Thurmond urges Isakson and Chambliss to pick a side in one-man fight over unemployment benefits

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond on Friday urged U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss to support extension of unemployment insurance and other benefits set to expire Sunday.

The development may have two implications.

It could be a sign that Thurmond, a Democrat, isn’t ready to be dismissed from the contest for lieutenant governor. Secondly, it could be an indication that the sudden filibuster by a lone GOP senator could quickly become a problem for Republicans.

Here’s the background from Politico.com:

Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) defiant stand against that effort has put his party in a jam: should it back the eccentric Republican over his concerns about deficit spending, or should it cut him loose and let him take the sole blame for the discomfort caused by Congress’ failure to act?

And the answer to that question grows even thornier given that the senior senator from his state is Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader who has grown apart from Bunning over the past year.

Before Bunning took the extraordinary move of mounting a single-handed battle against the bill, McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to move it – meaning that if the GOP leader sided with Bunning he’d be accused of flip-flopping on their agreement and for holding up a range of benefits for millions.

On the floor Thursday night, some GOP senators and staff urged Bunning to drop his objection, aides said Friday.

At issue is the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. From a press release issued by Thurmond:

“Without the proposed extension, benefits to about 8,000 laid-off Georgia workers currently receiving state extended benefits will be cut off starting Monday,” said Thurmond.

“It is critical that the U.S. Congress extend these benefits and thereby provide much-needed additional relief to these laid-off workers. Our state’s job market is not yet strong enough to absorb the thousands of Georgia’s unemployed workers who are exhausting their benefits without being able to find jobs.”

Currently, in Georgia 198,000 laid-off workers are receiving federal EUC. Georgia lost a revised 204,300 jobs in 2009. The current unemployment rate in Georgia is 10.3 percent.

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54 comments Add your comment

frugal voter

February 26th, 2010
3:45 pm

They’d better endorse the extension. Those laid off folks have nothing better to do than to register to vote and…then VOTE!

Observer

February 26th, 2010
3:50 pm

How about this observation — with the Democrats’ hole on the ballot in the LG race plugged, he’s turned his attention to running against Johnny…

Bo Chambliss LOBBYIST

February 26th, 2010
5:36 pm

Hey, Baker needs to send Saxby a big check, money talks, you know what walks..

Antwon

February 26th, 2010
5:55 pm

My family could use the extra help until I hear something positive from any one of the 75 companies I have applied with.

OnceUponATime

February 26th, 2010
6:31 pm

A win-win would be if the GOP could come up with a mechanism to actually fund the bill.

Deirdre McConnell

February 26th, 2010
6:39 pm

What will happen when 100,000 Georgians exhaust there EUC benefits? What will we do? I have also applied for jobs, but to no avail it has been difficult. It’s truly sad that the politicians can put aside there own selfish egos and think of the people who actually voted them into office. All we hear about is taxes being raised but no jobs are being created……… If this is a government by the people and for the people, then when are the people going to see real progress……………………

TnGelding

February 26th, 2010
7:23 pm

The employers will rebuild the fund and all loans will be repaid,,,,eventually.

Time for our dynamic duo to do the right thing and for the GOP to have Bunning committed. He’s been off the reservation for years.

Home School Drop Out

February 26th, 2010
8:46 pm

These folks don’t scare Saxby; they will still vote Republican. No matter how we treat them.

janet

February 26th, 2010
9:46 pm

Maybe we can ask Chambliss and Isaakson to forego their salaries until unemployment in Georgia is lower than 5%? And their health insurance, too.

Dixie3

February 26th, 2010
10:16 pm

This is bull and many people know it. I understand that people are hurting because of unemployment but its politics as usual. When a jobs bill has special interest and pork in it we need to fire many of the politicians. If you would email your congressman or senator they would tell you their position and you would not have to listen to a left win reporter for the AJC. If Democrats would lower taxes then maybe the economy would grow but we are taxed to death. If you don’t believe me and you are on unemployment, your benefits are taxed and you are unemployed.

