In the clearest indication yet that the White House believes the economy needs more stimulus to keep the recovery going, President Barack Obama sent a letter to the Congressional leadership of both parties, begging that they add into upcoming bills measures to keep poor people on their health insurance and aid struggling state and local budgets.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday June 10, 2010 12:15 pm|
Senators are doing the right thing by pushing an $8 billion addition to fund several more months of COBRA subsidies for workers laid off after June 1. We wonder, then, why House Dems, who say they care deeply about health care, didn’t sign on.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 9, 2010 2:50 pm|
The months and months of effort put into a bill that won’t create hardly anything in the way of jobs – more of a bill to stave off more disaster than anything – is a perfect model for a dysfunctional legislative system. To recap, the Senate passed a $154 billion package back in December that included a lot of the elements in this current jobs bill. The House broke it apart, passed a small piece of it (which did become law) and then passed another piece in March. The informal conference committee produced another bill which ballooned back up as high as $200 billion. Then Blue Dogs decided to strip out provisions that would maintain health care for the poor and the jobless and deliver aid to the states. Now, the Senate is putting them back in. And we’re nearly six months from that original vote, and the two chambers seem diametrically opposed on their priorities, with no end in sight.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 31, 2010 7:15 am|
We now know about the failure of the top kill in the Gulf, ensuring the continued gusher of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for at least the near future. Almost nobody in America knows about the “bottom kill” pulled off by the House of Representatives late on Friday.
|By: Jon Walker Saturday May 29, 2010 4:50 pm|
While not passing a COBRA extension, Congress did manage to vote for an incredibly expensive second engine for the F-35, which the military says it doesn’t need and really doesn’t want. We are literally wasting billions on hardware the military is asking Congress to cut while causing economically besieged Americans to lose their insurance.
|By: Scarecrow Saturday May 29, 2010 12:00 pm|
“Panicked Congress Tells Unemployed and About To Be Fired Teachers to Stuff It.” That should have been the headline for this mindless New York Times article by Carl Hulse.
|By: David Dayen Friday May 28, 2010 9:00 am|
Blue Dogs will never see the relationship to their consistent opposition to stimulative job-creation measures and their personal job security. If they win in November, they’ll say it was because they avoided “tough votes” like this. If they lose, they’ll say it was because the caucus moved too far to the left. This catch-22 only hurts their constituents, however.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 24, 2010 8:18 am|
We have a $180 billion dollar jobs bill likely to get a vote this week. Very few people know about it. But labor has made it a litmus test.
|By: David Dayen Friday April 16, 2010 5:15 pm|
A micro-jobs bill passed into law back in March, mainly a flawed job hiring tax credit for small business. None of the other measures to boost employment have passed. The Local Jobs for America Act, which would pump $75 billion into direct hiring in local communities and is head and shoulders the best jobs program out there, hasn’t budged since it was introduced. The “Home Star” program, which would give rebates to people who do energy retrofits on their homes, just passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but it has a long way to go. Other ideas, like work-sharing or infrastructure spending, are DOA.
|By: David Dayen Monday April 12, 2010 8:49 am|
For one week, at least 200,000 out-of-work Americans have seen their jobless benefits expire, despite near double-digit unemployment and a growing number of people who have been unable to find a job for 27 weeks or more. The Congress recessed for two weeks without reaching agreement on an extension of those benefits, which has been historically customary during periods of high unemployment. In particular, Senate Republicans objected to a one-month extension, passed by the House, without offsets like spending cuts or paying for the extension using unspent stimulus money. And Democrats failed to file cloture early enough to get the extension done.