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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.

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?

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.

NicholeM 06/22/2010 3:45am
in reply to SDeMunn Jun 21, 2010 6:05pm

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.

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…

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.

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

I agree with that

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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!

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…

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.

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.

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.

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…

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).

knoxtn 06/21/2010 1:36pm

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

knoxtn 06/21/2010 1:32pm
in reply to johnhunt70 Jun 21, 2010 12:54pm

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!

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

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.

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”

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 12:09pm
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.

Spam Comment

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.

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.

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”

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

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