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Latest on the Unemployment/Tax Extenders Bill

June 21, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

This from subscription-only CongressDaily is at least not bad news for those of you hoping that the Senate will pass legislation extending the unemployment insurance filing deadline this week:

Senate Democrats are back at the drawing board, working again this week to pass a version of a bill extending tax breaks and unemployment benefits and other programs after they lost cloture votes on two versions last week.

Senate Majority Leader Reid had considered bringing up other legislation this week but decided this weekend to stay on the “extenders” bill, a spokeswoman said today.

That means Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus — who has already offered two versions of the measure this month but failed to muster enough votes amid concerns over cost — will likely produce another substitute amendment to an underlying bill passed by the House.

“We are still working on a path forward,” Reid’s spokeswoman said.

The Senate passed one provision Friday that was in the broader extenders bill — a measure giving Medicare physicians a 2.2 percent payment increase for six months. It is aimed at staving off a 21 percent doctors’ pay cut under a reimbursement formula and is fully offset.

Democrats still want to extend unemployment benefits, which have been expiring for tens of thousands of Americans since the start of the month. But aides said it is too soon to say what else will be included in the package offered this week.

Republicans aides said one possibility is that Democrats would remove provisions extending unemployment and Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funding, and vote on them as stand-alone measures.

While Democrats fell short of moving the bill Thursday, they said they were just two votes short of getting cloture. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., missed the vote but would have voted with Democrats if needed, aides said. And one of two Democrats who voted “no,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., had agreed to vote for cloture if his vote was needed, Reid said.

With those votes, Democrats still need two Republicans to move the measure, now in its eighth week on the Senate floor. Democrats in particular have been courting GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

In April, the last time the Senate voted on an unemployment extension bill, three Republicans joined all Democrats, plus Lieberman, in voting in favor  — Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME], Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] (both pictured above) and Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH]. That bill contained a two-month extension of the UI filing deadline, national flood insurance, COBRA health care subsidies, a Medicare pay-cut delay and more, all with a net deficit impact of more than $18 billion.

The success of the revised unemployment insurance/tax extenders bill that comes to the floor this week will depend on what’s in there besides the UI extension and how much of the total cost of the bill is paid for. The more the bill is focused on UI and the more it is paid for with new revenues, the better its chances at wining over a couple Republicans and passing will be.

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 63 total comments.

  • craines 06/21/2010 11:10am

    Thank You Harry Reid for hanging in there for us, it’s bad enough there absolutely nothing out there as far as work goes, let along have our entire rug pulled right out from under us. This was suppose to be the year work would pick up. It hasn’t happened in Michigan we were hoping for two power houses plus wind turbines.

    NO way, not happening, I guess our pension fund will go in the toilet and we’ll starve.
    It’s that bad. What the hell is wrong with this country, build something, we need factory work too, people want to work.

    There isn’t even cheap ass service jobs.

    Again thank you Harry Reid and the Democrat Party.

    You Republicans can Kiss My Ass. Sorry I lost my filter along tine ago.

    CR

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    cmfaith 06/22/2010 3:20pm

    We want to work! I want my old life back! I am College Educated and have a excellent employment track record and references but cannot find employment in California. I was laid off as a Recruiting Manager for a large Engineering firm. I am even open to relo. Please dont end our unemployment! What happens then being homeless?

  • bhrodeoaz 06/21/2010 11:18am

    Work has not picked up here in Arizona either, in the construction industry. Whether it be private or public sectors, no jobs have came in anyway shape or form. What I have noticed is that companies say they are hiring but just “hold on” to resumes and call only when some one gets fired, quits or if a new slot opens up. A very common practice here in AZ is employers keep you on payroll till your company benefits kick in then they can you. Its a double edge sword, you do not get any benefits from the company and with the way they file your paper work disqualify you for unemployment. These republicans need to get off their fat asses and get this damn thing passed and quit fuckin around.

