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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 31-60 of 63 total comments.

  • 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…

  • 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!

  • 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 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.

  • Comm_reply
    NicholeM 06/22/2010 3:45am

    You should know that it is illegal for employers to even ASK if you have children, and you have legal recourse if an employer tells you you were passed over for a job because you have children. I know those things are hard to prove and a struggling mom can’t really afford a lawyer, but it’s worth thinking about. I’d suggest you avoid bringing up anything about your family status in interviews and if asked, ask how that’s relevant to the position. Then ask them to put it in writing if those comments come up again. I’d even be sneaky and go to the employers who told you that and ask for a recommendation saying that was the only reason they didn’t hire you. THEN you really have a case, and an employment lawyer can help you, possibly pro bono or only if you win your case.

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    SDeMunn 06/21/2010 9:11pm

    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.

  • 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…

  • enrico17 06/22/2010 3:54am

    Just saw an article where Dick Durbin was quoted yesterday as saying, regarding the renewing unemployment extensions, “It doesn’t look good”, along with other Democrats who sounded gloomy about it being passed. I think this is the truest article so far, because neither side will bend. The Dem’s will just keep going even though they know it will not pass unless they use the left over stimulus money, but it makes them look good that they keep trying. Like we are stupid and don’t see that they are to blame also.

  • tiredofbeingtired 06/22/2010 4:48am

    I hate to say this, but the only way that unemployment benefits are going to approve is if media attention is being brought to the issue and their forced to do something, because people are paying attention. They have no media attention on this plight because everyone is giving money, having telethons, and talking about the oil spill. It’s great their helping people affected by this, but what happened to the rest of the country?

  • tweety65 06/22/2010 6:01am

    Fight the foreclosures.. The banks bet against the mortgages to fail, received insurance money once a loan went into default and a government bailout (our tax dollars). They created this mess and caused an economic meltdown by giving false value on homes (inflating value almost double of what the homes were actually worth) to write loans that they knew were going to fail the moment the docs were signed. They were paid 10 times over for these mortgages and robbed America blind. Make the banks give back the bailouts and help all of us that are suffering.

  • sldhouston 06/22/2010 7:28am

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001221762406

    Time to take a stand… we need to quit talking and actually DO something about it! Haven’t you all found it interesting that the media is NOT on this thing? When they delayed the bill around Easter, that’s all we could hear about. Now, it’s dead silent. It’s time to start writing Congress, the President, THE MEDIA!!!

  • sldhouston 06/22/2010 7:32am

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001221762406

    Time to take a stand… we need to quit talking and actually DO something about it! Haven’t you all found it interesting that the media is NOT on this thing? When they delayed the bill around Easter, that’s all we could hear about. Now, it’s dead silent. It’s time to start writing Congress, the President, THE MEDIA!!!

  • sdphouston 06/22/2010 7:44am

    There is power in numbers… we need to quit talking and DO something… Write your congressmen, President, THE MEDIA!!! We cannot be held down too long… united we stand!

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001221762406

  • Comm_reply
    sygparris4 06/22/2010 1:45pm

    Okay I did something! Yes, I vented here, but I also sent our local news station a letter online, then sent my State Representative a longer letter as well as the same letter to one of our two Senators. By the way the other Senators website is down and still not working. I don’t know it it will help any but I’m tired of waiting on them! I also intend to write the president. I just hope others will do the same.

  • sdphouston 06/22/2010 7:47am

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001221762406

    Power in numbers… Lets not just talk about it, LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  • MPalmer 06/22/2010 7:57am

    Our government is so out of touch with the pure economics of unemployment. We are on the edge of a massive failure here in California … not just with the government, but with the California’s economic machine in total. In part, and to a great percentage, due to the unemployment level here in California.

    It is interesting to watch and hear how our government is so engrossed with budgeting and that all has been forgotten about the people and the consequences of not funding the unemployment extension.

    When was the last time your Senator or Congressman went out “on the street” and asked, “how am I doing?”. NEVER! They know that there life style would be at risk and they know that can only answer with a reply of “we are working on it”. They have no real accomplishments!

  • Houselogic 06/22/2010 8:01am

    It’s pretty bad out here in Indiana also. Some guy tried to rob my families store. When we found out it was our neighbor’s son he bought him back to apologies my mother and i gave the kid a job to help. His mom and dad have been waiting for this thing to pass they have been without work for almost 2 years. I feel so sorry for people who are waiting for these men and women to get there act together on this bill. Our prayers are with you guys!

