Facing South

Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by unemployment

The U.S. Senate passed a jobs bill yesterday that aims to tackle unemployment by providing tax incentives to businesses that hire jobless workers.

The measure passed with unusually strong Republican support -- but as with the recent Senate vote on extending unemployment benefits, many of those lawmakers who opposed the bill come from states with above-average unemployment rates.

The HIRE Act exempts employers from payroll taxes through this year on new hires who've been unemployed for at least 60 days. It also extends the federal highway construction program and other public building projects. The measure is estimated to cost $13 billion over 10 years and is partly financed by tougher limits on offshore tax havens.

The final vote on the bill was 68-29, with 11 Republicans crossing the aisle to join with their Democratic and Independent colleagues in approving the measure.

The Republicans who voted for the bill were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Kit Bond of Missouri, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, George LeMieux of Florida, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and George Voinovich of Ohio.

"I voted for this bill because, without increasing the federal debt, it permits small businesses to deduct their capital investments from their taxes, which gives them more money to create jobs; provides tax incentives for businesses to hire unemployed workers; and provides needed funds for our highways," Sen. Alexander said in a statement.

Of the 29 Senators who voted against the bill, 11 come from states with official unemployment rates higher than the national average of 10.7% as of January 2010. And of those 11, 10 are from Southern states that have been hit especially hard by unemployment, as seen in this chart:

senators_against_jobs_bill.jpgThat follows a pattern similar to what we saw in the Senate vote earlier this month on extending unemployment benefits.

Following a controversial filibuster of the benefits extension by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), the measure passed by a vote of 78-19. And of the 19 Senators who voted against that bill, eight hailed from states that had jobless rates higher than the national average. And all but one of them -- Sen. Jim Ensign (R-Nev.) -- came from the South.

But not all the Senators who opposed extending jobless benefits voted against the jobs creation bill, and vice versa.

Among Senators from Southern states with higher-than-average unemployment rates, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Georgia Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson did not oppose extending jobless benefits, but all voted against the job creation bill.

And while Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) opposed extending unemployment benefits, they supported the job creation bill.

Those lawmakers from states with higher-than-average jobless rates who objected to extending unemployment benefits and the jobs bill? Sens. Ensign, Bunning, Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).


People Referenced:


re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

This is what I have been saying and emailing all the Senators, Congressmen and Media Sources. PLEASE raise your voice and together we can be heard!!

Let me first say that I am furious this morning and I may ramble on or sound bitter; I apologize in advance for that.

We seriously need to raise awareness about the current Legislation and House Bill's that have been passes or are about to be.

A) The Legislation that Gov. Charlie Crist just passed for Extended Benefits in Florida opened up the old EB Program that was passed in Jan 2009. At that time it provided up to 20 weeks of ADDITIONAL benefits for anyone that exhausted all Federal Benefits available to them. This new Legislation only allows up to 8 weeks of RETROACTIVE pay for those same individuals. Those who were receiving EB prior to the Legislation being passes were given additional weeks. I and others however, JUST exhausted benefits and only received a few weeks retro benefits. We are being given the same up to 20 weeks that original EB recipients were and they have already moved into Tiers of Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. In what Universe is that remotely fair?

B) The Bill that passed through Congress with these wonderful so called "Extensions" to the EUC Program is just smoke and mirrors to make it appear that they have done something. It will allow persons who are receiving Tiers to continue to receive their Benefits. However, and most do not know this OR are not complaining enough, There are NO ADDITIONAL weeks or Tiers included. Therefore it is only extensions to existing deadlines. I and MANY Americans are now without any assistance at all with no hope on the horizon. If you exhaust, your done. Plain and simple. According to on-line sources that are aware of the situation and are contacting "those in charge", there is talk and possible Bills floating around that add a Tier 5 or in some other way add weeks to EUC, but the likelihood of any such Bill being passed is slim to none. The "Pay-as-you-go" policy prevents them from being enacted. Big Business, Corporations and 3rd World Countries ALL received Bail-Outs and generous aid; We at home are left to starve and become homeless. Again, in what universe does come close to fair and logical? I have been unemployed since May 2009, actively seeking work and sending hundreds of resumes per week with little to no response. If and when I do get an interview I am competing against a much younger generation freshly out of school with a Degree. As is I needed to say, I am not the candidate chosen for the position

I beg of you; please shed light on this situation, the following is a quote,

"If enough people raise the profile of this issue, a solution will come," predicted the staffer of a Democratic Senator. "This problem is completely off the radar. And until that changes, nothing is going to get done."

