Senate Officially Adjourns; UI/COBRA Benefit Will Expire for Many

By: Friday March 26, 2010 5:50 pm

The Majority Leader’s office says they will offer retroactive benefits to those who miss a payment. And that’s fine. But let’s be clear: this is a massively inefficient way to do business. Letting things like unemployment benefits expire means that the state offices must contact every individual in that category, tell them they’re done, only to have to tell them again when the benefits get restored, leading to mass confusion and uncertainty, as well as actual expenses for those states. Who picks up the bill for that?


Senate Will Allow Unemployment/COBRA Benefits to Expire

By: Friday March 26, 2010 11:30 am

Harry Reid filed cloture yesterday on a short-term extension; and since he knew this was coming even before voting began on the reconciliation bill, that cloture could have been filed Tuesday. That way, the cloture motion would have ripened yesterday, and the motion to proceed taken. This would have started the thirty-hour clock at that point, and if the Senate pressed through and Democrats hung together, they could have either forced a lot of Republicans into a terrible vote or actually gotten this done by this weekend. And once cloture to end debate was invoked, Coburn would have buckled and given back the post-cloture time. But instead, this will become a political issue to wield during the recess. “Because of the GOP temper tantrum over health care, they blocked unemployment benefits for struggling Americans.” And that may be true. But there was a path to break that impasse, and the leadership chose not to take it. And there is collateral damage for that decision.

The State of the Senate’s Coburning

By: Friday March 26, 2010 6:08 am

So the Senate went into recess, and they’ll “continue working” on an agreement with Coburn Friday morning. I don’t know if they’d actually go home without passing an extension or wait until the cloture clock winds down and do an actual vote. Regardless, this is not over yet.

Bunning II: The ReBunninging – Unemployment/COBRA Benefits Hang in Balance

By: Wednesday March 24, 2010 4:46 pm

I noted this on Monday, that Senate Democrats would need to tee up another short-term extension of a variety of expiring provisions, including unemployment and COBRA benefits, before leaving for the March 26 recess. Last time, Jim Bunning objected to the extension and pushed it past the expiration date, arguing that the funding be offset. Republicans are already stating that they’ll make the same argument, despite the hammering Bunning and the GOP took during last month’s debate. Expect another round of fun with Republican cruelty toward the unemployed. And Reid might want to file cloture now, just to start the clock on that, because Republicans don’t appear to be in a mood to cooperate.

Fury at Bunning as Dems Ready Broad UI Extension Bill

By: Monday March 1, 2010 6:37 pm

Democrats are trying to make a political point over Sen. Jim Bunning’s rejection of unanimous consent to move a short-term extension on several items which expired on Sunday. Bunning continued his refusal as of Monday morning.

Wanted: Jobs for 25.5 Million Americans

By: Thursday February 11, 2010 1:31 pm

There’s a lot more that’s frozen in D.C. this week than the usual fallout from a blizzard. The brains of many Senate Republicans are on ice as well. The House passed a jobs bill in December, but the Senate is dawdling, and worse—threatening to pass bits and pieces, taking apart what should be a comprehensive approach to jobs and turning it into minced cabbage.

The Jobs Bills: The Battle for COBRA

By: Tuesday February 2, 2010 6:01 am

Congress has not yet seen fit to give Americans health care. But there’s a new health care battle heating up right in the middle of the jobs bills that will be the next focus of Congress.

Some Real-World Health Care Reform Questions

By: Thursday November 5, 2009 7:10 pm

There’s been lots of political and economic discussion about exchanges and bending the cost curve, but not a lot of real-world answers to some pretty basic questions about health care reform. Maybe you know these answers? Or maybe you’ll have a chance to ask a Congresscritter the answers?

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