What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Unemployed : A vote on a Democratic procedural motion to waive Senate budget rules preventing consideration of a Democratic amendment to the Republican-dubbed JOBS act (S. 1674) that would provide unemployment insurance for 2.1 million workers in the next six months. (2004 senate Roll Call 88)
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A vote on a Democratic procedural motion to waive Senate budget rules preventing consideration of a Democratic amendment to the Republican-dubbed JOBS act (S. 1674) that would provide unemployment insurance for 2.1 million workers in the next six months.
senate Roll Call 88     May 11, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Progressives failed to persuade a majority of the Senate to extend unemployment benefits for jobless workers as part of the Republican-dubbed JOBS act (S. 1674) a measure designed to jumpstart job growth, among other ways, through tax breaks for corporations. Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-Wash.) amendment to the JOBS Act would have provided unemployment insurance for 2.1 million workers in the next six months. Her amendment fell just one vote short of passage. Although a majority - 59 members - of the Senate supported Cantwell's legislation, it failed because of Senate budget rules requiring a three-fifths supermajority, or 60 senators voting affirmatively. "We have lost 1.6 million jobs since President Bush took office, and too many people are struggling with long term unemployment," Cantwell said. "We had an opportunity to help 2.1 million jobless workers and we failed them," Cantwell stated. Had Cantwell's amendment passed, over the next six months 2.1 million workers would have received federal unemployment benefits and the federal program to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their state jobless benefits would have been extended to Nov. 30, 2004. Progressives argued that extending unemployment benefits makes good economic sense because it injects much-needed cash into local economies and helps families looking for work make ends meet while the economy recovers. Senate conservatives did not argue on the substance of Cantwell's amendment, but claimed it violated Senate budget rules dictating what amendments could properly be introduced to the bill at hand. Cantwell sought to waive those rules, and needed to gather a three-fifths majority (60 senators) in support of her position in order to be able to have the amendment itself voted on. However, the vote was 59-40 and as such, the amendment fell.

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