With so many people still out of work, the Senate tried to pass a 30 day extension to unemployment and Cobra. This would greatly benefit hard working Americans who lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. The extension has already been passed by the House of Representatives so that the people wouldn't be harmed by the fact that lawmakers needed a little more time to figure out how to address the long-term issues. Nonetheless, Sen. Jim Bunning (R - KY) voiced his objection and that defeated the bill because Senate rules say that a single objection to a voice vote can prevent a bill from passing. In other words, one Senator is standing in the way of helping millions of unemployed Americans.
Senator Jeff Merkley has rightfully expressed his frustration with this and spoke up about it last night on the floor of the Senate. Merkley has repeatedly proved that Oregonians were right to elect him to the US Senate and I'm glad to see that he is once again standing up for the working class. I'd like to see more Senators follow Merkley's lead by standing up and demanding that the body move forward with productive legislation.
PS I have posted the transcript of the exchange in the comment section of this post.
UPDATE: Sen. Merkley has written a piece over at the Huffington Post about the situation. I highly recommend you check it out as he explains why it is so outrageous that one Senator is standing in the way of the Senate passing legislation that could be so beneficial for millions of Americans.