Republicans Block Unemployment Benefits, Also Blocked Obama's Jobs Bill

| by Michael Allen

Republicans, who blocked President Obama's $447 billion jobs package in 2011, are now blocking benefits for long-term unemployed Americans.

According to CBS News, in 2011, Senate Republicans and two Democrats blocked the jobs bill, which included $250 billion in tax cuts, $60 billion in unemployment benefits and $140 billion for education, transportation projects and public jobs.

At the time, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) claimed the jobs bill "won't create jobs," even though independent economists said the bill would lead to nearly two million jobs.

Those two million jobs never happened and about 1.3 million Americans, who face long-term unemployment, lost their benefits on Dec. 28 because of Republican opposition.

Today, the conservative Think Tank "Club for Growth" advised Congress not to support a bill in the Senate, which would extend unemployment benefits. Club for Growth also wants federal unemployment benefits eliminated, noted TalkingPointsMemo.com.

"Congress should end the federal unemployment insurance program and return the authority back to the states, which already have programs in place," said Andy Roth, of Club for Growth.

However, numerous states are facing budget shortfalls and cannot afford to finance unemployment benefits.

“Denying families that security is just plain cruel,” President Obama said during his radio address last Saturday, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “We don’t abandon our fellow Americans when times get tough. We keep the faith with them until they start that new job."

But Republicans claim that the $26 billion, which would extend unemployment benefits for an extra year, creates a disincentive for unemployed Americans to find jobs.

Sources: Christian Science Monitor, TalkingPointsMemo.com, CBS News