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.


Displaying 31-60 of 89 total comments.

humdinger 10/29/2009 10:07am
in reply to dartcanyon Oct 29, 2009 9:55am

thanks dartcanyon. let’s all hope for the best!

Anonymous 10/27/2009 3:14pm

That is great that it has finally passed, however it is not complete yet…and once it has been totally passed it still takes the unemployment office at least a good 2 to 3 weeks to set up there system, at least that is my experience with the last extension.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:26am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 3:14pm

2010 too. 2010 very important for congressional seats. We need more Dems and less obstructers

Anonymous 10/27/2009 4:29pm

IT IS About time let us pray that is passes im a nursing student and wish to remain like that for the reaminder of this extension

Anonymous 10/27/2009 9:20pm
in reply to billines Oct 27, 2009 4:22pm

Thank you and I will along with everyone that reads this.

humdinger 10/29/2009 9:41am
in reply to dartcanyon Oct 29, 2009 8:41am

“From what I just read unemployment may not be actually addressed until mid-Dec. because the idiot Republicans say that is when ALL benefits will end.”

hey dartcanyon, where exactly did you read that? can you provide a link to the source of information, if possible? thanks!

Lynette1015 10/27/2009 5:39pm


Anonymous 10/27/2009 6:14pm

it will cover u in CO….its 14 weeks for all states and 20 weeks for states with 8.5 % or higher for their unemployment rate…

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.

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:06pm

No shit!! About time, if I eat another “uncle sam sandwich” I am going to throw up!!

Anonymous 10/28/2009 8:31am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 3:25am

sell your car and take care of your family….

dartcanyon 10/29/2009 1:22pm
in reply to humdinger Oct 29, 2009 10:07am

That’s all we can do at this point Humdinger.

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:01pm

Thank God, they finally got off their asses. Now add retroactive pay to help us out of the hole we’re in.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 8:58am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 2:01pm

I know that’s right!!! Now add the retroactive to help out those Americans in the hole now due to the Republicans who held this bill up for a month.

Anonymous 10/27/2009 9:23pm

(Cont.) Are these really acceptable actions for elected officials? They have plenty of other bills to which these riders could have been added on, and could have been debated properly. In the current economic climate, this is a blatant disregard and a slap for the face for the hard-working people of the United States, who, by no means of their own are put in a position to be reliant on the unemployment system to which they have funded. The Republicans ran to help out the failing banks with billions, but stand by idle while hundreds of thousands of citizen’s homes are crumbling. This is what should be illegal! Surely, they will not be forgotten in future elections. By the way, the reason they do not have enough votes is because Americans have seen what they have done to our Great Country to put America in this position.

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:06pm

so when will we actually see this money start coming in to our depleted bank accounts?How much longer do they actually need It seems pretty simple to me,,,Are they going to give us what is due or not??? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get this done ASAP washington

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!

Robertsa4h 10/28/2009 1:28am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 2:01pm

Yeah, the snouts finally came up out of the trough and noticed everyone else’s was empty. Not that they give a damned about their fellow mankind, they just don’t want us peasants coming after their supply. Safety in numbers.

iliveinct 10/27/2009 2:42pm

Don’t forget to call!!!

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:56pm

why cant are president step up to the plate and help and tell these people to stop this crap and do business to help the people

Anonymous 10/28/2009 3:25am
in reply to Lynette1015 Oct 27, 2009 5:39pm

i’m too lazy it look it up, but where were you when the eb progream was passed in feb?
was colorado covered?
Did you complain about people being left out?

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:09pm

Well, let’s see, the last March extension here in Indiana took about a month to actually get deposited, but, however 3 weeks were retro, who knows?

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:15pm

The way things are going in the senate, they will probably pull off some kind of Einstein move to put the extension on the back burner again, so they can argue on what to rename an old warship, turned into a restaurant or museum or something more urgent. Hey maybe they can open it up as a hotel for the homeless! Since they apparently don’t remember WHO put their fat asses in office!!! I would bet the “nay” sayers are probably at the twilight of their political careers, but haven’t realizes it yet.

Anonymous 10/27/2009 4:04pm

YES!! NOW if they would update the unemployment per state to October and NOT September… my state layed off thousands recently… we surpass their #‘s listed… we’re second now in UE. WHEN WILL THIS CHANGE TO THE BETTER???… All the money they “pumped” into the system went to jobs that most people I know don’t do (we’re white collar/IT and NO $$ went into that part)….sigh….I bet it really didn’t help many others either…but I could be wrong..

billines 10/27/2009 4:22pm

For those of you who want to call the 13 NOES and tell them why passing the Unemployment Extension is important to YOU… here they are:

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY] DC office: 202-224-6441
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO] DC office: 202-224-5721
Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY] DC office: 202-224-4343
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK] DC office: 202-224-5754
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX] DC office: 202-224-2934
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC] DC office: 202-224-6121
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY] DC office: 202-224-3424
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC] DC office: 202-224-5972
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT] DC office: 202-224-5251
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK] DC office: 202-224-4721
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL] DC office: 202-224-4124
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA] DC office: 202-224-4623
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS] DC office: 202-224-6253

Start calling tomorrow morning to let them know how you feel about H.R. 3548 passing as soon as possible and what it means to you and your family.

dlavalley 10/27/2009 6:17pm

Does this mean they have another 30 hrs. to fix the directions (amendments) on this purposely delayed bill? Every1 please don’t 4get about this BS the republicans put us, in need, through. Election Day is pretty far away, this situation I hope will not be 4gotten. Our 20 weeks will have come and gone. But the point of this situation is that, the so called (republican) Senators have no human compassion, & should be ashamed of themselves! I hope it is RETRO, to get caught up, but I heard that is not how it’s being played out. Good Luck my fellow Americans, we’ll fix ther ASSES @ the polls!

dlavalley 10/27/2009 6:22pm

Also, if ur UE office is closed for a few hours for an update or whatever they want to call it. In my experience checks will follow that week after update. If u call like I did last time I got a check the day after I got my notice of elegibility. Let’s get this thing threw the Senate first!

Anonymous 10/27/2009 7:06pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 2:06pm

E-mail your Senators

(EXAMPLE)I am writing to URGE you to TAKE SWIFT ACTION on legislation HR 3548. I am asking you to DO EVERYTHING you can to MAKE SURE A VOTE on the extension happens BEFORE THE END OF THIS WEEK! Most of us depending on jobless extensions have WORKED ALL OF OUR LIVES, and are desperate to return to work. I haven’t had a check for more than 7 weeks! I have to get food from a local charitable food bank. I have just 3 MORE WEEKS TO PAY THE UTILITY BILLS. AFTER THAT IT WILL BE LIGHTS OUT, NO HEAT, NO GAS FOR THE CAR, NO CAR INSURANCE, NO INTERNET, NO PHONE.

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!

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