Thursday, November 20, 2008

Six Republicans Who Wanted To Kill Extending Jobless Benefits

In one of the best Senate-floor speeches I ever heard Ted Kennedy (D-MA) give, he brutalized Senate Republicans for continuing to block the first increase in the minimum wage in almost a decade and roared to the other side of the aisle "What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?"

"What is it about it that drives you Republicans crazy? What is it?" asked Kennedy about GOP objections to raising the minimum wage rate. "What is the price that the workers have to pay to get an increase?"

While it was heartening to see a bill extending unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans sail through the Senate today -- with President Bush having already said he would sign it -- there's always a few Republicans that just can't seem to stomach throwing some true support to families already going through a tough time.

Before that bill passed by unanimous consent, it had to go through a cloture vote today to end debate. That vote passed easily, 89-6.

Which, given that voting against cloture is an attempt at a filibuster to block passage of a bill, would naturally lead you to ask… Who voted against it?

Here they are:
  • John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  • Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • James Inhofe (R-OK)
“On the day we learned that more Americans are filing for unemployment than at any time in the last 16 years, the Senate acted responsibly by helping struggling families make ends meet," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) upon passage of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008.

But such fine gentlemen, these six Republicans, huh?

Hopefully, their evenings will be complete if they can only find a homeless child to kick on the way home.