This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation extending unemployment insurance through December 5, 2010 for laid-off workers who had been jobless for more than six months.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) argued the legislation “ensures that much-needed Federal assistance continues to reach the millions of Americans struggling to find a job, trying to keep their homes and doing the best they can to provide for their families.” Hastings also chastised Republicans for seeking to block relief for those who were out of work: “While the other party is content with giving themselves a pat on the back for every roadblock they throw in front of the Democratic bill, I remind my colleagues that they are playing with the livelihoods of countless, hardworking Americans. What is merely a political win for them is, in reality, another family that can't make rent, can't send their kids to college, or can't pay their medical bills.”
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) criticized the legislation because it was “not paid for” – meaning it increased the federal budget deficit: “Republicans know that we must reduce the deficit, and if the underlying bill had been paid for, Republicans would have gladly supported it, but it is not. Undoubtedly, the American people are suffering from the actions of this Democrat-controlled Congress. We go home every weekend and our constituents tell us that their concerns are both jobs and the debt. In fact, they tell us every weekend they are frightened to death for the future of this country. I've never had constituents tell me that before this year.”
The House agreed to this resolution by a vote of 237-180. 236 Democrats and 1 Republican voted “yea.” 170 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation extending unemployment insurance for laid-off workers who had been jobless for more than six months.