That's the number of unemployed workers who will lose their unemployment benefits today and the same number who had lost them yesterday and the day before that, and all because of two Republican assholes.
This, despite the fact that Jim McDermott's bill in the House overwhelmingly passed last month with a bipartisan consensus. Says the AFL-CIO blog:
Because of the actions of two Republican senators, every day this month 7,000 jobless workers have lost their unemployment insurance (UI) coverage. Each day these two Republicans continue to stand in the way of Senate passage of a UI extension, 7,000 more workers will run out of benefits.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tried twice to bring the UI measure to a vote on the Senate floor. First Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), then Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) blocked action.
Even if my own unemployment benefits weren't in danger of being exhausted, I would still consider this an outrage. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the only way we will ever get anything meaningful done in Congress is to vote out every single Goddamned Republican. Only with a 100 seat majority in the Senate and a 435 seat majority in the House will the people have any chance whatsoever of being truly represented. Then and only then will the Democrats have absolutely no excuses whatsoever for doing their job. If ever there was an argument for a one party system of government in this country, the Republicans each and every single day are giving us very persuasive ones.
When Democrats wanted to raise the minimum wage years ago, Republicans blocked that despite the minimum wage being frozen for over a decade. When Democrats timorously wanted to inject some semblance of humanity into the 2005 bankruptcy "reform" bill, Republicans blocked every one without exception. Hatch, one of the assholes blocking the Senate version of this bill, had even said in '05, "Those who can pay their bills should pay their bills. That's the American way." And even though 7000 people are losing their unemployment benefits for every day this bill is needlessly stalled in the Senate, a pair of assholes like Orrin Hatch and Jon Kyl don't give a shit, making it harder on nearly 50,000 people each week to live "the American way" and pay their bills.
Any legislation, amendment or measure that promises any kind of relief, shows any semblance of humanity, mercy and compassion is sure to be opposed by a majority of Republicans. That is because, plain and simple, Republicans are assholes. They don't care how much of their constituency they alienate. They don't give a damn how many people starve, lose their homes, their jobs or have their credit ratings tank (and, thanks to assholes like Hatch, they no longer have the option of filing for bankruptcy). Extending unemployment benefits will not increase the deficit or the debt because unemployment benefits are state-based. It doesn't matter to them that giving a mere 14-20 extra weeks of half their former pay will still enable them to contribute to the economy. There's no rhyme or reason for opposing this measure but they don't need one. That's because they're assholes.
They can't help it, really; It's in their DNA.
The lead picture above is a visual pun. Ass=hole. Get it? But it's also a marvelous illustration of just how helpless and paralyzed Democrats have become even when they're in the majority in Congress, even when they have a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority in the Senate.
And even though Republicans lost the power to filibuster in the Senate, they still don't need it because parliamentary procedure allows even a regional rump party like the GOP to say, "I don't want to discuss this bill."
And Democrats, as usual, say, "EEEE-yaw. OK, then."