Fiscal Responsibility Means Never Having To Say I'm SorryThe difference between Republicans and Democrats? Republicans have no problem spending trillions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But $9 billion for unemployment benefits? Can't have that, that's not responsible spending.
Starting Monday, more than 200,000 unemployed Americans won't see jobless benefits they're expecting because Congress failed to act.
The interruption in benefits will last two weeks at a minimum, according to Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), since lawmakers return from spring break on April 12.
As the two-week recess began, Congress was at an impasse over how to extend the emergency unemployment insurance program and other expiring provisions, including increased COBRA health insurance subsidies for the unemployed, the Medicare doctor payment rate and federal flood insurance.
Senate Republicans said the $9.3 billion, 30-day extension preferred by Democrats should be paid for, while Democrats said the bill's cost didn't need to be offset because the program was "emergency spending."
Republicans refused to let the extension go forward unless the money was funded by making cuts in other programs. Democrats give in, Republicans say "Democrats cut programs! They hate you, America!" Democrats don't give in, Republicans say "Democrats cut unemployment benefits in a recession! They hate you, America!" They really do hope you're stupid enough to give the country back to the GOP, and doing so while holding thousands of Americans hostage.
This is your Republican party, folks. Winning requires sacrifice. Just not on the part of Republican politicians. Everyone else? Fair game.
Cross-posted at ZVTS.