I say bail out the little people NOW!!! We are not living the Life of Luxury here on unemployment. Would a steady diet of Ramen Noodles and Soup Kitchen food keep you unemployed??? Not me.............. just saying, seriously, think about it.

Thank you for your consideration,
Sandi Breidigan

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

Go to website Change.org and look for petition entitled: The 99ers need a tier V. When you sign this petition it will automatically generate letters to your state reps. The petition needs 1,500 signatures.

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

You have to understand. The plan is to inflict as much pain on America as possible until the elections. The Republicans believe in a return to power by any means necessary

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

George dont be an idiot.

The Republicans are holding the Democrats to their word on "the pay as you go" that was enacted. Now I agree that they should extend benefits but dont pull the political card when the Democrats are as much as fault as the Republicans. The Democrats are to busy worrying about the health care crap and financial reform to care about its own citizens. They have no issues handing money to banks, companies, and other countries without blinking an eye but heaven forbid they help their own citizens.

This COngress along with the president are way out of touch and need to be removed when the next elections come about.

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

"...Those lawmakers from states with higher-than-average jobless rates who objected to extending unemployment benefits and the jobs bill? Sens. Ensign, Bunning, Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)."
These guys must remember that when things go wrong they have to watch their backs, it's going to be no less than few MILLIONS of angry and hungry unemployed people who will suddenly remember them and the "good things" they did for them when they needed the most. Better start packing your "bug-out" bags big and important senators, and hide-out before it's too late!

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

I would like both Republicans & Democrats to tell me how I am going to pay for the health care if I don't have a job or unemployment benefits!?? Yes I need health care but I need to have a roof over my childrens heads and food for them to eat FIRST! I don't understand what's going on with unemployment, I have looked for works... In Michigan there isn't any. I can go to school but not for anything worth while or that is in demand here in the state. I would love to become a nurse, and there is a huge demand for it but the schooling that I am eligible for right now will not pay for me to do that and even if they would I can't find a school that will accept just anybody thats wants to be a nurse. If you don't fit the schools criteria you don't get in. More road blocks.....I don't even know how many weeks unemployment I have left.....I ask questions but always get another run around. .....
open for suggestions in michigan....

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

I totally agree with Anonymous...with one exception. This dog and pony show by Democrats over Bunning's filibuster is only to enrage American's so that these Democrats can continue their tax and spend agenda that will have us all speaking Japanese or Chinese or w/e when one of these countries call our debt due. Oh, did everyone miss the fact that b/c of these morons in Congress, and previous ones, that we've now had our Moody's rating dropped b/c we can't pay our bills (ie...higher interest on our debts = higher insecurity to who we owe?)?

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

Our Georgia duet of stupidity was installed with the manipulation of the vote via the receipt-less electronic voting machine. The fact that they have as much support as they do have is evidence of faux news and talk/hate radios influence here and evidence of the devolution of man and the evolution of stupidity. Every where you turn here you find vile misinformed and uninformed hatred toward humanity , wisdom and our president, especially among the rich white trash and the wannabes.

re: Senators who opposed jobs bill come from states hit hard by

I do not understand our political leaders. Not one of them now (they will be when elections come up)are looking everyday seven days a week for a job. I am 57 and have always worked to support my family 2 or 3 jobs. I never used my unemployment insurance till now. Never had any federal or state help. Now because of the economy I lost everything and cannot find a job. Sure your bill for small businesses is great but it hasn't even been passed.I think everyone that has no more unemployment benefits go live with those senators. All the crap that goes on in Washington does not help the working class. When the president came in he made promises to help save houses, jobs and health care. NOTHING but lets worry about nuclear warfare. HELLO I think it would be germ warfare. I would like a job like the senators get paid for doing nothing just LIE, LIE LIE LIE.