Hulse Still Stands With Democrats on Extending Unemployment Benefits

Congressional reporter Carl Hulse reported Tuesday on the Senate voting to consider extending unemployment benefits: "Senators End Impasse on Extending Unemployment Benefits."

Hulse's reporting is generally quite sympathetic to Democrats; he took the party's side on this very issue when it flared back in early March. Hulse remained on point for the Democratic party in Tuesday's piece, relaying accusations that Republicans were being heartless and hypocritical.

The Senate on Monday agreed to consider a temporary extension of unemployment benefits after four Republicans joined Democrats in voting to debate the proposal, which has become the focus of an intensifying fight over deficit spending.

Despite objections from conservative Republicans, the Senate voted 60 to 34 to move ahead with a measure that would keep checks flowing to jobless Americans who are exhausting their benefits and maintain federal subsidies for health insurance for the unemployed. The measure must clear other procedural hurdles, but Democrats hope to win its approval this week.

The $9 billion cost of the aid would be added to the deficit, which Democrats said was justified because of the grim national employment picture.

Hulse used Democratic quotes to imply G.O.P. hypocrisy:

[Senator Richard] Durbin and other Democrats noted that many Senate Republicans last year supported the bank bailout without the costs being covered and that the response to national disasters was typically provided on an emergency basis, with the money added directly to the deficit.

Republicans rejected Democratic assertions that they were being heartless and said they recognized the need for unemployment aid. They said, though, that the nation could no longer afford to run up the deficit over such programs, in effect making the costs the responsibility of future generations.

Back in March, Hulse wrote a similarly loaded sentence, explaining Republicans were unhappy that the controversy was letting Democrats and editorial writers (is there a difference?) paint their party as "heartless curmudgeons.")

Hulse again tackled Republican hypocrisy on Tuesday:

Republicans, under pressure from conservative voters to try to rein in spending, see their push against the deficit as a winning position. Democrats say Republicans are being hypocritical in light of their recent support for tax cuts that added to the deficit and are now picking the wrong issue on which to make a stand.