OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

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.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 63 total comments.

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

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.

planet855 06/21/2010 4:31pm

With only two years to go without one late payment my home could be subject to foreclosure. I have worked all of my time, sometimes two jobs and have never faced anything like this in my life. I want a job, first and foremost. I hate relying on any government funding and find myself in the realm of facing homelessness. I’m not just a young guy who can start over nor am I wanting to give up everything I have worked for just because our government cannot decide what they want to do. With over 400 applications out there including contract jobs, nothing seems to materialize. I had money saved which will be spent this week, money I had planed to do some remodeling. As it stands right now, its one meal a day, only one trip around town for the week and I am about to loose the less necessary things like the internet (good source to find jobs) and my phone.
PASS SOMETHING NOW! Forget the little extras in the bill and get us some assistance!

Chris51 06/30/2010 7:06am
in reply to Drewbot78 Jun 21, 2010 11:26am

• 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.

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…

SDeMunn 06/21/2010 6:05pm

I am a young mother of two children and have been trying to get a job to support my girls since I was terminated last July for medical restrictions. I had two weeks from being elgible for fmla 25lb weight restriction that they refused to accomodate them.. But I am sitting here with two kids wondering what I am going to do when I lose the house I am renting because I now have no income because of this stupid debate. There is nothing to debate over a million people will lose everything. I am doing everything that I can. I have almost complete my BS in legal studies and I can’t get a job no one will hire me. The get to pick from hundreds of applicants..I have kids and have been told on interveiws “we think we are going to hire someone with no children”:( So my children get to suffer. I can’t even afford to buy soap for us. I have no Idea what I am going to do. But congress is worried about money. money.. why don’t you give me some of your paycheck so I can keep a roof over my girls’ head.

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:24pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 7:23pm

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

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:23pm
in reply to Chris51 Jun 30, 2010 10:50pm

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

Chris51 06/30/2010 10:50pm
in reply to Drewbot78 Jun 21, 2010 11:26am

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

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:43am
in reply to bhrodeoaz Jun 21, 2010 11:18am

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

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”

gingersnapps1 06/22/2010 12:57pm
in reply to Houselogic Jun 22, 2010 12:15pm

Am I in America? I never in my entire life have been so ashamed of my government! I actually voted for the politicians that now do not give a damm whether we are thrown out into the streets, homeless! I understand the woes of increasing the deficit. What I don’t understand is what exactly are near millions of unemployed Americans, such as myself supposed to do? My unemployment benefits have run out as of this week without warning on my first extention, I am near eviction, can’t find a damn job to save my life. Why can’t they all come to an agreement to push this through so we can all continue living, and just amend it later? Could it simply be because none of the politicians are in this situation, they have an income, so to them it’s not as pressing?…..Come on people, we’re losing our homes, roofs over our heads, resorting to food stamps to eat a meal, we have already lost our jobs, our pride, what else is left for you to take?

sygparris4 06/21/2010 6:58pm

I know this sounds really farfetched, but here’s an idea. (I know that it will never happen, but we can all dream.) What if all the senators, congressmen, governors all the way up to the president, take a pay cut down to what the unemployed make for the next year or so and put some of that extra money toward paying unemployment, medicare, and into the school system. Maybe then they would realize what we are going through on a daily bases and then change the way they are running this country.

hellusay 06/21/2010 3:42pm

Hey folks. I am have been unemployed since September 2008, I have since lost my apartment and been forced to move in with my mother of all things. No matter how disappointed I am in our congress for their failure to act on this measure, I keep in mind the two things that I have that congress fears most; a voice and a vote. Here is were I will use my voice. All of you who are unemployed and suffering through this as I am, please keep in mind that it is not only the Republicans that are screwing us by voting “No” on this measure, the Democrats are screwing us as well by not separating the Medicare from this bill and not allowing the funding for this to come from the Stimulus Package that has funding it for all of the multi-billion dollar corporations that have gotten us in this position in the first place. Both parties are refusing to bend because they do not want to be in agreement with the other party.

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?

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.

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 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”

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.

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.

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.

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.

jgpt777 06/21/2010 12:09pm
in reply to Drewbot78 Jun 21, 2010 11:26am

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.

laughingatthehypocrites 06/21/2010 4:03pm

Amen, hellusay. I come across highly intelligent, well-informed, good people daily in this country. In my own home, on boards like this and at the grocery store. We are capable of making change. But fear and clinging to these old ideals keeps us stagnant. You can lead a horse to the polls but…

wherehaveallthejobsgone 06/21/2010 5:39pm

There is a simple fiscal solution, use funds paid back from the $780 bil. TARP fund and levy a clawback tax on the banks that have paid back the funds to offset the cost of the bill. There is civil and criminal justice; this would be “poetic justice”.

jourdanzion 06/21/2010 5:45pm

I give the us senate credit to try again and get this bill passed. Its a vital life line to those of us who cannot find a job. Essentials the rent the light bill food clothes nothing is getting cheaper just more expensive. The country is split between those living the american dream and the american nightmare. Wall street expands to new markets in china while some famaloes cannot predict the next meal. Its getting bleaker everyday for a lot of us.

SDeMunn 06/21/2010 9:11pm
in reply to sygparris4 Jun 21, 2010 6:58pm

I agree with that

RoseGardenBride2010 06/21/2010 10:00pm

There are places to draw the money from. The politics need to rest on this issue. Too many people are suffering without an unemployment extension. Stress related issues are multiplying. I was apalled to read about money going to the deceased and other places where it is not appropriate. Congress should be forced to take pay cuts and furlough days.

Spam Comment

zach407 06/21/2010 10:36pm

These people don’t care about you, they know that no matter what they do most of them will keep their job. You see when people vote they vote for whom ever represents the party they always vote for. States district and re-district when needed to make sure they get the maximum votes by party. In Indiana my Congressional district covers some of the east, southwest, and western counties. Done on purpose by the General Assembly to due to so called similar population. It’s all crap and they know it. But it works well for them. Eastern part of state was hit bad by GM and Borg Warner plants closing. But since they had no other plants in the west or southwest part of the state Pence still wins his elections. That is all they care about !!!! So unless people wnat more of the same they need to get out and vote and take Evan Bayh’s advice and get rid of them all…

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