This post is an update about H.R. 4213, which extends Unemployment benefits through November. The appointment of Carte Goodwin to replace the late Se. Robert Byrd, will open the door for a cloture vote, which is expected to have the necessary 60 votes to pass:
http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1985-The-Week-Ahead-in-Congress Carte Goodwin, is going to be sworn-in to the Senate on Tuesday at 2:15, and immediately afterwards, he will vote with 57 other Democrats plus Republicans Snoweand Collins in favor of “cloture,” which will end the filibuster and allow the bill to move forward towards final passage.
The Senate will still have to take one more vote on the bill (within 30 hours of passing cloture) before they can send it over to the House of Representatives for the final vote before it is sent to Obama for his signature. As you’ll see in the schedule below, the House is already anticipating having the bill sent over to them from the Senate sometime this week. This whole thing should be wrapped up by the end of the week.
I have been in contact with Senator Harry Reid’s office regarding unemployment legislation and here is that response from today:
Yes, we are still expecting to have a cloture vote tomorrow at 2:30 pm on an extension of unemployment benefits through November. We do still hope to have the support of Senators Snowe and Collins.
And we of course call on other Republicans to support an extension of these benefits that so many out-of-work Americans are counting on.
The unemployed will not see this bill signed into law until the end of the week if the Republicans take the maximum 30 hours to review the bill. If Republicans decide to be helpful, they will not take the 30 hour review time, which simply wastes more time that could be used to finalize the bill more quickly.
H.R. 4213 does not contain the $25 dollar weekly extra benefit, nor a COBRA extension which were removed because of Republican objections. Again, the Democrats try to appease Republicans and still couldn’t pass the bill with their support, besides the two senators from Maine.
The legislative summary is as follows:
Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program – The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides (depending on a State’s unemployment rate) up to fifty-three (53) weeks of extended benefits. The bill would extend the EUC program through November 2010 and is retroactive.
Extension of Extended Benefits (EB) program – 100% Federal funding for the Extended Benefits (EB) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides up to an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits in certain States (i.e., 13 weeks for States at or above 6.5% unemployment and another 7 weeks for States at or above 8% unemployment). The bill would extend full funding for the EB program through November 2010.
Eliminating the penalty for part-time employment in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program – The legislation coordinates EUC Benefits with regular Benefits by providing States with a number of options to allow EUC claimants to remain eligible for the EUC program when they become newly entitled to State unemployment compensation if switching to State benefits would reduce their weekly UI check by at least $100 or 25 percent.
The three provisions immediately above are estimated to cost $33.9 billion over ten years.
There are no provisions for extending the COBRA subsidy or the $25 weekly Federal Additional Compensation.
President Obama delivered remarks from the Whitehouse today that seem to give a more truthful representation of the unemployed than most Republican remarks on the subject: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/19/HP/A/35726/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx
The president said that the jobless he hears from are “not looking for a handout. They desperately want to work. Just right now, they can’t find a job.”
He said that “we also have another responsibility to offer emergency assistance to people who desperately need it, to Americans who have been laid off in this Recession. We’ve got a responsibility to help them make ends meet and support their families, even as they are looking for another job.
President Obama introduced three long-term unemployed and how they need further support. He included a person who has exhausted all benefits, which shows his support for 99ers, or benefit exhaustees. That’s good news for that group of unemployed.
The President took Republicans to task for blocking votes on unemployment. It’s unfortunate that the President waited so long before he started blasting Republican obstruction.
He then said: “These are honest, decent, hardworking folks who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.”
You can watch his presentation at: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/19/HP/A/35726/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx
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How has unemployment affected you and your family? Have you applied for hundreds of jobs and received no job offers? Have you been rejected for a job because you are unemployed? Have you been rejected for a job because of your credit score? Has age discrimination played a part in your job hunt? Send your letters to email@example.com.
Congress.org has a great media contact list:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/
Another media contact list is located at:http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_oet&address=358×1903
Keeping the Tier 5 and extended unemployment issues alive is going to be up to you, so be sure to contact your congressional representatives as often as you can. You need to continue to pressure Congress to act responsibly and to extend benefits for those unable to find work. Send your representative a fax using FaxZero.com. As has been mentioned in the comments section, you can send up to two free faxes a day.
Here’s a great site where you can find both state and federal contact information: http://conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm
Please send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll post updates as they are made available. You can also view my updates and new posts at Twitter: http://twitter.com/layofflist
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