The World’s Worst Delberative Body, everyone:
The Senate’s effort to restore long-term unemployment insurance benefits for 1.3 million Americans sputtered Tuesday amid bitter procedural disagreements.
Negotiators from both sides of the aisle had been working to get a deal to extend the jobless aid that expired at the end of last year. But after a promising vote to advance the legislation last week and optimism late Monday, a potential compromise unraveled when the two sides failed to agree on a process to consider changes to the legislation, including proposals for how (or whether) to pay for it.
A vote to move the bill forward – requiring 60 votes — failed 55-45, and a separate bipartisan proposal failed 52-48. Negotiators say they are still working to find middle ground, although the Senate faces other urgent fiscal business before a scheduled recess next week.
I continue to lack the faith in bipartisanship that has caused many commenters to assume that Republicans would never dare to stop extending unemployment benefits during a time of mass unemployment. My basis for this skepticism is “everything about the contemporary Republican party passim.” Their position is unpopular, but they don’t care.