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With Votes in Place, Senate Close to Passing Unemployment Bill

April 15, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

After initially faltering, the Senate last night approved a substitute amendment to the unemployment filing extension bill (H.R. 4851), which indicates that the votes are place and the bill should pass today (if Republicans agree to allow a vote) or early next week (if the Republicans demand more procedural votes).

Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH] provided the Democrats with the crucial GOP cross-over vote they needed to break a Republican filibuster of the amendment. He’s expected to vote with the Democrats on the bill form here on out.

The amendment does two things:

1) It extends the filing deadline for people who have exhausted tiers 1-3 of their UI benefits and need to apply for subsequent tiers until June 2nd. The underlying bill would have only extended it until May 5th.

2) It would allow the more 400,000 people who have exhausted their benefits since the filing deadline expired on April 5th to receive back payments.

The amendment and the underlying bill DO NOT create additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. There are currently four tiers of extended UI benefits, and if you are eligible for all of them (people in states with higher jobless rates are eligible), you can get a total of 99 weeks of benefits. This bill would not create a Tier V and the 99-week limit would not change. If you want Congress to create a Tier V, you should check out this petition at Change.org.

Image from clementine gallot used under a CC license.

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Comments

  • ecm 04/15/2010 10:07am

    How is it funded?

  • Comm_reply
    donnyshaw 04/15/2010 10:38am

    It’s not, though Baucus mentioned on the floor that for each dollar spent on unemployment benefits, gross domestic product is increased by 1.90. It’s the best fiscal stimulus there is.

  • Comm_reply
    Ja4ed 04/15/2010 10:51am

    So what Baucus mentions on the floor is fact? It sounds ridiculous to me. If GDP rose because of spending on unemployment benefits, why does anybody work. Why don’t we all start collecting unemployment? GDP would be through the roof.

  • Comm_reply
    nekkoboy07 04/20/2010 10:19am

    HOW CAN THE US KEEP SENDING MONEY EVERYWERE ELSE AND FORGET ABOUT THE PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT.I GUESS WE WILL ALL HAVE TO GO ON FOOD STAMPS AND LIVE IN TENTS IN THE STATE PARKS.I HAVE BEEN WORKING FROM THE AGE OF 14 BECAUSE MY MOM WAS LEFT BY MY DAD WITH 4 KIDS AND ON WELFARE.SO I QUIT SCHOOL TO WORK. MY DAD WENT TO FL.AND NEVER PAID CHILD SUPPORT.SO…..NOW I’M DIVORCED AND NO JOB AND MY EX IS UNEMPLOYED TOO.ALL OF THE 99ERS NEED HELP!!!NO JOBS = NO MONEY ,AND I END UP ON WELFARE ,YOU TAKE YOUR PICK. I PAID INTO UNEMPLOYMENT FOR 20 SOMETHING YEARS .SOMEONE PLEASE WAKE UP AND HELP ALL OF US.

  • NoGoodOnesLeft 04/15/2010 2:29pm

    Thanks for mentioning us long-termers and the fact that this bill doesn’t help us since a lot of people seem to think it creates more weeks. And for pushing the petition, too.

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