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.

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

shawnspencer87 10/28/2009 3:45am
in reply to dlavalley Oct 28, 2009 1:55am

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

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.

jaydubya 10/28/2009 5:54am
in reply to billines Oct 27, 2009 4:22pm

Did you people ever think that these Senators that voted against this measure believed that the bill was unfair and only focus’s on states with unemployment rates over 8.5%? Just like it was posted earlier in this blog, there are counties in some of these states that unemployment rates higher than the states unemployment rates. How is it fair that a county that has say 6.5% unemployement in one of the higher unemployment states of say 11% gets an extension but a county with an unemployment rate of 11% in a state with 6.5% unemployment rate doesnt get anything?!?

Maybe, just maybe these 13 senators see this issue and believe that it SHOULD BE ADDRESSED!!!

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 10/27/2009 8:29pm

You people are absolutely ridiculous. I live in Indiana one of the hardest hit states. My unemployment ran out 3 weeks ago, it is impossible to find a job right now. You guys are blaming the republicans for holding this bill up. As anyone stop to look at why? Republicans are for this bill, but they want the funding for ACORN to stop and i agree. They also want the money for this bill to come out of Obama’s 787 billion dollar master plan. ACORN gave a lot of money for the democrats for the election. Now it looks like the democrats are paying them back with this bill. That’s illegal by the way. People please look at the big picture.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:43am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 8:29pm

This is an urgent bill and has nothing to do with ACORN or immigration or any other issue that the GOP has a bug about. You are putting partisan politics over our ability to keep a roof over our heads and eat. My benefits ran out 4 weeks ago and my rent is due on Sunday. My credit cardas are almost maxed out from paying for utility bills and food.

ACORN can be debated in an other bill that doesn’t have the urgency of this one. We need a clean bill. The Republicans are doing this just to obstruct and slow walk the bill. Nothing more. They have no sense of the big picture and they don’t put country first. They put politics, the GOP and themselves first. Very simple.

ajmerri99 10/28/2009 7:39am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:57am

you are wrong. They extension is for all 50 states at 14 weeks. The states with an average over 8.5 % will recieve an additional 6 weeks on to of that.

We are thinking of others, why don’t you better inform yourself before you think that people are being selfish . . . you my friend are behaving like a jackass.

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.

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!!!!

DagoChick 10/28/2009 5:24pm
in reply to shawnspencer87 Oct 28, 2009 3:45am

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.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:37am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:54am

You’re as out of touch as these GOP obstructionists who are merely playing partisan politics. And you’re giving them credit they don’t deserve.

The current bill in the senate was amended 3 weeks ago. It provides 14 weeks for ALL states. It also provides an additional 6 weeks for states with unemployment rates at or above 8.5% for a total of 20 weeks.

Keep up with us.

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…

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:59pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 3:14pm

Agree, Live in South Carolina, both Jim DeMint and Linsay Graham voted nay on this one, was going to vote for Graham if he kept up being more even handed, as he has on other issues recently. DeMint I will campaign against. He has developed a very un Mint like flavor. Time to spit him out and rince our mouths out to remover the taste, and him from office. Graham put himself back in the ? for my vote. We have a 12% unemployment rate in this state, and both of our senators are voting against the working people of South Carolina.

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:50am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 28, 2009 6:26am

Why must some of you be so mean, it is true some people are not honest, but there are several thousands who are. Just like in your company or others, there are people who cheat lie or do what every they do. So yes some people will try to take advantage of the system. But for people like myself and others, who really need these monies to get by untill soemthing comes up,or going with out food. So please keep your unwanted comments to yourself.
I have already lost my house of 20 years, and my job of the same, trying to feed my family and keep them warm, not a lot to ask. So when times are hard, it shows what our country is really made of,I am not proud to ask for help, but i need to try to keep my family safe feed and warm. My story is the same as many others, i will not burden you with any more. Just try to be kind, when you make fun of the people who need help. God forbid it would ever happen to you or to your family….

jaydubya 10/28/2009 5:57am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 2:01pm

Check out http://www.bls.gov/web/laumstrk.htm

8.5% and above are the ONLY states that will be getting the extension. Dont be fools. There is a legitimate reason why there is opposition to this bill! It is unbalanced and unfair!!!

If you’re state is one of those that is below 8.5%, you’re not getting the extension.