Woodra

February 26th, 2010
10:29 pm

Let them beome unemployed and go to the Georgia Department of Labor to sign up for benefits. They will see what a nightmare that place is. People would rather work than have to endure the rude, unprofessional staff that works for the DOL. You can’t get anyone to answer the phone and when you do. They are rude and can’t help you. We need the extension until we find work and go to school. Dealing with the DOL, I would rather be working.

AH

February 26th, 2010
11:15 pm

Time to grow up and do what is right. We have to end the madness now. Bunning maybe an a-whole but his stunt is the correct thing to do to save this country.

Ironwood

February 26th, 2010
11:44 pm

Sen. Bunning is correct. We need to fund the bill before we pass it. Check out what is happening in Greece for all those who spend money they do not have.

Lady C

February 26th, 2010
11:52 pm

This is what’s wrong with Georgia. Too many “Republicans” running the show. Let the people take over and put them on the unemployment line. I’ll bet they’ll have a change of heart when they live in our shoes.

TnGelding

February 27th, 2010
5:18 am

Folks, we’re sitting on $55 trillion in household wealth, part of it accumulated because of low taxes. We can afford to extend unemployment benefits, but the pols don’t have the guts to raise taxes or cut spending at the Pentagon. But this fund will be replenished by the small tax on employers that fund unemployment compensation. I recall that during the Clinton years the tax was suspended because the fund was so flush. And don’t be concerned about our children and grandchildren unless you intend to write them out of your wills.

I received his weekly newsletter this morning and “Knee” acknowledged the bill would be up next week but didn’t indicate how he would vote on it.

“Next week the Senate will begin consideration of HR 4213, Tax Extenders bill, which extends certain expiring provisions, including unemployment insurance and several tax credits and tax incentives.”

Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Very truly yours,

Saxby (signed)

Georgia Voter

February 27th, 2010
7:58 am

Georgia Senators – You each have one vote, but don’t forget – so do I.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
8:11 am

Jim Bunning is a real Conservative while our 2 RINOs are big spenders. This bill could be easily funder by ending Johnny’s $34 Billion Housing rip off or ending some of the stupid subsidies of non farmers in Saxby’s trillion dollar farm bill. Simple facts are our 2 RINOs work for the LOBBYIST not the Georgia Taxpayer.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
8:16 am

Observer 3:50 pm

Good observation, I will NOT vote for that RINO Johnny, I don’t know much about Baker but how could he be a bigger waster of taxpayer money.. How can you call yourself a CONSERVATIVE when you votes for TARP and authored “No Child Left Behind”

Marine

February 27th, 2010
8:18 am

Bunning has his Gov. supplied health care and Gov. supplied check, whats he care. We don’t have the money to fund the Gov. shouldn’t they stop paying themselves?

Lulu

February 27th, 2010
9:52 am

The problem with our Republican senators is that they are millionaires and have no idea how the average Georgian is hurting. Same for our clueless governor. We need to stop blindly supporting the Republicans when it is against our best interests.

Janet Foster

February 27th, 2010
9:54 am

Nobody want’s to be unemployed. We cannot find jobs therefore our only means of survival is unemployment. Stop funding other countries and take care of the American people that are in desperate need. DO NOT CUT UNEMPLOYMENT THERE WILL BE MUCH MORE SUFFERING!!!! Foreclosure and starvation WILL escalate. Where is the murcy for your own people.

Mr. Grumpy

February 27th, 2010
10:05 am

Hey, Ga Values, you’re getting your Black elected politicians confused. Michael Thurmond, not Thurbert Baker may be running for Lt. Governor.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle because he is drinking, again and becacuse he is a racist

February 27th, 2010
10:49 am

Now tom ga hunter/ga values/flip wilson will start in on Johnny. Last time ’round it was Saxby. He is a paid democrat operative and sits around in his stained undervwear. He is sucj a sicko per.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
10:52 am

Busted. I am a lib. I like to pretend that the our conservative representation will bet less support. I am D. Porters ex gay lover. I love democrat everything.

Churchill's MOM

February 27th, 2010
11:00 am

Churchill quit stealing names, or I am going to tell your father if I can remember who he was.

