There was much in the way of GOP obstruction this week. Senate Republicans blocked a windfall profits tax on Big Oil that be used to fund alternative energy sources. Republican senators also blocked legislation that would trim payments to private health insurers serving people in Medicare and use the savings to raise reimbursement rates for doctors.
The House approved an extra three months of jobless benefits for all unemployed Americans. After failing to get a veto-proof two-thirds margin by three votes on Wednesday, Democrats got an exact two-thirds margin on Thursday with a 274-137 vote — the amount needed to overcome a threatened presidential veto. But chances are slim that the same can be achieved in the Senate. The House also passed Amtrack funding with a veto-proof margin, as has the Senate.