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What the Senate's Unemployment Deal Looks Like

October 12, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As I reported last week, the Senate has finally come to a decision on how to move forward with extending unemployment benefits. Basically, they decided to change the House bill, which would have only extended benefits in states with jobless rates above 8.5 percent, to all states.

The new Senate deal exists in the form of an amendment, S. Amndt. 2668, to the House bill, H.R. 3548, which is itself an amendment to last year’s unemployment extension bill, which is buried inside of the gigantic 2008 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 2642. Needless to say, it’s a pretty convoluted law-making process.

Thankfully, intrepid OpenCongress user Nancym, whose work we’ve highlighted previously on this blog, has pieced the disparate pieces of legislative text together to create a document that shows what the new amendment is actually doing. It lives here on the OpenCongress Wiki.

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Displaying 1-30 of 48 total comments.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 2:27pm

I too have emailed my Senators and the President. I have been without benefits for 2 months and will be taking up a new career soon as a “bag lady”! I have also wondered why the media keeps mum on this issue and wondering if our lawmakers are taking their time so they can pass the extension closer to the holidays so it will look like a Great Gift from our elected officials!!! The republicans need to get rid of their self-promoting actions and words and start listening to the people who gave them their jobs in the first place!

Anonymous 10/22/2009 6:05pm

Very frustrating. Have emailed my Senators and the White House. Have contacted various news media suggesting this as a topic to cover. There has been very little news coverage on this. Maybe if the media was more involved, we’d see some results. How long can it take to push this through?!?!

Anonymous 10/22/2009 3:55pm

I have wasted hours calling Senator Harry Reid’s office, only to get a staffer, who really could not care less since they are getting a paycheck. I have lost my apartment, and losing friends right and left because they are trying to help, but they cannot support me. Letters, do not seem to work, emails are answered with canned repsponses. All I can do is make sure that the Senators that let down the unemployed (has been WEEKS since I got a check), DO NOT GET RE-ELECTED!!!!! This bill has been waiting since SEPTEMBER, and OCTOBER is almost over. THEY created this problem, and their solution is health-care (that the UNEMPLOYED cannot afford), and bailing out the car companies and the banks…. KARMA is such a b**ch.

Anonymous 10/22/2009 9:09am

I am just one of many who is unemployed. The company I worked at for 31 yrs. moved to China last Dec. I am 61 yrs old and trying to find a job. Too old because employers think I’m going to retire at 62, also can not work for minimum wage because my income is all I have. I have heart problems and will be losing my health Ins. in June and can not get medicare until I am 65. I have written to my senators and hope the extension passes soon!!

Anonymous 10/22/2009 8:07am

We need this to pass and get signed A.S.A.P. I’ve not had a unemployment check as of 9/7/09 when my Georgia S.E.B. expired. My profession no longer exist and trying to re-skill my 45 yr old self at a local tech school with no income coming in. Please pass this A.S.A.P.

Anonymous 10/22/2009 5:27am

I Can’t believe that SENATE is not saying anything on TV, NEWS About Unemployed poor people? What type of treatment is that? No i never thought of US “Average people” we deserve the BEST or be treated like a KING. But to be treated like DOGS i never excpected that.
How can they SLEEP at night if they know its 2009, and there are million people are waiting for this “Checks-week by week”? How can they eat there dinner ? I am just stunned

Anonymous 10/21/2009 1:07pm

My local state SEB unemployment has ran out. I was hoping for this extension to kick in by now. I was 1 of the 400,000 who lost benefits in Sept. My profession no longer exist. I have went to a local tech college to take a CDL course and perhaps get a job driving a truck. I was really counting on this extension to get me through this 3 month course. Now I’m a month into this school at 45 yrs old and with no income with school all day and studying at night. I really need this extension to start ASAP. Seems now I’m trying to better my situation and the politicians want to make it even worse by dragging this out. Please pass ASAP…We are in need of your help to have a chance of helping ourselves.

Anonymous 10/21/2009 12:56pm

I hope they pass this extension soon for all who’s benefits have expired and my self. I got a mortgage modification for being unemployed now how an I to pay the new mod with no unemployment? Please pass this A.S.A.P. Do the right thing so we all can do the right thing and pay our bills and oh yea survive…Pass this A.S.A.P.

Anonymous 10/21/2009 12:39pm

I was laid off from my job earlier this year and my unemployment will be running out in January. Now that is a few months away, but there are hardly any jobs here. I was making good money and cannot afford to work at McDonalds. Then again, even they’re not hiring! Congress not only need to pass an extension for people now, but also for down the road. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the fed, has already said that things won’t be much better in 2010. By that time there may be millions more homeless americans. Congress needs to act now!

