OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Senate Passes Procedural Hurdle For Extending Jobless Benefits

October 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After a month of delay, the Senate this afternoon approved a motion to move forward on their bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 3548). The motion to overcome Republican objections and proceed to an official debate of the bill was approved by a vote of 87-13. Full roll call details on OpenCongress forthcoming. Full roll call details here.

Click here to see a list of the 13 Republicans who voted “no.”

The bill under discussion would extend benefits for people who have exhausted them by 14 weeks in all states and by an additional 6 percent in states with unemployment rates above 8.5 percent.

The House approved a scaled-down version of the bill on September 22nd by a vote of 331-83. Since then, Senate Democrats have tried at least four time to move the bill quickly through the Senate under unanimous consent agreements, but Republicans rejected the agreements each time. They wanted the bill to be brought up under regular order and fully debated so they could offer amendment, some of which are totally unrelated to the unemployment issue. Not wanting to have the bill larded up with unrelated political baggage, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] kept trying to broker a deal with the Republicans to let the bill through under unanimous consent. Last Wednesday, Reid gave up and filed a cloture petition on the bill in order to force the issue to the Senate floor.

Today’s vote on cloture is a big step forward for the bill, but it doesn’t guarantee final passage. The bill will now be opened up for amendments and any poison pills – such as the Republicans’ E-Verify and ACORN amendments – could derail the underlying bill if they get added. Republicans could hold this pre-debate period open for up to 30 hours, but they will probably allow the bill to move to a debate sooner.

A bipartisan group of senators had been planning to add an amendment to the bill to extend the $8,000 homebueyrs tax credit and a business tax break from the stimulus bill that is set to expire, but news reports indicate that they are backing away from the amendment and will let the unemployment bill move forward as a stand-alone bill. If Democrats can fend off any Republican amendments that come up for a vote, they will be able to send a clean version of their bill to the House for a quick vote on agreeing to the Senate amendment. Then it’s off to the President who is expected to sign it into law immediately.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

Displaying 61-89 of 89 total comments.

  • Anonymous 10/27/2009 10:25pm

    this extension when it does finally pass will take several weeks to get implimented into the unemployment office, letters will have to go out, and they need to work on a page for applications that they cant get until legistration gives it to them. then if you read hr3548 it states you will only get 50% of your benefits which for most will not even be close to 20 weeks extra, check it out i am telling the truth, people that got 80% EB will only get 50% this time. which for most people who got maxium benefits on EB will only get about 3500, which comes out to about 13 weeks

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 1:42am

    Don’t u think it would of saved alot of people financial hardship if the (REPUBLICANS) gave the 4 weeks they(both sides) wer talking about in the beggining 2 everyone, (wich is about the same time as this stall tactic) while they worked out the kinks! NO they passed things like more money 4 the neverending war, raises 4 themselves etc… You can really tell by some peoples comments if u are a republican or just ignorant! Bottom line this BILL was dealt with all wrong, like a personal war between parties in the Senate! How’s your bacon,egg’s,toast,homefries,bagels,grits, or vodka & Oj this morning!

  • dlavalley 10/28/2009 1:44am

    That anonymous comment was mine, 4got 2 log in! I want to be heard,not trying 2 hide behind ANONYMOUS!

  • Moderated Comment

  • Comm_reply
    shawnspencer87 10/28/2009 3:45am

    first of all- kudos in your use of the english language and the CAPS key – very persuasive
    as a junior senator from illinois, obama is part and parcel of all these messes – i don’t recall his voice in the wilderness regarding wall street excesses or the initial use of troops in iraq
    doing his best??? – if iraq does have elections in january 2010, it looks more and more like a saigon ending for the u.s.
    afghanistan – quit jimmy cartering and make a decision
    he wanted the job – let’s see some action

  • Comm_reply
    DagoChick 10/28/2009 5:24pm

    oh mr. spencer, you must be trying to co-sign for the cowardly senior senators that held up the bill. this comment blog is not the place for your poison against our president. this is not the place for you to air your grievences about afghanistan. although i support our troops (my husband & father are vets), what’s going on over there is not taking precidence to what is happening in our country as we speak. detroit has the fastest declining population in history. why? NO JOBS! people that have never used UE benefits in their lives are dying for them now. why? NO JOBS! i worked hard and i’ve earned my benefits. hand ‘em over i have bills to pay!! you have a job jr. senator. you’re one of the lucky ones.

  • Comm_reply
    dartcanyon 10/29/2009 8:06am

    Well Dago….I have to disagree after news this morning about our tax dollars being given to the Taliban. That was on national news. That money would help Americans. What do you think of that tidbit news?? Millions on stupid rockets, billions to other countries and the beat goes on.

