. Especially since you found your cojones against members of your own party on an actual bipartisan bill.

Whadda maroon.

FDL! while complimenting Harry, notes he tossed the UE and COBRA extension:

...Reid set aside the social safety net spending, extending unemployment benefits and the COBRA subsidy, into a separate bill. That would net another $25 billion. Reid has promised to take that up later in February, after the Senate recess….

Politico notes that Reid pulled the rug from under the WH’s big bipartisan jobs bill announcement (headline calls WH ‘stunned’) and pixxed off his caucus at the same time:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led colleagues and the White House to believe he supported a bipartisan jobs bill — only to scuttle the plan as soon as it was released Thursday over concerns it could be used to batter Democratic incumbents, according to Senate sources.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) worked for weeks with Reid’s blessing and frequent involvement to craft an $85 billion jobs bill, a measure that seemed destined to break the partisan logjam that has ground the Senate to a halt.

But as Baucus, Grassley and President Barack Obama were preparing to celebrate a rare moment of bipartisan Kumbaya on Thursday, Reid stunned a meeting of Senate Democrats by announcing he was scrapping Baucus-Grassley, replacing it with a much cheaper, more narrowly crafted, $15 billion version.

Sounds like members of the Dem caucus were pretty pixxed too:

…But people who were in the room painted a somewhat different picture, saying Reid’s proposal was met with a mixture of confusion and outrage from senators upset about having their pet projects redacted – even after Reid promised to include their proposals in subsequent jobs bills.

And Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin argued passionately that, if lawmakers plan to extend corporate tax breaks, they should also extend employment insurance.  “[Reid’s] trying to keep it simple,” Harkin said emerging from the meeting, “but what I think ought to be in the package is unemployment insurance for one year.”..

February 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics.

3 Comments

  1. David replied:

    I’m 53 yrs old and in my life time I have never been unemployed more than 30 days until this current economy. I am now on my 14 month without a full time job.

    Why did Harry cut our unemployment benefits? I thought he cared about the current unemployed. Currently there is 1 job available for every 17 unemployed people.

    Harry please have mercy … and let us feed our family s and pay our mortgages.

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    • ginaswo replied:

      God Bless, the WH economic forecast released last week does not bode well for UE rates for the next 4 years and more, sadly the WH is not moving off its economic policies…
      Biden was right about girding ourselves in more ways than one

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  2. Carl Larson replied:

    Press Release 2-11-2010 Open Letter to – Mr Chairman,Charles B. Rangel, D NY-15 Ways and Means Committee – STOP TAXING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS! – Write a Legislative reform bill for retroactive 2009 100% U/B tax free status like the one below. Let’s not forget about those who have lost a job in 2009 and remember you, Chairman of the US Ways and Means committee can still help in a big way in 2010 with this new bill. Have you heard about the Jobless STUB Retro 2009 U/B Tax Free Act? STUB is like a paycheck stub and stands for STOP TAXING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. The new legislative reform bill needs your attention and will make all unemployment collected in 2009 tax free not just the current law deduction of an insane $2400 exemption (about 6 checks). You should consider passing this bill before April 15 2010 because 5.8 million have most of their income from unemployment compensation and didn’t withhold in order to survive. Making the long term unemployed have an IRS tax liability is unjust and unsound in this economy. Next the unemployed will face collection and having a credit rating disaster. This bill needs to be endorsed and launched by you and will be a big life changer for millions who drew a lot of benefits and couldn’t withhold. Remember a record 20 million collected some unemployment in 2009. Thanks from Carl Larson Executive Director at Unemployment Gone Mad and all of the Gone Mad activist community.

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