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Dems Push Longer-Term Unemployment Benefits

March 3, 2010 - by Eric Naing

A bill extending unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance benefits for 30 days was signed into law last night and congressional Democrats are now hoping to extend those benefits through the end of this year.

Amidst the chaos surrounding Sen. Jim Bunning’s [R, KY] filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] and Sen. Max Baucus [D. MT] on Monday unveiled their bill to provide longer-term relief to the unemployed.

Included as an amendment to an existing House bill (H.R.4213), Reid’s and Baucus’ $150 billion American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act would extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance benefits through the end of 2010. The unemployment benefits would be extended retroactively to Feb. 28, meaning that unemployed workers could recoup any benefits lost when they expired last Sunday.

The measure also includes a seven-month delay of the 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, billions in federal dollars for state governments and a host of tax cuts and credits for businesses, biodiesel fuel, home weatherization and more.

Those who claimed that the initial $15 billion Senate jobs bill was too small will find a lot to like in this new bill from Reid. Almost all of these provisions were previously axed by Sen. Reid from an earlier draft of the Senate jobs bill.

Some Senate Republicans have spoken out against the longer benefit extensions but many of those tax cuts and credits could help garner some Republican votes. Reid expects the Senate to vote on his bill this week.

You can read the bill here.

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Comments

  • TheCarCzar 03/03/2010 9:33pm

    Will there be a Tier 5 of new unemployment insurance assistance Emergency Extended Benefits’s for the millions of people who are long-term unemployed, especially in states with high unemployment? If not, it seems to me there needs to be an amendment introduced to this Bill which cures this unfolding tragedy.

  • TheCarCzar 03/03/2010 9:34pm

    Will there be a Tier 5 of new unemployment insurance assistance Emergency Extended Benefits for the millions of people who are long-term unemployed, especially in states with high unemployment? If not, it seems to me there needs to be an amendment introduced to this Bill which cures this unfolding tragedy.

  • mullerken 03/05/2010 9:28am

    Let’s not forget the people who have been long term unemployed. We need a 5th tier started with at least 16 weeks then maybe a 6th tier and so on. I have paid into this system for nearly 50 years. Why are we being abandoned….

  • alex2010 03/06/2010 5:00am

    I read yesterday (March 5th 2010) a few people have contacted Reids office and they were all told that Reid is working on a Tier 5 extension but they don`t know when it will go to congress. Someone else called Pelosi`s office and they were told there is no more extensions (tier 5) because not enough people are complaining about it…. EMAIL or CALL your state senators, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and demand a Tier 5 extension. I have contacted them all this week via email. Posting on the net is great but it won`t do a thing unless you are contacting these elected officials as well, if Pelosi`s office “needs” complaints then let the flood gates open and send them to her.

  • Comm_reply
    cb909 03/10/2010 11:52am

    I have been reading the same information you have for the last week or so. Went again to check on any new info, and now it seems that Reids office is denying this information saying there is nothing at this moment in the works for any future tiers. SAD

  • Comm_reply
    michael_laspina 03/10/2010 12:47pm

    just got off phone with reids office and the aide told me they were talking about a long term solution is in the works. not sure who to believe but i think us that are about to exhaust tier 4 benefits we are toast.

  • tgnwo 03/11/2010 4:24am

    I just exhausted tier 3 I believe it was the last extension as of November 8th, I have been off for 3 weeks now will I qualify for this extension?

  • Comm_reply
    michael_laspina 03/11/2010 4:29am

    not sure my message got through..call unemployment office and ask about tier 4. not sure what state you are from. we need to get a tier 5 and real soon or we are all toast. i think tier 4 is only 6 weeks.

  • tgnwo 03/11/2010 4:33am

    I must have have tier 4 then I was just going over my dates and it looks like I may be in the same boat. Although in my state MN there is no mention of a Tier IV it just said as of November 8th there is 3 tiers and then it shows a 4th tier not call that but called Federal-State Extended Benefits heres the link Im not sure what to make out of it. http://www.uimn.org/ui/extension/index.htm

  • Comm_reply
    michael_laspina 03/11/2010 4:38am

    i would call your ue office and they could help you track dates down like they did mine in pa. either way we need to get the congress and senate for a tier 5

  • tgnwo 03/11/2010 4:40am

    yeh I called they said i was screwed for now that was last week as for this new extension I have no clue, I pray I can get back on but I am definitely worried! I have 4 kids and house payments due in 4 days!

  • Comm_reply
    michael_laspina 03/11/2010 4:46am

    my prayers are with you there my friend. we are all screwed as we need that tier 5. you may want to call harry reids office and ask them if there is a tier 5 bill in the works. your ue office should be able to put you on tier 4 as it is no skin off of them

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  • breakbroke 08/19/2013 4:55pm

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