  • Comm_reply
    DagoChick 10/29/2009 9:24am

    that tidbit of news pisses me off to no end. i just saw how our gov is sending 68 million of our tax dollars to samoa and they don’t even have to show how it’s being spent. as a part of that they’re getting over 2 million for solar power. what??? they get over 200 inches of rain EVERY YEAR!!! it pisses me off that our gov thinks its more important to take of those that don’t even live here before even looking our way. still, we’re talking about the nightmare called unemployment. i’m sure there are other sites for complaining about the president.

  • kc3295 10/28/2009 2:55am

    There are 11 amendments on record – S.AMDT.2668, 2695, 2698, 2699, 2700, 2701, 2702, 2703, 2704, 2705, 2706. Only 2668 is available now – changes the weeks/% as discussed.

    The rest merely say "Propose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. 2668 has 13 co-sponsors. The rest (on record) have none.

    Link for this information:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/L?d111:./temp/~bdal5nr:1[1-11](Amendments_For_H.R.3548)&./temp/~bdDa0n

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 3:25am

    THEY SUPPOSED TO PASS IT TODAY IM 3 WEEKS IN RETRO THATS BOUT 1100 FOR ME I ONLY GOT 600 IN THE BANK MY RENT 700 I HAD TO MAKE MY GIRL GET WELFAIR THEY GAVE HER 316 THIS MONTH PLUS 400 STAMPS SO WE GOT ABOUT 900 ALL TOGETHER AND RENT DUE ON THE 5th SO THAT GOIN LEAVE US AT 200 BUT SHE GOIN GET 316 PLUS 400 STAMPS AGAIN NEXT MONTH BUT THATS ONLY 516 AND ITS GOIN BE CABLE BILL , HEAT , LIGHTS, INTERNET, PHONE, GAS MONEY , NOT TO MENTION MY 6month old SON, IF I HAD A MONEY HUNGRY BABYMOM THAT TOOK ME TO CHILD SUPPORT ILL BE GOIN TO JAIL . I GOT 08 RANGE ROVER I MITE HAVE TO SELL IT SOON I KANT AFFORD TO DRIVE IT ANYWAY . I HAD A GREAT JOB AT A BILLION DOLLAR PRIVATE COMPANY WE WERE ALL MAKEN MONEY UNDER THE TABLE PLUS GETTING CHECKS THAT WERE BASIC BEATING THE SYSTEM UNTILL IT ALL WENT DOWN ON A BAD INVESTMENT NOW IMA BUM WITH NICE MATERIAL THINGS . KARMA

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 10/28/2009 8:31am

    sell your car and take care of your family….

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 10/28/2009 9:21am

    Sell your car, take the bus and cancel your cable. Cable is not a neccessity. If you are not willing to give up your fancy car and luxury tv (yes, cable is a luxury) then stop complaining.

    You can downsize, you’re simply choosing not to. Also, learn to spell.

    And, in case anyone is wondering, I cancelled my cable a year ago. That’s $50 more in my pocket a month.

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 5:31am

    Why is it so hard for republicans to admit fault?At the end of the day doesnt this all come down to common sense?So is it safe to say compassion,understanding and common sense are all democratic traits?We wouldnt be in any of this mess if it wasnt for GWB and his 8 years of crime.

  • billines 10/28/2009 6:25am

    WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO HELP GET AN AGREEMENT… is to use your voice and CALL

    They DO NOT agree on one (McConnell said “We were within one amendment of reaching an agreement”) “unrelated” amendment that Reid said was “vexatious”.

    Focus on CALLING McConnell AND the two Nebraska senators that are pushing for the ACORN amendment. This is the main amendment preventing an agreement on H.R. 3548.

    Senator Mitch McConnell – DC office: 202-224-2541
    Senator Johanns – DC office: 202-224-4224
    Senator Nelson – DC office: 202-224-6551

    Ask them to add their amendment to another bill. Tell them why passing an extension NOW is important to you and your family.

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 7:59am

    billiness is right. We need to focus on continuing to apply pressure any way we can on the Republicans who are sand-bagging this process. Tom Hartmann the Air America progressive talk show host has been calling out Mitch McConnell all along as the head-of-the-snake on the hold up. Let’s use what ever means we have to focus on the 13 nayes. Our voices and our votes are our only weapons right now.

  • Vowel_Movement 10/28/2009 8:38am

    so after hearing Sherod Brown talk, and Ill paraphrase him…

    Unemployment insurance is an insurance polity and when those benefits expire they are expired and those who have had their benefits expire [ last month, this month, yesterday] are NOT [Note: I emphasise NOT] eligible for an extension with this unemploment extension?

    Now, what is that all about ?

  • Pickyrose62 10/28/2009 9:52am

    Glad to see there are at least a few who do not feel they need to be anonymous. Sad there there so many that do.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 10/28/2009 10:24am

    And your not anonymous because you have pickyrose62 for a name?

  • billines 10/28/2009 9:58am

    If they succeed in changing how it’s PAID for. It will slow the process down considerably. Finance Committees, etc.

    Kyl said “The benefits haven’t run out yet”… What is he talking about, Everyone’s benefits? My benefits ran out in September. Hundreds of thousands have ALREADY RUN OUT!

