Facing South

Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail from states devastated by recession

Facing South
Facing South
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Late yesterday, Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning relented on a multi-day filibuster that was holding up passage of a bill including a 30-day extension on unemployment benefits.

Bunning's retreat allowed the bill to reach the Senate floor, where it quickly passed 78-19 and was signed into law by President Obama last night (the House had passed a similar measure last week).

The Kentucky senator's intransigence may turn out to be a political blunder, just at a time when the GOP was gaining political momentum. Fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine criticized Bunning's move, saying over 500 jobless would lose benefits in the next week in her home state.

It's also unlikely to endear Bunning and Republicans in states hard-hit by the recession and facing high unemployment.

Of the 19 Senators who voted against the package including jobless benefits after the filibuster ended, eight of them come from states that face jobless rates higher than the national average -- all but one of them (Sen. Ensign of Nevada) from the South.

SenJoblessBenefits 2.jpg
As the chart shows, Republicans in the South who voted against the bill are especially vulnerable to charges that they're putting politics ahead of the interests of their own recession-rocked constituents.

These are the kind of votes that could prove costly for Republicans where they face challengers in 2010, including North Carolina, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

It could even be an issue in states like Texas, where -- despite having an unemployment rate below the national average -- over a quarter million residents lost jobs in 2009. But ironically, the vote was cast by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who on the same day lost in her primary bid defend her senate seat.

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re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

Shocking. Republicans hate you if you're not rich. They are proving it every day.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

It's sad, and maddening. Movement conservatism holds a set of dogma that is completely incompatible with governing well, let alone with borderline competence. Some of these politicians really don't give a damn about their own constituents, apart from the rich ones. And as long as the people described in Deer Hunting with Jesus keep voting for these scoundrels and zealots, they'll stay in power.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

Shocking! Well, maybe we should realize that the government does not have any money and we are just borrowing it all from Japan, China, & the middle east. Maybe we should think about how we are going to pay for things instead of living off of credit for the rest of our lives, our children's lives, and our grandchildren's lives! Maybe people should get a clue!

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

You just don't get it. Any fiscally responsible human being who understands what is at stake in this bankrupt country right now understands (and obviously you don't) that there is going to have to be some painful cuts thanks to the crookedness of our so-called representatives who have pilfered their way to prominence. Abolish the IRS and initiate term limits for all representatives and you've begun the road to recovery.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

If any of the Senator who voted against extending your unemployment benefits, and they are running for re-election, vote them out of office or do not vote at all. Their behavior proves how much they care about their constitutes.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

No. What is needed is a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, and everyone needs to contribute to Social Security and Medicare, including those who make more than $100,000 per year!! We can also eliminate corporate welfare by doing away with subsidies for oil and insurance companies. These are just a couple of ideas that will reduce our deficit.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

I understand that we could cut out a whole lot of spending by reducing the pentagon's budget, closing our military bases around the world and removing our occupying forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. We could also help the budget out by taxing wall street transactions, eliminating the Social Security tax ceiling and slapping a tariff on imported products so it's not so profitable to outsource American jobs. Ya know tough times call for tough decisions ... and a little sacrifice.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

The only smart letter in the bunch is the one who said the south are a bunch of knuckleheads and will continue voting against their own self interest.As for the 1 letter writer,a Republican obviously who sayts term limits will change the government.It takes bushels of money to get elected in todays government and who do you think will have the money.If you said those who support the corporations you go to the head of the class.term limits will do nothing they are a republican quick fix for the terminally slow.The reason the country is bankrupct is the 2 needless Republican wars anbd the wholesale tax cuts to the rich

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

I just wrote President Obama in order to help all of the unemployed who will run out of benefits and override the Senate. The senators who voted against the bill to extend some help for those of us out of work need to be voted out of office as soon as their term is up! When are the American people going stop being so apathetic about our biased elected officials who only care about the top 1% of the population who are rich? A democracy is something we do not have.
Definition of democracy from Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary:

1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

America, it's time for the next revolution!!We may have to overthrow this government.By any means necessary!!

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

All those senator who vote against the extension she be immedately remove from office.LET START CALLING TO GET THEM REMOVE AND WHY IS THE MEDIA NOT COMING THIS STORE.

re: Senators who voted against extending jobless benefits hail f

How terrible I don't see how they sleep at night shame on them