Democrats decide preserving the filibuster is more important than helping the unemployed
Senate hits another dead end on unemployment benefits
The Senate remained gridlocked Thursday over the effort to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless, including more than 1.7 million Americans without work who lost their benefits as the federal program expired in late December.
In a largely party-line vote, Democrats came a single vote shy of the 60-vote hurdle to break a filibuster by Republicans, who complained that the latest proposal did not have a proper offsetting spending cut to lessen the impact on the federal deficit. Additionally, the two sides continued to squabble over procedural matters related to how many amendments the Republicans would be allowed to offer.
Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees
In other words, the Democrats were happy to get nuke the filibuster for
patronage nominees in 2013, but not for the unemployed, in 2014. Serious analysis would begin with this fact, not obscure it.
So headlines like this -- Breaking: GOP blocks unemployment extension by one vote -- aren't especially helpful, since the Republicans could only block the bill because Democrats enabled them to do so, which they do not do in all cases.