Stop The Lies

February 27th, 2010
11:12 am

Dixie3, what on earth are you talking about? The tax cuts passed under Bush are still in effect. In addition, ninety-five per cent of Americans got a tax cut as part of the stimulus bill (twenty-five per cent devoted to a reduction in taxes). The jobs bill contains tax breaks for small businesses to encourage jobs creation. Please don’t tell me you believe your own lies. I know. The pundits on talk radio (who are very wealthy and will never have to worry about collecting unemployment benefits) toss any lie in your direction and you latch on. Do your own thinking; it makes you stronger.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:12 am

I love saxby and johnny. I will support them because they are conservative and good for GA.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:14 am

Some RINO supported of Johnny the Socialist stole my name at 10:52..

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:15 am

There is zero chance of a democrat take over of anything in NOV. Let it be understood from Clayton to Thomasville, THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS GOING TO TAKE IT ON THE CHIN IN NOV. there really isn’t a point on donating to any democrats in GA. GA is conservative turf. Thank God.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:15 am

Some RINO supported of Johnny the Socialist stole my name at 11:12..

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:15 am

No one stole my name. It is me all the time.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:17 am

Maybe I am stealing my own name. I wonder if I am going to do this til nov? Guess what?

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:17 am

I will steal my own name always. I love it

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:18 am

Some RINO supported of Johnny the Socialist stole my name at 11:15 & 11:17..

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:19 am

I have decided to pull all volunteer support for the impotent democrat party. There’s no point. The democrat party and Obama is so so so passe.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:20 am

Some RINO supported of Johnny the Socialist stole my name at 11:19..

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:20 am

No he didn’t. I am doing this all on my own.

Ga Values

February 27th, 2010
11:20 am

That was the real me at 11:19, though.

Ga Values/Bo Chambliss lobbyist/ Tom GA Hunter

February 27th, 2010
11:38 am

Baker will not win. Johnny is the only rational choice for GA. Voting third party will only help the dying democrat Party. No Perot Redux. Vote Johnny cuz only Ru Paul types and hopey-changey dopes vote for the lost cause. this is all me no impersonator.

Ga Values/Bo Chambliss lobbyist/ Tom GA Hunter

February 27th, 2010
11:52 am

Johnny in the Senate and OX in the gov’s mansion. Thats what I want.

Reality

February 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

GA Values, you mean conservative as in guns in church; sleeping with your mother-in-law while having a pregnant wife; sleeping with lobbyist; creation myth being pushed in public schools; forty-eighth in education; losing billions for transportation while neighboring states forge ahead with plans in place; Go Fish; year after year a tax holiday while hoodwinking the citizens to think the till will always be full? Are those things to crow about and thank God for? Really, GA Values?

Cleo

February 27th, 2010
2:17 pm

Reality, you are dead on. GA Values’ kind of thinking is what got our state and country in the horrible mess we’re in.

Ga Values/Bo Chambliss lobbyist/ Tom GA Hunter

February 27th, 2010
2:54 pm

Hey, Libs. How’s that hope and change workin out for ya? Obama and the democrat party are miserable failures. Obama approval is at 42 % and the GOP is skunking the Democrat party in the polls by 9 points in the generic ballot. You guys are going down faster than Obama on Larry Sinclair. Seriously, I bet ya’ll are so depressed and confused. Maybe some smart psychologist will offer post Obama therapy like they did when OwlGore lost in FL. Obama has been rejected. Thanks.

Audrey in Georgia

February 27th, 2010
4:16 pm

Vote all republicans OUT!!!

Ga Values/Bo Chambliss lobbyist/ Tom GA Hunter

February 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

Audrey must be having lib having a flshback to 08. Audrey, you lib hack. To quote Obama’s right hand man, you “effing retard.” The country has rejected liberalsim. The majority of normal Americans want nothing to do with Obama or his impotent party. The liberals have failed. You need to make sure you are around family or friends on election night. We wouldn’t want you to go nuts and do something really stupid. How does it feel to have been duped? Did you really think Obama was all that, or did you just get caught up in the group think? The GOP is going to wear that democrat arse out in November. Keep whistiling past that graveyard, shuga. You libs make me laugh. Thanks!

