Senate fails again to advance unemployment bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate failed again on Thursday to advance a bill to restore payments to the long-term unemployed, creating fresh doubt whether Congress will be able to resolve an issue affecting almost 2 million jobless Americans.

The latest Democratic proposal to extend federal emergency unemployment payments for three months fell short in a 58-40 procedural vote. Sixty votes were needed to move the bill forward.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said it would not be the final attempt to extend federal benefits that expired at the end of December for 1.3 million people.

That number has jumped to 1.7 million since then, as the basic 26 weeks of state-paid benefits expire each week for some people unable to find new work.

As of Monday, an estimated 21,812 Nevadans have exhausted benefits in a state where the unemployment rate is 8.8 percent, the second highest in the nation.

“We are not going to give up on the unemployed,” Reid said.

But possible paths forward were unclear amid signs that partisan positions were becoming even more hardened in a Senate that has clashed over the job security safety net over the past month and as senators prepared for an even tougher debate next month whether to raise the minimum wage.

“We know it’s a political game,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said of the unemployment bill. “We know (Democrats) would like to bring it up every three months and bash Republicans with it.”

Four Republicans — Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine — voted with Democrats for the bill.

The legislation fell just one vote short of 60, but Reid switched his vote to “no” in a procedural move that allows him as majority leader to call the bill up again in the future.

The bill would have extended federal jobless payments for three months, retroactive to Dec. 28, when the previous government program expired.

The measure’s $6 billion cost would have been offset by allowing companies to adjust their retirement contributions in a process called “pension smoothing.”

Unemployed workers whose state benefits expired would be eligible for a maximum of 47 additional weeks of aid, depending on the jobless level within their states.

In a bid for GOP support, Democrats threw in a provision by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., denying unemployment benefits to people whose gross income is $1 million or more.

Reid blamed GOP senators, contended Democrats “have done virtually everything the Republicans asked,” but still were unable to draw enough votes.

In a second vote, the Senate failed to advance a Democratic bill that would extend benefits for three months without a cost offset. That vote was 55-43, where 60 votes were needed.

“Any no vote on extending unemployment benefits is a no vote because they don’t want to extend unemployment benefits,” Reid said. “Republicans simply don’t want to extend these benefits.”

“Denying this vital lifeline is not only morally indefensible, it’s also economically shortsighted,” Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said in a statement. “Shame on Republicans for not working with Democrats to pass this much needed assistance.”

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said senators voting against extended benefits “either do not understand or do not care what it is like to live on the brink.”

Even if the Senate acts, the House would have to follow suit, and many Republicans in that body have shown little appetite to authorize more spending in an economy that many believe is recovering, if unevenly.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., voted last month in favor of an unemployment insurance bill but voted against the one proposed on Thursday.

He said that Reid refused to allow debate and votes on Republican amendments.

“Rather than work with us to find common ground, the majority leader once again chose to reject our ideas and block action on amendments to improve and pay for this legislation,” Coats said.

In a statement after the vote, Heller said Republicans “would like the opportunity to discuss reforms in the program and vote on related amendments.”

“I am disappointed that the Senate has not yet been able to find a way to extend these benefits,” Heller said. “We will keep negotiating with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a compromise.”

Some senators demanded that extended benefits be accompanied by reforms in unemployment and job training systems.

“We know that some have been on unemployment for years and as you can see from the health care bill, there is an incentive not to work,” Hatch said. “Why work when you can tie into all kinds of transfer payments that give you almost as much money as if you work?

“That’s starting to become a norm in this country and that’s a very bad norm to have,” he said.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said it was “somewhat offensive” to label out-of-work people as lazy or uninspired.

“They are out there fighting each day, against difficult odds,” said Reed, whose state has the highest jobless rate at 9.1 percent. “There are at least three applicants for every job. It’s a tough, tough job market.”

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like