  • sdphouston 06/22/2010 8:17am

    How many of you are truly serious about getting something done here? Show of hands? The media has been hush hush… I’ve seen on another website that we should contact the Jon Stewart show and in numbers, tell him how the unemployed have been affected… see if he can leak the message out that our news media is too scared to do…

  • ted215 06/22/2010 8:29am

    This is what i read today, our future representative:

    Rand Paul To Unemployed: Quit Whining And Get Back To Work

    Talking Points Memo | Jun. 21, 2010, 3:23 PM | 3,695 | 140

    There sometimes comes a time in a person’s life when you give up on that dream of replacing the decently paying job you lost with another decently paying job. Rand Paul, Republican nominee for Senate from Kentucky, believes that time is now.
    In an interview with WVLK-AM in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Paul told host Sue Wylie he supported the Republican filibuster last week of more than $100 billion in emergency spending that includes extended jobless benefits. Paul said the bill must be paid before the extension is voted into law — and if that can’t happen, it’s time for America’s unemployed to face facts and stop holding out for jobs similar to the ones they’ve lost.

  • ted215 06/22/2010 8:31am

    What i read today, our future representative;

    Rand Paul To Unemployed: Quit Whining And Get Back To Work

    Talking Points Memo | Jun. 21, 2010, 3:23 PM | 3,695 | 140

    There sometimes comes a time in a person’s life when you give up on that dream of replacing the decently paying job you lost with another decently paying job. Rand Paul, Republican nominee for Senate from Kentucky, believes that time is now.
    In an interview with WVLK-AM in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Paul told host Sue Wylie he supported the Republican filibuster last week of more than $100 billion in emergency spending that includes extended jobless benefits. Paul said the bill must be paid before the extension is voted into law — and if that can’t happen, it’s time for America’s unemployed to face facts and stop holding out for jobs similar to the ones they’ve lost.

  • katsus7 06/22/2010 8:32am

    If I wasn’t a 38 yr old single mother…I would join this government…the army or something..then at least I would be guaranteed a JOB and PAYCHECK!! this is crap already come on people get off your asses…pass this bill already! I am going to be freaking HOMELESS…then u can go vote on your other HOMELESS ACT bills..I want to work…THERE ARE NO JOBS HERE IN PENNSYLVANIA.!!!!!

    Seperate the bills put unemployment SEPERATE THEN WORRY ABOUT YOUR OTHER THINGS…if you think times are tuff now? guess what I have news for you it will get alot worse when people will have to start ROBBING AND STEALING to feed their children!!!! PASS THIS BILL OR SEPARATE THEM PLEASE….IT’S ALREADY BEEN 2 WEEKS…IF YOU WENT WITHOUT AN INCOME FOR 2 WEEKS WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

  • sdphouston 06/22/2010 8:48am

    Ok so the next step is to write Mr Rand’s office and tell him what you’ve been dealing with since he’s so out of touch! Email his campaign and let them know we will NOT be voting for him

    http://www.randpaul2010.com/

  • Jwaynek 06/22/2010 9:34am

    Let me tell you what has happened to me over the last year. I lost my job a year and half ago, I lost my house (Goverment was going to help YEAH right.) My bank US BANK would not even talk to me about modification and it was a FHA loan. I am an Ex Senior Buyer for Boeing, I am a ex 911 police dispatcher in the state of Arizona for two different agencies, I am educated but now I can not even get a job as a dishwasher because first thing they say is over educated. NO I say I need a job and I am willing do anything, It is now at the point that since unemployment has stopped, I can not make my rent on the place I now moved into )DOWNSIZED so me, the wife and the animals will be on the street next. McCaine is so worried about getting reelected so he can make sure he keeps his 7 SEVEN houses he does not care about anyone in Arizona so we should all vote him out. There is a patteren over the years and people are finally seeing it. GET RID of the OLD and bring in the new

  • Houselogic 06/22/2010 12:15pm

    That is Terrible Jwaynek, Just try to keep a positive frame of mind and trust in God!

  • Comm_reply
    gingersnapps1 06/22/2010 12:57pm

    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?

  • ssimms1980 06/23/2010 2:10pm

    everyone, please go to change.org to sign a petition to seperate the unemployment from the rest of the bill

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