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17 senators from states with double-digit jobless rates repeatedly vote to filibuster unemployment benefits.

By Pat Garofalo on July 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

"17 senators from states with double-digit jobless rates repeatedly vote to filibuster unemployment benefits."

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Since the beginning of the Great Recession, 15 million Americans have lost their jobs. Almost half of them have been out of work for six months or more, and there are currently nearly five workers actively seeking work for every available job. However, the Senate has been unable to extend job benefits because of a Republican filibuster, which has been joined by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). On three separate occasions, Democrats tried to break the filibuster but were unsuccessful. And while no senator voting to continue the filibuster should be allowed to escape responsibility, many voting to sustain it are from states that have been hit particularly hard by the unemployment crisis. Here are the 17 senators from states with double-digit unemployment who are willing to leave their constituents without a safety net:


Senator(s) State Unemployment Rate Votes Against Cloture (Out Of Three)
Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby (R) Alabama 10.8% Three each
Sen. George LeMieux (R) Florida 10.4% Three
Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson (R) Georgia 10.2% Three each
Sen. Richard Lugar (R) Indiana 10.0% Three
Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning (R) Kentucky 10.4% Three each
Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran (R) Mississippi 11.4% Three each
Sen. John Ensign (R) Nevada 14.0% Three
Sen. Richard Burr (R) North Carolina 10.3% Three
Sen. George Voinivich Ohio 10.7% Three
Sen. Lindsey Graham South Carolina 11.0% Two (Missed vote on 6/17)
Sen. Jim DeMint South Carolina 11.0% Two (Missed vote on 6/30)
Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander (R) Tennessee 10.4% Three each

1.3 million people have lost their benefits this month alone, and this is actually an historic step on the part of the Senate, as “never before has Congress cut off benefits when unemployment was so high.” But perhaps Republicans in the Senate agree with Sharron Angle that unemployed people are simply “spoiled” and “afraid to get a job”?

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