Confirmed: If jobs bill fails cloture today, no path forward. It's dead.

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 11:35

Last night the AP reported that an aide to Harry Reid said the jobs bill (which extends unemployment benefits, various tax cuts, aid to state to pay for Medicare and Medicaid, and more) would be dropped if it failed a cloture vote today.

Earlier this morning, I spoke to an aide in Harry Reid's office who confirmed this story to me. Here is the state of play:

  1. The bill is two votes short, as it faces united opposition from Republicans and assistance from Ben Nelson.  

  2. Republicans are offering a one-month extension, and Democrats are rejecting that offer.  While it is not impossible that a deal would be struck before the vote today, it is unlikely.

  3. If the cloture vote fails, then the Senate will not take up the bill again.  Procedural delays have created a quagmire where many other pieces of legislation, including the Wall Street reform bill and others which can create jobs rather than just protecting them, need to be dealt with.  A 30-day extension would just back up the process even further, as it means there would be another fight before the august recess.

  4. Here is what will happen as a result of this bill being defeated:

    Come Friday, 1.2 million people will lose access to the extended unemployment benefits, a number that will grow by several hundred thousand every week after that. Fifty million Medicare claims from June are currently in process at the reduced rate, which the AARP says has already caused some of its members to have trouble finding a doctor. And the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that dropping the $24 billion in aid to states will lead to cuts in services and thousands of layoffs, and that spending cuts to close states' aggregate budget shortfall absent new federal funds in 2011 would lead to 900,000 public- and private-sector layoffs.
The aide stressed that while the outlook is grim for today's cloture vote, and while you never know what will happen in the Senate, there is no path forward on the bill right now.  It's just dead.

This is a monstrous defeat.  This is going to hurt a lot of people, and Republicans won't pay any political price for it.  No one is writing about this, and with Democrats in charge, they will be blamed for it.  A huge, huge victory for Republicans.  Looks like they didn't even need the 2010 elections.

Chris Bowers :: Confirmed: If jobs bill fails cloture today, no path forward. It's dead.

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I'll just ask again (4.00 / 6)
When the Republicans decided to block absolutely everything with holds and filibusters, a basically unprecedented step, why didn't the Democrats respond by changing the rules. The Senate rules aren't law, they're not in the Constitution, and most of them are not even venerable and old.

The reasons I can come up with for the Senate Democrats' passivity flip back and forth between "they're taking a dive" and "They're too timid for the real world".  

or they like the personal power (4.00 / 1)
of being a Senator with individual veto power and with the benefit of avoiding responsibility when nothing passes.

[ Parent ]
More likely it's because Dem leadership likes the GOP's... (4.00 / 3)
... positions more than it's own rank and file positions. It's a voluntarily self-imposed ideological constraint on any potential issues that come up.

It leaves the GOP essentially in control, regardless of election outcomes. It's class warfare on steroids.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
Because changing Senate rules mid-term ... (0.00 / 0)
requires 67 votes I believe .. they can be changed with 51 votes come January .. so yeah .. you can sorta blame it on Reid and leadership though .. they should have been looking ahead and changed them when Obama came into office

[ Parent ]
Nuclear option (0.00 / 0)
Bush eras Republicans were poised to change those rules midterm with Chaney and 50 votes (maybe with 51).  Remember the nuclear option on judges?  It just takes guts and we know Harry Reid is lacking when it comes to that.

[ Parent ]
no (0.00 / 0)
It just takes guts and we know Harry Reid is lacking when it comes to that.

lacking? no, they are completely non-existent...

[ Parent ]
Because there isn't a majority (4.00 / 2)
in favor of killing the filibuster  

[ Parent ]
Obama goes populist on BP - on unemployment, not so much (0.00 / 0)
If ever there was an issue for Washington Dems to go populist apeshit on, it's surely the kibosh on unemployment extension.

It's a simple concept (unlike anything to do with health care reform, and pretty much every other piece of legislation); it's a plain matter of fairness; it would goose disappointed lefties; and it might even get the attention of some of those Dem voters who don't vote in midterms.

Why isn't it happening? Obama is the last guy to want to stir folks up - once stirred, you never know on whom their ire is going to be turned next.

It's personality; and, natch, politics: why would a business-as-usual guy who's gone out of his way to be corporate-friendly (except to BP) want to draw attention to the realities of the whole corporate-friendly system? (Which is rather different from the self-serving fairy-tale versions served up by pols to the Great Underinformed.)