Anonymous 10/21/2009 9:00am

What are we suppose to do now! I have lost everything and so have a lot of others American citizens. The jobs are continuing to vanish even to this very day hundreds are still being laid off from jobs that were seemingly stable. Why are we allowing this to go on! Can’t we all get together and take a stand! We need to make an impact upon our reprehensible government. Is this what the United States is coming to, obviously our words are not getting through. Our cries are falling on deaf ears! We need to call upon those who can move in our behalf. Yes, we definitely need immediate relief it couldn’t get here soon enough, as I have not eaten in 2 weeks. The bigger issue is we need job stability! I have to compete with comparable Indian workers in the global market place. They work for $2 an hour! How am I supposed to compete with that!!! I can’t get work even with expert skills. I don’t fault India I fault our government for lack of provision and foresight. Is Middle American doomed!

Anonymous 10/21/2009 5:57am

I live in Massachusetts and am on the verge of loosing everything I have worked for. My unemployment ran out 4 weeks ago and not sure where to turn. I can see that I’m not the only one in this boat. The goverment needs to get off their asses and start helping their own. Instead of constantly helping out third world countrys that hate America but will take evrything we offer to them. It’s sad a sad day for all of us and I don’t see it getting any better for any of us in the near future.

Anonymous 10/21/2009 4:36am

We need to overthrow our “cororate america” government!! They have been screwing with us for too long now, from our food, to way too high taxes, so called “FDA approved” medecine that makes us more sick!! To wars we should have never started…and on and on and on!!

Anonymous 10/21/2009 4:34am

This is a sad day in America, over 5 million hardworking Americans lost thier unemployment extension benefits today. Doesn’t the House and Senate realize this will tailspin the economy into the black hole with no return. These unemployment extensions have been keeping families who are already struggling, just above with this huge delay we will surely sink to the bottom, millions will lose their homes and not to mention other needed items to live and just get by. If you think the economy is bad now, just wait and see what happens when millions have no income at all and no way to feed our families with no hope of finding a real paying job!!! Maybe I should hand in my citizenship and become a non citizen of this country, because they seem to get more help than we do!!

Anonymous 10/21/2009 4:24am

I am a mother of 4 children, my husband has a Bachelors Degree in Telecommunications and over 8 years of experience in his field. He has been out of work for 2 years now, this unemployment has been somewhat keeping us from brink of homelessness. My husband has applied to literally hundreds of jobs, with no response except we have received your resume blah, blah, blah. He recently had an interview(shocking), but they said no thanks after a 1 1/2 drive and 3 hour interview because he has been out of the field too long!!! Are you joking me!! This is getting so crazy! My husband and I struggled for years to just get his Bachelors Degree, not to mention over 50,000 in debt to student loans….our unemploymeny extension just ran out today :( we will soon be homeless with our 4 children unless we get the extension again, I do not know what to do…start hiring within your own country and STOP sending our jobs overseas!! And please pass this extension our lively hood depends on it!

Anonymous 10/21/2009 12:04am

Ive had cancer for about 2 years now. I was fired from my job because they didn’t want to pay for my insurance and the cost of my chemo/ radiation. I’ve been unemplyoed now for about 42 weeks and this bill passing is a blessing in my book. I’ve gone through every gov. agency to help with my illness but no luck. Am i upset…yes, but i can only believe someone needs more help than i do…as for the poster who asked///" where to go from this cesspool…?" Well, you can do what i’m doing…moving to Canada! No pre existing conition crap, the wages are 2x more than i’d be making here and the weather is amazing…if you like it cold like me!

Anonymous 10/19/2009 11:06am

lets all remember when its election time how our senate has acted during these difficult times. here we are in need of oil for heat and other very crucial things to prepare for winter, and our senate doesnt care. they dont relize it takes forever to play catch up when you start falling behind on bills

Anonymous 10/19/2009 5:45am

It is a shame how the american people has been forgotten. Our opinion matters during election time but after that we are on our on. If they had to walk a day in our shoes. There would be a high rate of sucicide. I pray that each and every person that are going through hardship be okay. I am feed up with the way they deal with issues. People don’t have money to pay for insurance whether they reform healthcare or not. We can barely keep our heads above water. We can always stand up for someone elses country. Why don’t we take care of our own first. My state is at 15.3% and I wish they will do their job for american people instead of trying to be captain save a ho for others

Anonymous 10/19/2009 4:24am

i am a 29 year old man i am a heavy equipment op. i to have been out of work for over 18 months. long time and im not proud of this my family had to split up my girl an daughter are living with her mom and i with a employed freind im lucky to be friends with someone so generous but i feel bad when for the last month he hasnt got a red cent from me because i dont have any money left i have literally lost my american dream mabey the senate would be more compassionate if they had to sleep on a buddys couch alone cause there loved ones are better off somewhere else . i say lets get all these stupid asses out of positions they obviously cant handle .the hard working american made this country great and its not our burden to carry all this weight on our backs while these republican dumbasses voted to give themselves a raise rather than taking care of the very people that put them in office our mistake is trusting them thats it

Anonymous 10/18/2009 8:06pm

Too much stress from waiting on the senate to pass this bill….

