AZ legislature lets Obama off the hook (updated)
What kind of heartless (and brainless) State legislature would cut off 15,000 unemployed workers from a measly $214 in weekly unemployment benefits? The Republican controlled legislature in Arizona, that's who. Heartless because we are all living in Barack Obama's America where 9-10% unemployment is the norm. Brainless because these Republicans actually think there are jobs to be had. The move shifts public anger over the economy from President Obama to this dimwitted chamber.
Arizona Senate Majority Whip Steve Pierce: "There are jobs that people can find, but people are sitting, waiting for a job like the one they had." If recipients are cut off, they "would find something to do," he said.
The monies for extended benefits was set to be cut off on June 11th for those who have been receiving unemployment compensation for two years. During the tax-rate extension deal during the lame-duck Congressional session in December 2010, the U.S. Congress agreed to extend benefits to unemployed workers to a full three years. Individual States only had to adapt language in their existing laws to receive federal money to fund the extension.
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona called for a special session to get this language adopted this past Friday. The Republican-controlled legislature ended the session without passing the initiative, leaving many hurting families in further financial straits.
Not a smart play. All of these Republicans will now face a hostile electorate in coming re-election bids. They also allowed President Obama to slip off the hook.
An economic report has been issued today on Arizona's employment situation and the results are dismal: The survey said Arizona's employment outlook was one of the weakest in the nation. This comes on the heels of the Republican -controlled legislature failing to pass an extension of unemployment payments for workers out of a job for two years. Governor Jan Brewer had sought the extension. The monies had been allocated from the Federal government. This author was invited to join the broadcast booth of AM 550 KFYI's Jim Sharpe Show in Phoenix this morning. Here are podcasts of the on-air discussion on this topic (Introduction in minute 29 of hour one and discussion continues during the first 8 minutes of hour 2):