In the past, any extension of unemployment benefits was considered emergency spending and wasn't paid for. But as the nation's battles escalating record deficits that policy should be changed, he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidIf Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief Democrats declare victory after Puzder bows out MORE (D-Nev.), whose state has the highest level of unemployment at 14 percent, said everything that could be changed on the bill has been done. While possibly more negotiations get under way, Reid intends to bring a small business bill to the floor in the meantime.
Nelson has so far refused to support any of the most recent versions of the tax extenders bill -- the latest would've added about $33 billion to the deficit over 10 years -- arguing that deficit spending will only compound the nation's economic problems.
In May, 17 states recorded double-digit levels of joblessness. In some states, unemployed workers can receive a maximum of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, based on the level of unemployment, up from the traditional 26 weeks normally offered by states.
So without the extension, the previous one expired June 2, about 1.2 million Americans will exhaust their benefits by month's end, Democrats have estimated using National Employment Law Project numbers.
Senate Democrats seemed dumbfounded after today's vote failed 57-41, blaming Republicans for siding with wealthy investors, oil companies and firms shipping jobs overseas.
Sen. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowTrump's pick to lead Medicare won't say if she supports negotiating prices with drug companies Overnight Finance: Fed chief tries to stay above partisan fray | Bill would eliminate consumer agency | Trump signs repeal of SEC rule on foreign payments Lawmakers urge Trump to raise trade issues with Abe MORE, (D-Mich.), whose state has the second highest rate of unemployment, criticized Republicans for voting against the measure using a deficit-buster argurment.
"We don’t need to be lectured by the people who created the deficits about getting out of the deficit hole," Stabenow said after the vote.
Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehousePruitt confirmation sets stage for Trump EPA assault Senate Dems ask DHS inspector general for probe of Trump’s business arrangement Senate confirms Pruitt to lead EPA MORE (D-R.I.), whose state recorded a 12.3 percent jobless rate in May, said unemployment benefits is a lifeline for those who are trying to pay their bills while they look for work.
"I don't think it's fair, I don't think it's right and we're not going to stand for it," Whitehouse said about Republicans opposing the measure.