Do Unemployment Extensions seekers believe in a July 4th week miracle? Will the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions finally be restored during the week leading up to the Independence Day Holiday? Or will the 1.2 million jobless Americans without benefits be ironically independent from the federal aid they should be receiving?
I continue to sound like a broken record. Each day I look for a new angle to write on. Each day I have been writing since this lunacy began around June 2, 2010. The Senators reconvened from a 10 day Holiday break. One of the first items on the agenda was H.R. 4213. This broad jobs bill, proposed by Democrats, included what has been termed by some as a grab bag of legislation. The Republicans quickly tossed it aside even though it featured the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension. The GOP stated that such a bill would only add to the deficit.
The Democrats went back to work and trimmed the bill which included the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension. Still, the Republicans shot down the bill once against citing Democrats as adding to the United States debt without figuring ways to pay for such a bill.
Democrats tried for a third time to trim the bills leading up to this past Thursday. Once again, the H.R. 4213 bill was not good enough for Republicans to vote yes. It failed 57-41 on the Senate floor. With 3 votes shy, Democrat Harry Reid finally just appeared to give up. Like the car salesman who tries to unload 4 cars to one customer who only needs one, the Democrat proposal was heavy on the political agenda to begin with. So I don’t think it’s completely fair to blame just the Republicans. Don’t get me wrong, they should share the blame too for not compromising in what should have been and still is an emergency situation.
The Republicans, through Mitch McConnell, offered an emergency 30 day extension on our benefits. Republican Olympia Snowe proposed the introduction of the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension as a stand alone item.
Snowe even sent a letter to Reid urging him not to give up. According to various reports, Reid had already called it quits after the third leg of the triple crown of Unemployment Extensions flopped.
So now, nearly a month after the Senate reconvened to start work on the bill, we are seemingly back at square one. In the process, the number of jobless Americans who have been added to what was originally a small number without benefits has significantly increased. Seemingly in this case means 1.2 million Americans. The number doesn’t obviously reflect that these are 1.2 million households being affected by the political jibber jabber, finger pointing and taking it personally.
Now Unemployment Extension seekers have no other choice than to continue applying for jobs and putting their faith in a July 4th week miracle. Why would it be a miracle? Because the Senate is scheduled to go on another recess over the Holiday. That means any legislation would need to be passed this week before Independence Day. That also means it would have to be passed back to the Senate and then Barack Obama before it becomes law. How unlikely does it seem that our United States Senate could even tie their shoes in the span of a week let alone pass urgent legislation? I am sure the left lace would scream at the right lace for the duration.
Does anyone else find it ironic that on the day we celebrate this country’s independence that our own politicians are playing games with many of the lives of jobless Americans? History does have a way of repeating itself and this political process is currently failing the people who desperately need help the most.
1.2 million people is such an overwhelmingly large number that it should command the attention of the United States Senate. Now it seems as if our United States Senate is content on moving on with politics as usual despite the hurt and agony those 1.2 million Americans will face by the indifference.
So it does appear that the 1.2 million Americans without benefits have a valid reason to hope and believe in a July 4th week miracle. If America is still the great country we made it, the United States Senate will quickly realize these faults of playing politics and quickly pass legislation regardless of their bickering. How will they realize it? Only because the people will them it is an urgent matter. Many jobless Americans are consistently emailing and writing the United States Senator on a daily basis. Petitions have been signed and finally the mainstream media appears to be collectively on board as this issue comes to the forefront. I would like to say the New York Times should be commended for publishing several terrific editorials in line with jobless Americans who are suffering through what should have been a short delay, if any. There have been other media outlets to jump in the fight. It now seems as if the momentum is gathering as other mainstream media finally jump on the bandwagon. Our 1.2 million jobless Americans do have quite the bandwagon by the way.
If Independence Day passes without the acknowledgment of these people, it will be quite tragic. At that point, some 1.6 million people will then be without benefits in perhaps the toughest job market this country has ever faced. So it does seem now that this alarming number of people do need a miracle for the Senate do address this issue once again. Stubborn pride from the Democrats isn’t going to put food on the table. Stubborn pride from the Republicans is also not the answer. In a matter of minutes, the United States Senate could make this July 4th week miracle happen. This emergency legislation should be passed so many people can appreciate the Holiday once again and the country we live in. It should be passed so those people can pay bills, put food on tables and continue to search for jobs with a clear head. It should be passed as a matter of empathy and respect for citizens who are working feverishly to find employment in the worst case scenario situation.
This country should not forget what it stands for. We are supposed to be one nation under God. We are supposed to have liberty and justice for all. What the Senate has done for the past month is to look past these characteristics and focus on election year political issues and ego. The greatest battles aren’t won by finger pointing and bickering. The greatest battles are won by resolution that involves compromise. The United States Senate has unfortunately failed in every single aspect to do that for the people who need and deserve it the most.