Unemployment Extension Vote – The Senate voted 60-40 on Tuesday to move forward with the proceedings to reauthorize unemployment benefits for individuals that have been jobless long-term. This will extend benefits for 2.5 million who have not been receiving unemployment checks since the end of May, when the previous extension came to an end. A number of Republicans and conservative Democrats have been filibustering bills to renew the aid. In the final Senate vote, the bill will be going to the house, which will have the final vote on Wednesday.
“It shouldn’t take a supermajority to help families afford the bare necessities while unemployment is rising,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
By putting an end to the filibuster democrats have made their path easier towards passing the bill. Individuals who have not been receiving aid will be paid retroactively. Individuals who had already used all of their available benefits before the end of the last extension will not be receiving any retroactive pay.
For now, it appears that the debate may be coming to an end. Lawmakers have decided to opt for jobless aid over reducing the deficit, much to the disappointment of many Republicans.
“I think it is fair and safe to assume that we are not going to wake up and find ourselves at the end of November at a rate of unemployment one would not consider to be an emergency,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The debate will likely see intense scrutiny come November, when election season rolls around.