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    Chris51 07/01/2010 9:43am

    Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

    REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat sevaral proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.
    WWW.CHANGE.ORG

  • Drewbot78 06/21/2010 11:26am

    It is just as much Harry Reid’s fault as it is Republicans. I mean Reid’s state of Nevada is one of the highest Unemployment states of all and he doesn’t have the common sense to just separate the Unemployment section on its own? Look, the Republicans said they want to and will pass Unemployment extensions, NOT the garbage attached to it. If they just separate the Unemployment extension portion of the bill, and let it stand on its own, IT WILL PASS. This is pure and simple: Partisan politics from BOTH sides screwing over the American people in NEED.
    Simply disgusting

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    jgpt777 06/21/2010 12:09pm

    I AGREE BHRODEOAZ,

    ESPECIALY WITH YOUR LAST SENTENCE..

    MAKE SHURE YOU TELL McCAIN, “THANKS FOR SCREWING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT, WHEN YOU VOTED AGAINST EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT”

    BHRODEOAZ, ALWAYS REMEMBER TO KEEP PUSHING ON, AND THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN WALKING BESIDE YOU, GOING THOUGH THIS MESS.

    JUST TAKE IT ON DAY AT A TIME, THAT IS ALL WE CAN DO AT THIS TIME, AND LOOK FORWARD TO BETTER DAYS.

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    michaeldf 06/22/2010 10:18am

    I agree with Drewbot78, It is not a party issue…repubs and dems need to stop tagging crap onto a bill that is ment to support the unemployed…Strip it down and vote on the issue at hand. It is tough to swallow any poiliticians BS when world headlines are full of forign aide approved by the US and to top it off the people we are trying to help spit in our face after the check is cashed. Its simple, when are we going to stop cleaning everyones house when ours is a mess……California 12.5% unemployment….and it will not recover anytime soon….

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    Chris51 06/30/2010 7:06am

    • It’s the Republican party who is busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations.
    Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for ALL its’ displaced hard working Americans.
    • 9.7% unemployed = 1.2 million Americans, and 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time. The BP Oil Corporation’s irresponsibleness is adding to lost jobs and lost lives.

    Yesterday, President Obama’s discussed what was happening with corporations, the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed. Watch his entire interview on CSPAN. He gets it.

    CNN and FOX only report on self-interested, with their main story and topics cycling 24 hours. Go to CSPAN
    CSPAN: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/29/HP/A/34826/Pres+Obama+Remarks+on+the+Economy.aspx

    wwww.change.

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    Chris51 06/30/2010 10:50pm

    The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

    President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

    As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
    1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

    The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

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    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:23pm

    GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
    We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
    How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

    President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
    If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

    http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/08/HP/A/35248/Pres+Obama+Remarks+at+Fundraiser+for+Missouri+Senate+Candidate+Robin

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    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:24pm

    Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
    Read all about it:
    The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
    Full Story:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

  • bluboy1313 06/21/2010 11:45am

    So all of a sudden the drunken sailors spending spree for anything for two wars and any kind of aid for every country on the planet by the all the senators are now reborn holly then thou and have decide to start watching the budget on this bill that affects the very same people that pay in taxes for this service of unemployment insurance all of their lives but oh no we can pass this bill because it will raise the debt!
    Did you hear this concern when the Banks were asking for a bailout hell no they passed and gave them more than they ask for! The argument was that they were to big to fail but now the opposite is being argued that the American people will be allowed to fail in the name of saving the budget.
    History…. we have had a budget deficient since 1958
    In 2001 we had a budget surplus and it was the republicans that paid out this surplus to the richest in the largest tax ever but now where are they for the average family in need

  • jgpt777 06/21/2010 11:49am

    THESE SENATORS THAT KEEP VOTING AGAINST EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT, DON’T GIVE A DAM ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHO ARE WAITING FOR THE MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE, GOOD AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVES, IT IS NOT THERE FAULT THEY GOT LAID OFF, BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS SO BAD.
    THESE SENATORS GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT LAUGHING AND SAYING, F—K THOSE PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT, THEY SHOULD GET OFF THERE LAZY A— AND GO FIND A JOB.
    “THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE”.
    AND THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM, FOR EVERY ONE JOB THERE IS 7 APPLICANTS AND THERE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CURRENTLY EMPLOYED.
    I KNOW THOSE WORTHLESS SENATORS READ THESE COMMENTS, “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO RESPOND?” ESPECIALLY McCain FROM ARIZONA.(YOUR NOT FOR THE PEOPLE, LIKE YOU SAY)
    AND tom coburn FROM OKLAHOMA, GO HOME AND SCREW YOUR SELF, STOP YOUR DELAY TACTICS ON EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT.
    ALL THE AMERICANS THAT WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVES AND ARE ON UNEMPLOYMENT,“LETS UNITE”

