Because of the Republicans new found concern for budget deficits, 1.2 million American families will be cut adrift today.
Nearly 1.2 million unemployed Americans - including 27,000 in Wisconsin - face an imminent cutoff of government unemployment checks if Congress cannot pass emergency legislation to extend federal benefits before funding expires Sunday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) pushed this week for Senate passage of a stopgap 30-day extension of jobless benefits, which also includes a 30-day extension of a federal COBRA health insurance subsidy for the jobless. But as of late Thursday, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) objected to each attempt to bring the issue to a Senate floor vote, balking that the measure would further inflate the nation's debt.
Remember, this is the same Congress that took less than a week to bail out Wall Street banks for $700 Billion. There were no questions at that time about where to get the money for their criminal friends in banking.
The Unemployment extension bill is $10 Billion.
There is a good chance that at some point this coming week, Republicans will allow a new temporary UI extension bill pass.
"All Senator Bunning was saying is that it should be paid for," Kyl said. "It will pass, though, because it's a temporary extension."
Kyl said the fate of a longer-term, $100 billion jobless benefits package is uncertain because it too does not fall under PAYGO.
Maybe Kyl didn't hear Bunning correctly. What Bunning actually said to the unemployed is, "Tough Shit."
Even if Republicans relent and allow the temporary extension to pass, it is likely that the more long-term extension will get held up next month, while the Republicans continue to play chicken with the unemployed's state of homelessness.
Without a long-term extension to unemployment, 5 million currently unemployed people will lose their benefits and be forced into welfare or outright homelessness by summer.
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a new report last week showing that ...
1.2 million jobless workers will become ineligible for federal unemployment benefits in March unless Congress extends the unemployment safety net programs from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). By June, this number will swell to nearly 5 million unemployed workers nationally who will be left without any jobless benefits.
Senator Burr (R-NC) is questioning the need for another unemployment extension.
To put this $10 Billion lifeline for working families into perspective, let's look at what has gone down on Wall Street this week:
The federal government owned-AIG lost another $8.87 Billion. They still owe the taxpayers $70 Billion from their last bailout, and might be looking for yet another taxpayer bailout.
As reported by other news operations, AIG said in a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would need more funding from taxpayers if the financial markets took a turn for the worse.
"Should certain of these risks emerge, AIG may need additional support from the U.S. government," the company said in the 10-K filing.
What might that "turn for the worse" involve? Why the current AIG business model is all it would take.
Competitors including Chubb Corp. and Liberty Mutual Group Inc. have said that AIG, in an effort to keep customers, is slashing its prices to levels that may be inadequate to cover claims.
Another potential AIG bailout is probably enough to get your blood to boil, but wait, there is an on-going Wall Street bailout already happening.
Remember when the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Well, that bailout of these two GSE's has never stopped. For instance, just this week, Freddie Mac announced another $6.47 Billion in losses.
That's small potatoes compared to Fannie Mae, which lost $16.3 Billion this past quarter.
(Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae will seek $15.3 billion in U.S. aid, bringing the total owed under a government lifeline to $76.2 billion, after its 10th consecutive quarterly loss.
The mortgage-finance company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $16.3 billion, or $2.87 a share, Washington-based Fannie Mae said in a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
We are giving Fannie Mae $15.3 Billion, no questions asked. Hell, it doesn't even get headlines anymore, but if more than a million long-term unemployed Americans needs a little help, well now, we have to be concerned with the state of the budget.
As for Bunning, he's still busy making friends.
The Associated Press reported that two of Bunning’s Kentucky offices received bomb threats on Saturday, but it was unclear if they were related to his actions on the unemployment-benefits extension bill.