Hope And Change

February 27th, 2010
8:11 pm

Last quarter of ‘09 GDP grew at 5.9%, the greatest in seven years; CBO says 1.5 to 2.0 million jobs saved and created because of the stimulus; 25% of stimulus for tax cuts; more strikes with drones against Al Queda and the Taliban than all of Bush’s years; high level Taliban operatives captured; greater cooperation from Pakistan; restored standing in the international community; missile strikes in Yemen; our troops are withdrawing from Iraq; the economy brought back from the abyss; credit card companies no longer able to nickle and dime us to death with hidden and sudden fees; more funding for community colleges; greater funding for green technology; American auto industry saved from extinction while Toyota scrambles; Dow is up and rising; the Afghan flag raised over a Taliban stronghold; a tax cut for 95% of working Americans; cooperation with UPS to help boost imports; billions for Florida and North Carolina for high speed rail; Georgia Power gets billions for new nuclear power plant; soon 31 million additional Americans will not have use the emergency room as their primary care physician; lowered COBRA costs for people between jobs or who have lost their jobs. His numbers are low because Americans want everything fixed overnight and clowns have the biggest megaphone. An overnight fix is not reality. Watch and learn. Your celebration is a bit premature. Refute these facts with facts and not the usual name calling and Republican talking points nor crystal ball predictions.

Ga Values/Bo Chambliss lobbyist/ Tom GA Hunter

February 27th, 2010
8:57 pm

No such metric as a saved job. That is Obama’s spin. He and his party are finished. New home sales falling. Stimulus kaput. Obama did not deliver. lGM is still in the tank and is going to need more cash. Folks are not buying governmnet motors. Ford, the only auto to avoid Obama’s greasey, sleazy paw is doing well.. Coincidence? No. Obama will cost this country dearly in the future. That’s way folks are having such buyer’s remorse…folks want their Change back. If Obama and his hacks in congress attempt to Rham the Obamacare thorugh, I predict 20 years of GOP majorities. You libs are silly….. Hope and Change my eye. Fact is Obama did well as a candidate because he was vague. He ran as a centrist. Then, he governed and the country realized that they had elected a quasi-american hating. socialist euro-weenie. High speed rail? Seriously? That is going to cost billions and be nothing but a lib union slush fund. We will see in Nov. that Obama was nothing more than a flash in the pan.

Hope And Change

February 27th, 2010
9:10 pm

Just as I thought Ga Values, no facts just the same silly terms like greasy, sleazy, hacks, Obamacare, predict, quasi-American hating, silly libs, lib union slush fund, flash in the pan, socialist Euro-weenie. Compared to who (left office polling in the low thirties) we rid our selves of back in Jan 09 Mr. Obama’s performance has been stellar. Have a nice evening; enjoy yourself a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, or is that too French for you? Maybe Bud?

flip wilson

February 27th, 2010
9:11 pm

Obama has failed.

Hope and Short Changed

February 27th, 2010
9:21 pm

Obama is polling lower at this point in his presidency than any other Presdient. Unemployment hovering at 10% (Obama said it wouldn’t go over 8.5 if we passed his stimulus. The democrat party, armed with the White House and majorities in both houses of congress cannot pass Obamacare. The people of this country, the same ones that elected PresBo, have clearly rejected his leadership. The generic ballot says that the Obama coattails are shorter than any lib or media wh@re predicted- the GOP is polling 9 points higher than the democrats. As far a name calling is concerned, you guys bashed Bush at every opportunity— turn about is fair play so stop whining. You think you want to whine and moan now? Just wait til November. Hey, libs ask yourselves this: Why are the independts and conservative democrats that supported Obama leaving him and his party in droves? Obama’s performance has been stellar? Really, he meant to be sucking hind tit poll wise? Really? Obama meant for his own democrat party to fail on healthcare? You libs are funny and sad, More funny than sad, though. See you in November, suckers. Cheers!