And the Dems in Congress will be right with him on that, for pretty much the same reasons.

No doubt lefty Pollyannas will continue to shut their eyes to the evidence of Democratic Washington in (in)action over the last decade, and delude themselves with the possibility of a burst of progressive legislation.

For those who haven't already, it's past time to recognize reality.

Problem is ... (4.00 / 1)
even the DLC Democrats in the Senate are saying, "Let them eat cake!!"

[ Parent ]
Where's the cake? (0.00 / 0)

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Reconciliation (0.00 / 0)
I thought the budget had a huge opening in it for anything related to job creation to use reconciliation.  How does that apply?  Is this just a one time thing that can't be used until January, or is it something that could be used to save the states right now?

We already used our reconciliation ball... (0.00 / 0)
...for health care and the student loan thingy...

Can't so it again until next year and we don't even have a budget for that!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
Right.... (0.00 / 0)
But I thought that was in the budget already and was under the impression it could be used sooner rather than later, which surprised me.  But I fully admit to being a bit confused on the subject.

[ Parent ]
From a propaganda point of view.... (4.00 / 1)
anything that genuinely and efficiently aids states and municipalities to keep essential services should be tied to crime prevention. We are having police departments being cut back, and felons being released from jail, due to budgetary problems. Predictions of explosions in crime rates can be honestly made. If Republicans and some Dems want to let states fall into crime crises, they should take at least part ownership of the predictable results.

This was discussed in today's interview of Mike Ruppert (Mr. "Peak Oil") by Gary Null on the It should be archived soon, here. I think they said that in one city (Detroit?), there are serious proposals to cut the police force in half. (Also, I think they said that there is some municipality where the murder rate has jumped 500%)


On the plus side, Ruppert, who is pushing for a sustainable planetary civilization as world oil production declines, has mentioned that food can be grown in cities, and they are even growing bananas in Iceland.

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Are cops gonna pick the bananas? (4.00 / 1)
Why single out funding for police? What have you got against schools and hospitals?

If you are so hot about urban farming, why not tie the funds to the development of green spaces, community gardens and farming?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
The framing I suggested reflected attacking 'traditional' partisan images (0.00 / 0)
The Republicans like to present themselves as strong on law and order, and strong on defense. AFAIK, they have never presented themselves as strong on growing bananas in the cities. :-)

It naturally follows that reframing the bill in question as either for or against a massive explosion in crime will help get Republicans on board, who otherwise would have a big part of their brand compromised, if the propaganda was successful.

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[ Parent ]
Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers (4.00 / 5)
The big three should be listed together whenever talking about state government jobs.  Republicans only get traction with talking about pork or scary unions or something else to distract people away from reality.

Everyone likes teachers, firefighters, and police officers.  No one wants these guys laid off in their community.

[ Parent ]
I grant you firefighters (0.00 / 0)
But how popular are teachers, in other people's districts, to a 'typical' Republican? I don't know, for sure.

But I do know that there can be a lot of resentment here in corrupt NJ when part of your high taxes go to a relatively poor neighborhood, who can end up having a better school than your kids enjoy. I heard such sentiments from a friend of the family, though I have no idea if he's a Republican.

There's not a lot of time to refine and re-inforce the message, if the goal is to flip some Republicans by the end of today.

OTOH, even if there's failure to get more aid to states quickly, and the goal is to make the Republicans pay, then there will be lots of time to make dire predictions of surging crime waves, for which the Republicans will bear some of the blame. And rightly so. Such political blame-placing messages might more comfortably accommodate inclusion of teachers.

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[ Parent ]
Doesn't matter (4.00 / 1)
1) I just think you are wrong about this.  Polls consistently show people like their own school district, for example.

2) But more importantly, it is necessary to lump them together.  Both the macho jobs and the caring jobs are required for a functioning society.  Teachers alone might cause some pushback (as would cops alone, for different reasons), but the list sets a very different tone, one that cannot be easily attacked.

[ Parent ]
More vs.cops (0.00 / 0)
Overpaid, lazy scum bags.  My NJ town has three times as many cops per capita as the surrounding towns.  They cost, cost. cost.  Our schools test better and cost less than surrounding towns.  That SOB Christie campaigns against teachers.  They earn their money, here,  The cops spend millions giving ticky tack traffic tickets and being unable to solve burglaries or prevent murder and rape.  They are beyond sucky except they suck the life and the money from this town.

