On Tuesday the Senate had a very confusing day if you are watching the progress of HB 4213. After filing for cloture on Monday to push the voting up, Senator Reid has withdrawn his filing. It seems that Democrats are having second thoughts on the deficit spending of this bill, and Mr. Hatch wants to add a drug testing policy to the bill that would require recipients of welfare or the unemployment extension to pass a drug test to continue receiving benefits.
Reid Withdraws Cloture
Senator Reid has withdrawn the cloture he filed for an unknown reason. This will set the stage for a vote possibly today or tomorrow on this bill. He may have withdrawn because the votes needed aren’t there yet. A vote is scheduled on the bill for 10:45 A.M. today, if this fails though, there is still hope. They will vote on an alternative amendment that was proposed by Senator Thune that has the measure paid for by unused stimulus dollars.
Democrats Having Second Thoughts
Meanwhile the Democrats are just now starting to complain about the deficit spending on this bill. Senator Barry Nelson expressed his concerns “Borrowing and deficit spending at the point of a crisis is one thing, but when you’re in recovery, borrowing and deficit spending is another thing, borrowing during a recovery is risky because it may slow down the recovery.” It seems that a few of their party are starting to share his concern.
Adding A Drug Testing Requirement
Senator Orrin Hatch proposed to add a testing policy to the bill that requires all recipients of state welfare or unemployment insurance benefits to pass a mandatory drug test before being eligible. He said “Drugs are a scourge on our society — hurting children, families and communities alike, this amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.” This amendment isn’t expected to pass into law though.