Carte Goodwin Senate appointment unlocks unemployment extension

A portrait of Senator Robert Byrd

The late Robert Byrd. Wikipedia photo.

Carte Goodwin, an aide to West Virgina governor Joe Manchin, was appointed by Manchin to fill the seat left vacant by the June 28 death of Democratic Senator Robert Byrd. Unemployed Americans whose benefits have expired will have a new hero in Goodwin. As Byrd’s successor, he is expected to provide the vote that finally passes a jobs bill that will  extend unemployment benefits that has been stalled by a Republican filibuster.

With Carte Goodwin, the youngest replaces the oldest

When Carte Goodwin is sworn in, the 36-year-old attorney will be the youngest senator filling the seat left vacant by Byrd, who was the oldest senator in office when he died last month at the age of 92. CBS News reports that His vote will prove critical in the first hour of his service in the Senate. Goodwin will be sworn in on Tuesday afternoon, and minutes later, the Senate intends to vote on extending unemployment benefits, a proposal that has so far been blocked by a Republican filibuster.

Unemployed pawns in Republican agenda

The seat left vacant by Byrd has left Senate democrats without the 60 votes they need for the unemployment extension. The bill would re-establish an additional 73 weeks of benefits to unemployed workers who cannot find jobs. Republicans have argued that the unemployment extension just adds to the national deficit. Democrats believe that the unemployment extension bill would stimulate the economy because unemployment benefit recipients have to spend all the money to survive, which immediately puts it back into the economy. A report on said that a Bloomberg poll showed 70 percent of American adults were more concerned with reducing the nation’s unemployment rate than reducing the national deficit.

Carte Goodwin vs. Joe Manchin for senator?

Carte Goodwin will hold the seat until the November general election. The Huffington Post reports that Goodwin already has ties to West Virginia’s Senate delegation. His wife, Rochelle, is state director for Senator Jay Rockefeller, Goodwin’s new Democratic colleague. Rockefeller called the governor’s pick “unquestionably among West Virginia’s best and brightest” in a Friday statement. Goodwin is not expected to run in November. Joe Manchin, his former boss, has already placed his dibs on the seat.

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