Last week I was talking with my friend Vito, a Desert Storm veteran, union member, Republican and a 99er. We've known each other for over 15 years, working together for 4 years. Vito became a 99er in July, my membership began in September. We share information weekly about jobs, unemployment and general thoughts. During our last conversation I mentioned that I didn't think there would be any legislation for TierV until after the November elections. Vito disagreed, "Do you think Congress is going home for elections with unemployment close to 10% and 5 million 99es?" His opinion gave me some hope.
The past 7 days had shown some promise. Sen. Voinovich (R-OH) broke ranks with his party to support a small business package. John Boehner indicated he would be open to extending tax cuts without including the ultra rich in the package. The spirit of compromise was in the air. Unfortunately, that spirit didn't stick around too long.
Republican leadership ran away from Boehner's thoughts. It seems some Democrats don't have the stones to pass a tax cut that ends at $250,000. This morning two sources indicated that Democratic Congressional leadership will again postpone funding Tiers II, III and IV until the last minute, squeezing out the 99ers in the process.
For reasons that defy logic I remain optimistic. The DC rally on October 2nd is gaining momentum. Ed Schultz has guaranteed at least 300,000 participants. Along with Sen. Voinovich, Gregg of NH and Lemeiux of FL are retiring Republican Senators that might be persuaded to join in the populist issue of helping the unemployed, especially if tied to continuation of the Bush tax cuts. I think something will be done before November. Do you ? If yes, how will it fall together? If no, why not?