Don't know which town you live in metamars (check the test results, the poor towns are horrible).  The subsidies are required by the NJ Supreme Court due to 25 years of rulings starting around 1973 IIRC.

Spend the money on schools, fire, road repair and maintenance and dredging rivers.  More on dredging less on cops and my town would be heaps better.  Course it is run by incredibly corrupt Republicans: ones Christie was told by Rove not to prosecute (only Democrats).  Don't buy the KoolAid.

[ Parent ]
I wasn't addressing the intrinsic worth of supporting one group vs. another (0.00 / 0)
I was simply pointing to a pressure point that should be made use of in the propaganda conflict between D's and R's. (I restrained myself from writing "propaganda war", as I don't know that this will, in the end, get that much attention). In particular, a Republican pressure point that could be attacked by Democrats.

I don't really follow NJ State politics, aside from hearsay, but my impression was that both D's and R's are insufferably corrupt. (I live in Newark, BTW.)

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[ Parent ]
Same county (0.00 / 0)
Fairfield.  Hasn't had a Democrat on the town council in the 11 years I've been here and is unlikely to have one on the council in the next 11 either.  Any "Democrat" who comes close converts to the "dark side" and is promptly elected.

Most Democrats are convicted through stings.  Republicans earn it.  Both are corrupt but I think Republicans are worse.  And Christie is extremely corrupt.  He made calls to get his crooked stock broker brother off the hook.  Christie's bro was the only one of 13 in the chain pf command who was not indicted.  Influence peddling anyone?  Christie's uncle is the third ranking Mafia guy in the state.  Christie did not go after either stock brokers or the mafia.

Corzine, unfortunately, was one of the worst politicians in the state.  He had a gift for threatening, doing nothing, and still pissing people off.  Wouldn't give newspaper interviews.  The Star Ledger was permanently enraged.  He also threw away $15 billion on business tax breaks and, of course, they still backed Christie.  Should have spent the money on direct jobs, tax rebates, and lowering property taxes.  That would have been politically far more effective.

[ Parent ]
Wow, you're pretty close (0.00 / 0)
I am working on version 2 of a paper describing making comprehensive enhancements to democratic infrastructure, which will allow for sweeping changes in the functioning of democracy. All towards the better, except when the newly empowered public makes stupid choices.

I'm leaning towards releasing version 2, publicly. Eventually, I will want to see all of the ideas tried, including those involving activism which takes place at a local, street level. I know I'm being vague, but if you are open to participating in something outside the box, which might prove to be effective (which is the main intent behind my scheming), please drop me a line at: informazon at gmail dot com.

I've long been fascinated by the near total ineffectiveness of activism, but society can't afford sustaining this long string of failures...

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[ Parent ]
Come to think of it, where is Grayson when you need him? (0.00 / 0)
He could tweak his line about the Republicans wanting sick people to die quickly, and morph it into the Republicans wanting the cities to "die slowly, but definitely die. Who needs policemen and firemen as more and more people exhaust their unemployment benefits?"

It's too bad that Grayson was constitutionally unable to attack the crappy healthcare plan, and its Democratic pushers, but at least he could muster up some chutzpah to go after the Republicans.

This would be a good time for an encore...  

435 Dem Primaries 2012
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[ Parent ]
Charlie Crist is next year's Nelson? (4.00 / 1)
With Charlie Crist surging in the polls and likely to win FL as an independent, it's an open question whether he'll elbow Nelson aside as the biggest asshole Democrat in 2011, or whether Joe Lieberman will make a comeback and grab the top spot in 2011? Crist is likely to caucus with Dems, since it's virtually certain they will retain their majority and there's essentially no future for him in the Republican party. In that case he's a fair bet to replace Blanche Lincoln and Preening-Joe Lieberman as the senator you most love to hate.  

You haven't heard anything from Joe lately, which means he hasn't been in the news, which always makes him unhappy and inclined to cause further havoc so he could stage a comeback.

With all these assholes competing for attention, chances of addressing further jobs bills next year will be essentially zero, even if Democrats adopted the nuclear option. This will be strange if unemployment stays over 10% for Obama's full term -- which is now likely.

They will probably have around 54 or 55 Democrats (possibly including Crist) with Blanche Lincoln in LA and Harry Reid in NV losing badly, along with resignations in DE, IN and ND giving seats to Republicans.

But, even without Dorgan, Bayh and Lincoln, the plague-ridden Blue dogs will still have around 4-5 votes, which is more than enough to stall any legislation, even on a straight majority vote.  


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