You people are so selfish that you dont realize the millions of other people who will not get the extension if this bill is passed! How about YOU people get your heads out of YOUR asses and think of others BESIDES yourself!!!

Chew on that!

jaydubya 10/28/2009 6:04am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 27, 2009 6:14pm

It needs to be equal for ALL states, Period.

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

Oh yes….and for those of you who think most of us sit on our asses all day talking on these sites? I applied for 8 jobs this morning and went to interviews. I do this every day and all I get back is “We are NOT hiring at this time”. Then why the hell do you have an ad in the paper Even employment agencies aren’t helping. I have signed on with them too and have tried to go back to school. Answer to that??? I am told that there are NO more funds available.

dartcanyon 10/29/2009 8:41am
in reply to dartcanyon Oct 29, 2009 8:12am

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. Yup…and that is when the number of homeless and indigent people will be in the MILLIONS and MILLIONS. I will be shocked if it is re-addressed to benefit any of us soon and I need a shock that’s for sure. Right now they are discussing the Guantanamo issues, why Lieberman is disappointed in things and other really stupid things that can wait forever. That time and energy can be put into the unemployment issue. Instead of stepping up Obama stepped down!!! Nice going Obama!!

dartcanyon 10/29/2009 8:12am
in reply to rseymour4 Oct 28, 2009 3:59pm

I will never vote again period and those Senators who are “fighting” to get this passed are not doing as much as you think. I am 68 and have never collected UI either and you would think that I am the lowest part of society to hear people talk. I am a college graduate with a BA and have NEVER had trouble getting a job. I have had long term jobs that lasted years but now I can’t even get a maid’s job because I am “over qualified”. What kind of crap is that?? All I want to do is pay my rent, utilities and put gas in a car that I will have to sell by mid-Nov. if nothing happens in favor of REAL Americans. Pelosi is a piece of crap too. ALl she wants is the glory she can get by acting like she did the healthcare all by herself. If she had any backbone at all she would insist on the extension issue being handled. She actually has that power.

Anonymous 10/29/2009 7:27am
in reply to Anonymous Oct 29, 2009 7:21am

ANd Obama just made another of his lame appearances and of course he didn’t have balls enough to talk about unemployment and helping Americans because he couldn’t care less either. Don’t get your hopes up folks because NOTHING has changed. Republican CNN needs to be shut down. They and other Republican stations barely even mention this anymore. Tells you who’s corner they are in sitting behind their desks making 6 figure salaries. Healthcare can wait. It’s been like this for many, many years so shelve it for a week or so and get back to helping Americans out of work survive. I am a realist and cannot read into something that is not there. When I hear, and I doubt it will happen anytime soon, that the unemployment extension has been approved and that Obama has signed it and that our “check is in the mail” then and only then will I believe a damn thing Washington is saying. I’ve been around a loooong time and am not duped by their lies and BS ways.

dartcanyon 10/29/2009 9:54am
in reply to humdinger Oct 29, 2009 9:41am

Hey Humdinger. You must be from back East. Used to say that all the time growing up in Maine. On the Open Congress site there was an article about the healthcare issue not being done until mid-late Dec. and I think that’s the same site that quoted one of the idiot Senators about the UI benefits won’t run out until the end of the year. The assumption, and unfortunately this is a rare time I believe an assumption, by the news is that because the healthcare issue won’t be resolved until Dec., and the fact that Washington is concentrating on that before unemployment, more than likely UI benefits won’t move up the notch and go ahead of the healthcare bill.

Anonymous 10/30/2009 8:13am
in reply to dartcanyon Oct 29, 2009 1:29pm

No kidding, mine ran out first week of October……WHAT IS THE DELAY AND WHEN DO THEY DISCUSS IT AGAIN? Who needs healthcare when you have no job to pay for it!!!!

DagoChick 10/29/2009 9:24am
in reply to dartcanyon Oct 29, 2009 8:06am

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.

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 10/27/2009 2:03pm

so when does this get voted on by the whole senate?

Anonymous 10/28/2009 6:22am
in reply to jaydubya Oct 28, 2009 5:57am

You are wrong and about 4 weeks behind. The house bill was amended and the current Senate bill extends benefits for 14 weeks for all states, and an additional 6 weeks (for a total of 20) for states with rates at or above 8.5%. To repeat:

All states: total 14 weeks
States at or above 8.5%: Total 20 weeks (14 + 6)

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.

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