  • jeffflynt 06/21/2010 11:58am

    what is most clear to me about the process is that most bills would pass were there not special interests in these bills to get what they want. for the first time in a long time, WE can vote them all out and keep the news ones on even footing. they are out of teach because most of them have never worked a day in their life. the stimulus has not helped small business at all. We are all frustrated but we need to keep fighting to correct this appropriately. I wonder what will happen to those now are just coming out of their state unemployment. It is a bad situation and we can make a difference, if nothing else, we can piss them off together.

  • enrico17 06/21/2010 12:04pm

    As this article sounds promising, don’t think it will happen. Remember that on Friday Reid wanted to extract the unemployment extension and vote as a stand alone, but McConnell would not allow it. I just read an article that stated, in the Senate just a few minutes ago McConnell again voted against the bill and as a stand alone. He is doing everything to stop this bill. His office uses the excuse of the bill being paid for, that he is in favor of the bill but wants it paid for first.

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  • LadySaturn 06/21/2010 12:32pm

    So let me get this straight because the Dems and Reps are actung like children during a school yard fight the rest of us have to go with out and suffer. And do we really wanna talk about debt when there’s a bill for get this a national day for cowboys. Are we serious? Time to get real Senate. It’s the banks and Wall Street you should cut off, not those who are truly hurting. And while we’re at it, shame on you for letting Obama give 400 million to Palestine and not so much as oppose it. Shame on you Senate, for not taking better care of this country. I understand that people can’t live on unemployment forever but now is not the time to be cutting off the foot, so to speak. You do that you risk infection and a backlash of whatever little progress has been made up to this point. Shame on you Senate and all that you don’t do for the American people.

  • jgpt777 06/21/2010 12:35pm

    EVERYONE CALL Call Senator McConnell’s office (202) 224-2541

    AND ASK HIM, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?, THERE ARE AMERCIAN PEOPLE IN NEED OF THE EXTENTSION BILL TO PASS”

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    michaeldf 06/22/2010 10:42am

    McConnells net worth 7.3 million, increased over the past 18 months 1.2 million. He does not give a f..k about the american worker. His state also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, below 10%, which means they do not qualify for tier 3 and tier 4 federal funding, the way I understand it. He will also stand in the way of any health care reform, his largest campain contributions were health care corps. Just another slimey politician.

  • queencarrie 06/21/2010 12:35pm

    i am 50 years old been unemployed since july last year i have never been unemployed for more than a week since i was 16 and now because i am unemployed and my age i am a new minority that will soon join the homeless. i am not a drug addict or lazy i go to college online, look for jobs, and my spare time is reading all i can about this bill they will not pass to extend my unemployment. something these senators need to remember is that for every unemployed person they have a family of at least 4 people and all these people vote so take the unemployment numbers and multiply them by 4 that is the amount of votes you will not get. hope that numbers scares you. you wanna find the funds take a pay cut from all senators to fund it. or maybe the homeless need to find your address and pitch tents on your yard til you see the real world problem.

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    LH49221 06/22/2010 9:26pm

    I agree with you 100%!! The senators should take a pay cut to cover the bill, and they should each have to spend 1 week with a family that is unemployed. Maybe if they visited the real world they would get it! Congress needs to to take care of these extensions before they expire.

