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Democrats Have a Habit of Letting Critical Policies Lapse and Seem Intent on Doing it Again

December 20, 2011

Despite their rhetoric, when Democrats controlled Congress they repeatedly let jobless benefits expire for our nation’s unemployed and missed deadlines to prevent reimbursement cuts to doctors treating America’s seniors.  Their actions – refusing to either pass a one-year extension of critical benefits or appoint conferees to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills – show they have not learned from past mistakes.  Consider the history:

  • Democrats let Federal unemployment benefits lapse four different times in 2010.

Lapse Begin Date

Lapse End Date 

Number of Days 

Legislation that Ended Lapse




 Temporary Extension Act of 2010
 (P.L. 111-144)




 The Continuing Extension Act of 2010
(P.L. 111-157)




 The Unemployment Compensation
 Extension Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-205)




 The Tax Relief, Unemployment
 Insurance Reauthorization,
and Job Creation Act of 2010
(P.L. 111-312)


Source: Congressional Research Service. “Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)” March 11, 2011.

  • One lapse lasted seven weeks, affecting millions of unemployment benefit recipients. 
    • The liberal National Employment Law Project noted in late 2010 that this lapse “caused substantial hardship for 2.5 million unemployed workers…” (October 2010 report by the liberal National Employment Law Project)
    • NELP went on to note that this underscored “the urgency of renewing the current program for another year until there is strong job growth.”
  • Democrats allowed the “doc-fix” to lapse, putting America’s seniors at risk.
    • In 2010 alone, the “doc-fix,” which protects seniors’ access to health care, lapsed on three occasions when Democrats controlled the House, Senate and the White House.
    • The Democrats let cuts go into effect three separate times with lapses lasting up to 25 days.