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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 61-63 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.

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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