  • sygparris4 06/21/2010 12:51pm

    I am one of the 11% in SC that are unemployed. I lost my job as a Spe. Ed. Teacher in March 2009. I have been on unemployment ever since, my husband and I had to file bankruptcy in October, we have one son that is 21 with Autism that lives at home and is on Medicaid.
    I was told that for every one position for a Spe. Ed. teacher there are over 40 applicants in the upstate where we live. Moving is not an option because my son has several doctors that he must see and attends a Special Needs School.
    I have applied for many jobs including a cashier, but no luck! I was even told that I at 43 years old am to old for some positions because they are looking for someone younger and without a family. I don’t know what else to do because now my Unemployment benefits are on hold again and I have to borrow money from my 66 year old mother, that she doesn’t have, just to pay for groceries and the bankruptcy payment, and we “make too much to qualify for welfare or food stamps”. So now what?

  • johnhunt70 06/21/2010 12:54pm

    lets see I am now in eviction court, lost my job,car payment 30 days late gas is turned off oh yea lets not forget the money i had coming is being held up due to senators that can send money to any country that asks for it but the AMERICAN WORKERS the people that put them in office have to go without…way to go AMERICA..by the way i worked for 15 yrs and plant closed down or i would be working still to this day

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    knoxtn 06/21/2010 1:32pm

    Never in my life-time did i ever, “ever”, dream it would come to this! I feel your pain!!
    I haven’t even been able to draw tier 1 and, since i’ve never been in this situation… i have no ideal how the system works! My reg. ui ran out “one” week after all the c- hit broke loose. I was origially told i would be able to draw to the end of this year.
    There is “no” jobs out there to be found! I’m from TN and only have a high school deploma. All my experience is in adv. sales for newspaper. I am 40 plus years old…husband was military half of our marrige(26 yrs).
    Not even Mc’D’s is going to hire me! What am i supposed to do!??
    I’m really scared for this Country..we call the “Home of the Brave”! God have mercy on us!

  • knoxtn 06/21/2010 1:36pm

    Think I’m going to “shut the tv, computer” off! My brain is on OVERLOAD!!!!

  • laughingatthehypocrites 06/21/2010 2:55pm

    bluboy1313- You are correct. In fact, per the US HOR Committee on the Budget review dated 7.31.08, the last administration went in with a surplus, growth in GDP and jobs. By Jan 2009, we they left behind the greatest deficit in history, historic dependence on foreign debt financing, historic job loss and outsourcing. The only thing accomplished was the rich got richer (children were left behind and Bin Laden was not brought to justice, they just pacified us with Sadam).

  • laughingatthehypocrites 06/21/2010 3:01pm

    Again, this is all based on a document compiled from the gov’t while that administration was STILL in power. AND we just had a recession on 2001- then turned around & started a “war” that has no way of ending (since we have to “teach” them democracy) & we never caught who they lied & said the “war” was intended to bring to justice. WTF?! I’m not a democrat or a republican because, as I wrote before, both of those titles are bullshit & a way to cause dissension & distraction among the American people. I can still see that there are morons on this board clinging to this archaic lie and facade. Hopefully they stay away from voting booths & stop ruining it for the rest of us. I don’t trust ANY politician or ANY administration. They are handed and agenda & go in to fulfill it. Period. That agenda is based on money, shifting power & keeping the machine moving. The current administration was handed a box of shit & is being told to make a cake out of it. Good luck with that…

  • catfarmman 06/21/2010 3:27pm

    MADNESS ! Unemployed since 09/2008, exhausted 4 tiers of benefits, have tried and tried to find a job, getting closer and closer to foreclosure, sold many personal items to pay bills and the elected officials We voted for drag their feet and just let honest Americans get further and further into debt or closer to losing everything they cherish.

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  • hellusay 06/21/2010 3:43pm

    Also keep in mind, that we have participated in allowing this to happen to ourselves by demanding to be able to purchase everything that we want at low prices. If you have to purchase ANYTHING in the future, buy as many things as you can that are made here in the United States of America. Stop buying services and merchandise from companies that have taken American jobs and moved them overseas. If every American starts acting accordingly, more jobs will come back home. As for the voting part, we need to make sure that we are at the polls in November to vote against the people who are screwing us over, so that they will not be doing it to others that are unemployed behind us. Use your voices, use your votes. Maybe it is time we start a new political party because I am sick of the two that we have. Last time a third-party President was elected was in 1860, his name was Abraham Lincoln. We might be able to use someone like him these days.

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