After weeks of Republican obstructionism, the Senate — in a 60-40 vote yesterday — cleared the way for the extension of unemployment benefits to millions of struggling Americans. In California alone, where current unemployment is 12.3%, the state’s Employment Development Department reports, “the delay in benefit extension…affected about 260,000 jobless Californians.” In an interview with San Francisco’s KGO-AM radio yesterday, California’s GOP Senate candidate abandoned her former stance on extending unemployment benefits, indicating she would now “probably” support the extension if she was elected:
“I probably would vote for this extension, but I’ll tell you what, I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to stand on their desks and say, ‘When is it that we’re finally going to do what needs to be done and cut government spending?’” Fiorina said.
This statement stands in sharp contrast to the GOP candidate’s previous sentiments. In June, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow asked Fiorina if her time at HP qualifies her “to go after the government payrolls…to make the spending cuts in their salaries and their benefits.” Fiorina said “sure.” And earlier this month, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO told Good Morning America she would not have voted for the unemployment bill “the way it is put together today” and — like many of her Republican colleagues — cited concerns over the deficit to justify her position.
Although the GOP candidate has had a change of heart on unemployment benefits, still, as Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo points out, “Fiorina’s only real solution to anything is to cut taxes. But that doesn’t do much good for those who are already out of work and have no taxable income, and it doesn’t spur demand that will give businesses more customers and thus a reason to expand.”