MsDubya 10/18/2009 6:22pm

I’m ready to leave this Capitalistic cesspool. Where to go?

Anonymous 10/18/2009 9:46am

the law finally pass

Anonymous 10/18/2009 7:15am

I have contacted the MD State Senators, and the White House. They were polite. The White House response was extremely generic “i.e. we are working on ways to..etc..etc..” MD Senatorial staff gave me some agencies that can give emergency rental, food, medical assistance. However, most programs are for people with children under age 18. That leaves me out. You also have to go to court, get a judgement against you for rent before they help. I too am over 50 and have had difficulties in getting responses to my applications for employment. MD State government advised me that I was eligible to be a “General Clerk” after working all my life in offices. My point is, we can write and call but there has to be something stronger that can be done to force their hand. I will forward this page link to my senators. I have urged them to “vote and pass it now.” Perhaps we need a miracle or an act of God for them to see that they are hurting their own people..

Anonymous 10/18/2009 6:03am

I agree with all comments posted here. I especially agree with the comment posted on 10/16 @ 2:41 (above) “I say we all contact the White House, our State Reps and Sentors on Monday Oct 19th at 12:00 EST (9:00 PST) Call or contact with email….”

Similarly, why don’t people realize how out of control and sickening the whole banking mess is. The banks are ripping us off in HUGE ways – with the blessing of congress and the White House. Why don’t people realize that we can stop this – PULL YOUR $$$ OUT of the big banks-NOW! Most of us don’t have any $$, let alone $100k- FDIC insured amount. Use your heads people! They can’t operate or do an of this if we move our checking & savings OUT of big banks!

Anonymous 10/18/2009 5:49am

I am a business analyst and have been unemployed since July 2008. I have sent my resume in response to literally hundreds of job postings – and only rarely get any kind of response at all. If I do receive a response, it is to tell me that my resume was received and will “be kept on file” and/or that I am essentially ‘overqualified’. I’ve sent my resume to companies located across the Denver metro and mountain areas (am willing to re-locate and take a huge cut pay along with job-related responsibilities).None of these efforts have done a bit of good as I still get zero responses. I don’t expect to earn what I used to earn, but can’t even find a $10-12/hr job. I am sickened by what our government is doing and am on board with mass emails/phone calls to congress.

Anonymous 10/16/2009 5:21pm


Anonymous 10/16/2009 4:52pm


Anonymous 10/16/2009 11:59am

I just don’t get it. We have all the money in the world when it comes to weapons and stuff like that but the fact that there is even an issue to take care of our own people is an outrage. It shouldn’t even be an issue it should just be done. Maybe when people start to steal things to live and the crime rate starts to go up then maybe something will be done. I wonder what really has to happen for it to be an issue. For any other bills to be put in front of the unemplyment bill is wrong. The people who do all the living,paying,working,and dieing in this country should come first but as usual the middle class will sit back and let them do whatever they want to us. So many people in this country walk around thinking that this is the best place to live in the world but as time goes by and more and more stuff continues to happen I see that other countries have it all over us. One more thing—- Maybe one day when the health companies take the hooks out of hillary’s back we can get it done

Anonymous 10/16/2009 10:41am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 16, 2009 6:32am

I think at this point we all need to contract the White House, our State Reps and Sentors. We should all do this on the same day and time to send at message, The American workers are the ones who have been most hurt. AIG, the banks and GM got their bail outs without much wait. Why should we the worker of America have to wait for our bailout for jobs that have been lost because of corp. greed. If the unemployed do not get this extention, which I believe should be for six more months not 13 weeks, everything else will fall.

I say we all contact the White House, our State Reps and Sentors on Monday Oct 19th at 12:00 EST (9:00 PST) Call or contact with email…..get the work out to everyone you know to do this. If they choose not to pass this by next week we all will vote everyone of them out of office

Anonymous 10/16/2009 6:32am

Everyday, You see and hear what the senate is doing on the health care reform, WHO CARES! Right now, when we can not even afford food weather we have long term health care is a moot point! We couldnt afford to pay for it anyway! But then thats the point to them, keep us down, control our lives.

I for one will not vote for a single senator who does not take this issue up NOW and vote on it! Each week it is oh should have a vote next week, originally this was to help those who were going to loss the benifit at the end of sep. Well that has come and gone.

Enough already! VOTE on it NOW!

Dennis – Illinois

Anonymous 10/16/2009 5:33am

Senators need to remember we can vote them out. They didn’t think Obama would win. Think again Senators! America is watching and suffering while you guys look employed, refreshed, and well fed. Karma!

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