*Though the House voted 270 to 153 Thursday to extend unemployment benefits for up to an additional 99 weeks to people who have been without work for long periods of time, Senate Republicans filibustered a similar bill before leaving for their week-long Fourth of July vacations.
Some 1.3 million Americans will not have their benefits reinstated, and that number will swell to 1.7 million by the end of the week. Republicans cited a ballooning deficit as their main reason for stalling the measure.
“Americans are not receiving their unemployment checks because Democrats refuse to pay for these benefits at a time of record federal deficits,” said Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) referring to the $33.9 billion cost of the extension. Democrats called Republicans on their callousness: “I challenge you to look people in the eye and tell them that you voted no,” said Representative John Lewis (D-GA). “Tell them as they swallow their pride that you don’t care.”
The Daily Beast’s Eric Alterman says with the market and his poll numbers plummeting, now is the time for the president to bump up his base-drop the “No Drama” and start hitting the GOP with the crazy stick.
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