Friday, November 19, 2010

Meet the Press

There is some serious mis-representation going on by the media about votes in the congress. This, of course, has been going on forever, but I think it is important for us to see the real picture about the partisinship in the congress.

On November 18, 2010 there was a vote to extend long-term unemployment benefits for 60 days, at a cost of $12 billion or so dollars. Keep in mind that people on unemployment get 26 weeks of State funded benefits and then 99(!) weeks of Federally funded benefits. If you lose your job, you are potentially eligible for some kind of compensation for the next TWO YEARS! This is rediculous. There is absolutely no excuse for not finding a job in two years. If you can't find one...make one for yourself. Unemployment benefits seem to provide a nice benefit at a reasonable cost when the unexpected happens and people need a buffer for a few weeks (maybe months) while they figure out what to do...but the current length is rediculous.

Anyway, back to my original point. There are many reports circulating like this one in the New York Times that Republicans have blocked the legislation to extend benefits. Is this true?

Here are some facts:
- 435 members in the House of Representatives
- 2/3 majority needed to pass this legislation - that means 261 votes needed.
- The unemployment extension lost with only 258 vote Yea...they fell 3 votes short.

Who gets the blame? Republicans, because all 143 present voted against it. What they don't really tell you is that there were 11 democrats who voted against it as well. Keep in mind that they were only 3 votes short. There is no way that Republicans can block legislation, the Democrats have a super-majority.

This message by the press and many on the left have been happening for years since the Democrats took control of the House.

The facts are that there is unity and bipartisinship amongst Republicans and some Democrats against debt-spending measures that the leadership is trying to push.

Look back on all the legislation that hasn't gone through the House over the last couple of years, then think about why you've been told nothing is happening. Republicans have been powerless to stop anything IF the Democrats were unified in their efforts. Luckily there are some clear-thinking Democrats out there that realized some of the legislation being pounded through is not good for us and have voted against it.

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