Friday, December 27, 2013

Talking to My Congressional Delegation on Unemployment Insurance

I live in Washington state, have been out of work for nearly ay year, and the unemployment extension will expire on my birthday. Thanks, Democrats.

I called both my Senators and my House Representative yesterday. Senator Murray's office, lead Democratic negotiator on the budget deal, is on holiday vacation. My rep's office expert on this subject has been furloughed. This leaves Senator Cantwell's office. I got to talk to a staffer who told me that an unemployment extension is not in the current budget, and the next budget will be written in two years. It is possible that there will be an amendment early next year. It doesn't sound like the Senate Democrats have the heart for another government shutdown, though it works in favor of the Democratic party. It appears to me, based on these two contacts, that the Republican budget blackmail has been successful. I await a callback from my Representative's office.

I may never vote for a Democrat in a national election again. If they're not going to stand for me, if they're going to cave—what's the point? And I will support a primary challenge to Senator Murray from the left.

[Added: My House Representative’s office called me back the day after I called. The staffer said that the issue will be raised, and that Pelosi and Obama will join in, though he’s not sure how much of a press Obama will mount. He says the outcome is far from certain. Myself, I think he underestimates Republican intransigence on this issue, and indeed on anything that ameliorates poverty, but I am not going to say anything to discourage him.]

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