Santelli Rants While Jobless Face Congressional Abyss

Rick Santelli's once again raging on CNBC. Maybe the 1.2 million longterm unemployed that Congress is kicking off of jobless insurance should do the same.

By Jamilah King Jun 30, 2010

**Update 10:42am:** [Jobless aid stalled]( late last night in the Senate, falling one vote shy of the 60 needed to end a Republican filibuster. More than 2 million people will have their checks cut off before Congress returns from the holiday break. ==== CNBC editor Rick Santelli’s at it again. A year after lighting the flame that [ignited]( what we now know as the Tea Party, Santelli went off again this week as he railed against [government spending]( But he didn’t just rail. He flailed his arms around and shouted "[stop spending!](" over and over again, just in case viewers didn’t get the point. And after weeks of congressional wrangling over whether or not to extend unemployment insurance, at least 1.2 million people without jobs may hear Santelli’s message loud and clear. That’s how many people are expected to be kicked off the roles after being unemployed for 26 weeks–even though the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 34 weeks if Congress doesn’t vote to extend jobless benefits this week. As Seth Freed Wessler [pointed out yesterday](/archives/2010/06/the_house_is_expected_to.html), if an extension isn’t passed, it would mark an ugly historical precedent: lawmakers haven’t let benefits fizzle while the jobless rate was above 7.2 percent since 1959. Currently, 9.3 percent of the nation is unemployed, while Black and Latino unemployment rates are nearly double that. This latest political slump comes after days of wrangling in Congress. Last week a Republican-led filibuster [squashed]( an attempt at reauthorization, calling the effort "too costly" given the nation’s $13 trillion debt. The unemployment package would cost an estimated $33 billion. "We have a basic responsibility to help our constituents respond to emergencies," Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev [told Salon]( today. "We have a fundamental obligation not to deny them the help they need when they need it the most." We’ll see how that goes. [Salon’s reporting]( that the bill keeps getting delayed in the House, while the Senate’s supposed to take up a vote tomorrow. Meanwhile, [The Hill’s reporting]( that Congress is set to head into the holiday break without moving the bill at all.