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Congress: Unemployment benefits stopped again

Happy Fourth of July to the unemployed... "More than 1.3 million laid-off workers won’t get their unemployment benefits reinstated before Congress goes on a weeklong break for Independence Day. And hundreds of thousands more will lose their benefits in coming weeks. The House voted 270 to 153 yesterday to extend jobless benefits for people who have been laid off for long stretches, but the Senate has not passed any bill containing that measure. For the third time in as many weeks, Republicans in the Senate successfully filibustered a similar measure Wednesday night before most senators adjourned for vacation."

Good luck with that... "Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) is trying to foment a long-shot Democratic rebellion against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that would install House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in her place after the November elections. The scenario, as Simpson sees it, runs like this: Democrats lose a bunch of seats but cling to a narrow majority. If a handful of Democrats withhold their votes for Pelosi, Democrats would have to put up another candidate, or else Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) would become Speaker." But Simpson, who's courting Blue Dog Democrats like Walt Minnick of Idaho, points out that "a similar dynamic toppled Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) from the Speaker’s post after losses in the 1998 elections left Republicans clinging to a narrow majority."

What does it say when the GOP is considering getting rid of its POLICY committee? Isn't that where the ideas come from? "The chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee has caused friction among his fellow leaders this week over his plan to terminate the position and return the office funds to the Treasury Department to pay down the national debt," Roll Call reports.

"Congressional Democrats aren’t sending a war spending bill to President Barack Obama by July Fourth as they had hoped," Roll Call writes. "House Members passed the bill as their last order of business late Thursday before leaving town for roughly 10 days. But a bevy of changes that they made to the measure -- including adding $10 billion to stem teacher layoffs -- means the bill will have to go back to the Senate after the July Fourth recess before it can go to Obama for his signature."