    The Republicans want to “Take a little time” before passing the bill. That’s what Senator Alexander said. Call and let him know we’ve already run out of time.

    Senator Lamar Alexander: 202-224-4944

    Senator Kyl thinks we haven’t already exhausted benefits. LET HIM KNOW many of us have already run out.

    Senator Kyl: 202-224-4521

    They have said many things that show they do not think this “Emergency Unemployment Extension” is an EMERGENCY! Let then know otherwise.

  • billines 10/28/2009 10:31am

    Today, Senator Jon Kyl, speaking on the floor of the United States Senate, said “The benefits haven’t run out yet. We’re going to pass this before the benefits run out.”

    How can a United States Senator be so uninformed? Doesn’t he have aides that can correct him on such an important matter? Or is he just lying to the American people?

    Dear Senator Kyl, for hundreds of thousands of Unemployed Workers, their BENEFITS HAVE ALREADY RUN OUT!

    Just in case he doesn’t read this thread, will someone please call his DC office and let him know the truth. His aides must be keeping him in the dark.

    Senator Jon Kyl: 202-224-4521

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 11:58am

    A very informative site to check out is for NELP (National Employment Law Project).
    Read their comments on the Progress Illinois blog on the additional benefits topic.
    Also a good site.

  • EdnaCameltoe 10/28/2009 3:37pm

    You dummies, its just not retroactive, meaning when it does pass, it won’t backdate, but begin from that day…so it will be 20 weeks into the future but not cover any missing weeks from the pass.

    All who have already exhausted are still covered

  • DagoChick 10/28/2009 4:22pm

    i am so thankful that this hurdle has been overcome. however, like those have said here, it is not over until we get our checks. i pray that this moves quickly because my experience with the last extension was bull****! i got a check in may, then nothing. after countless phone calls i discovered that time, TN’s UE rate wasn’t at 10%. i collect from CA (where i last worked) and their UE rate was 12.2%. i only got 1 check and because i was in TN, i had to wait 8 long weeks before TN’s rate went up enough for me to get the rest of my money. TN’s rate is still above 10% so i know i’ll get my 20 weeks when this passes. i hope no one else goes thru what i went thru. that extension ran out in early sept. i’ve been without an income for more than a month however the bills still keep coming and kids keep growing. i’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and support system, better than most i’d say. even tho the h2o is right @ my eyes, i’ve not completely sunk. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING NOW!!!!

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:35pm

    maybe the politcos that continue to hold this bill up should be standing in that unemployment line. Maybe then they would have compassion for their fellow Americans that find themselves in ecnomic shambles thanks to republicans and bushenomics. maybe 2010 dems sweep the congress…

  • Comm_reply
    dartcanyon 10/29/2009 8:02am

    Sounds great but they are all Silver Spoon Babies like the Bushes and others. I haven’t known a politician yet who wasn’t rich before he took office. They ARE NOT for the little, common folk who really made America what it is and without us it is going to hell. It will and is to a certain extent being run by foreigners and big oil money and eventually it will fall just like Rome did.

  • Anonymous 10/28/2009 11:17pm

    OBAMA SUCKS!!!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    dartcanyon 10/29/2009 7:54am

    BIG TIME!!! I will never vote in American politics again. Myself, and many others, I think have learned a very valuable lesson this time around. Watch and see how BIG a holiday season the Obamas have this year!! Bet your ass they won’t scale down to show support for those of us who will have NO holiday season. Bet they won’t be getting fed at a food kitchen for the homeless as many of us will.

  • billines 10/29/2009 2:34pm

    Why didn’t Reid take McConnell’s offer today? If they didn’t like the TARP sunset amendment they could just “vote it down”. What McConnell was “offering” was a losing proposition for Reid AND US! If the TARP amendment made it through, McConnell wins and WE LOSE because it would prevent it from passing the House. McConnell was simply delaying our extension AGAIN… and he knew it. McConnell’s DC office opens at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. The Senate is not in session, but their staff should be there… unless they’re hiding.

    Call his office non-stop and let him know how his political agenda has hurt you and hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country.

    Ask McConnell to withdraw the offending TARP amendment from H.R. 3548.

    Senator Mitch McConnell – DC office: 202-224-2541
    Fax: 202-224-2499
    Copy these numbers down and start calling early tomorrow… or don’t complain when nothing changes next week.

  • Comm_reply
    dartcanyon 10/30/2009 12:43am

    billines…..Believe me we do call. I have called until it is ridiculous. Not calling is NOT going to change a thing and nothing will be done next week. They are nothing but a bunch of little kids in a sandbox fighting over toys only the toys this time are peoples lives. We call, write, e-mail and everything else we can think of. I hope the march on Washington next week gets notice for all of us but I suspect the government would rather arrest us for being a problem when the government is the REAL problem. Please don’t think we aren’t doing anything because we are night and day and still looking for work.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.