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Dems Introduce Stand-Alone Unemployment Insurance Bill

June 28, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R.4213), which would have extended unemployment insurance benefits, closed some tax loopholes and more, was officially abandoned last week after the Democrats failed to overcome a Republican filibuster for the third time. As a result, over a million uninsured people have had their unemployment insurance benefits cut off since they expired on June 2. But while the Democrats may have lost hope of ever passing H.R. 4213, they have recently introduced a new bill for the sole purpose of extending unemployment benefits.

The new bill, the Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010, is just three-pages long and does just one thing — extend the filing deadline for extended unemployment benefits to the end of the year. It was introduced by Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D-MI] (pictured), and has four Democratic co-sponsors. Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-ME] has also said she would support such a bill, suggesting that the it could have at least some bi-partisan support, though not necessarily enough to pass. With the passing of Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV] and with Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] saying last week he would vote against any UI bill that isn’t fully offset with new revenues, the Democrats would need at least 2 more Republicans besides Snowe to cross the aisle and vote with them if they are to have the 60 votes they will need to overcome an inevitable Republican filibuster. Additionally, Democrats may be concerned the bill could give Republicans the chance to kill Senate time that the Democrats would like to spend on other issues.

At this moment, it’s uncertain whether this new bill will be voted on this week. The Democrats could call it up for unanimous consent passage at any point, but that would be blocked by Republicans. If they try to move it under regular order, Republicans could easily use Senate rules to drag the debate out for sevarel days, or even weeks, and Congress is scheduled to leave for a week-long recess on Friday. Keep checking this blog, Facebook and Twitter for updates.


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Displaying 1-30 of 107 total comments.

jgpt777 06/28/2010 8:55am


againstsplitgovernment 06/28/2010 8:52am

This bill must pass. Things are getting worse for me and im now at the point where i can no longer pay for my car, rent, insurance, phone bill… Looking like another hardworking American is going to be living with the homeless.

TwinkleNHisEye 06/28/2010 9:40am

Now we shall see who is for us and who is against us. The gloves come off – now it’s personal!

onecent301 06/28/2010 9:12am
in reply to againstsplitgovernment Jun 28, 2010 8:52am

Well said. You are speaking for probably over 1 million people including myself.

cmontanye 06/28/2010 9:48am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 28, 2010 8:55am

the Republicans are the ones who blocked this bill…not Obama and the Democrats.

janderson116 06/28/2010 11:06am

As a lifelong republican with a job, I implore the Rebulican Senators to vote for this bill. I know at least twenty unemployed people that have had their benefits expire. These folks are among the hardest working most honest people I have ever known and they deserve better from the same government that has failed (and this failure rests on both parties) to create the jobs that both parties promised during the last election.
By the time November rolls around their will be MILLIONS of people shafted by my party, PLEASE DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE THINKING THAT YOU CAN BEAT THE DEMS WITHOUT THESE PEOPLE’S VOTES. As a veteran I was taught that we don’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and trust me these people are fighting for their lives.

EmilyGoodall 06/28/2010 9:47am

This is the biggest betrayal of the American worker in recent history.

The reason for the layoffs in the first place was the sub-prime crisis that originated in the Republican Bush Administration. This is why most of us lost our good jobs!! Jobs that were hard to get in the best of economic conditions.

This is the same Republican government that desperately wanted the Iraq war that killed nearly 5000 U.S. service men and women, and SHACKLED OUR GRANDCHILDREN WITH A 1 TRILLION DEBT. NOT ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR ASKED, DURING THE IRAQ DEBATE ABOUT WHERE WE WOULD GET THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THAT ACTION. Not one.

Now, the very same Republicans have turned against the American worker, cutting off life-line benefits to more than a million people during the worst recession since the Great Depression. This is a nightmare scenario.

Chris51 06/28/2010 10:17am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 28, 2010 8:55am

Congress that rushed through 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. While the White House and Congress wrangle over the smallest of subsistence measures for the jobless, neither party nor the corporate elite as a whole propose to do anything to provide jobs for the unemployed. The Wall Street Journal reported that American corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, the HIGHEST figure in history. In other words, big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds that could put millions back to work. 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…

rlheinz 06/28/2010 10:54am

I am a single parent who was laid off last year in May. I could not find a job until this past February when I took a temporary position in hopes that it would become permanent. In April the temporary assignment ended which put me back on unemployment and because my benefits did not end prior to May 29th I am, as of today, without income. In reality, taking the temporary job actually hurt me because I would have been eligible for the extension if I decided not to work. Something is wrong with this picture. Some of those in gov’t think we are just milking the system, but we are only trying to take care of our families. I will say this, I am a repbulican and as a result of their vote not to pass the bill for extension I think I am going to change parties. If they can’t vote for me and other republican individuals who have supported them, then they don’t have my vote anymore. I will take this message to other republicans as well. The voices of people are a powerful tool!!!

Revolution 06/28/2010 1:25pm

I am a Veteran from Boston who is unemployed and have always looked forward to 4th of July for what it stands for in our history. The Republicans should be embarrassed in having the words United Stated in front of their titles. They are a disgrace and this 4th of July America is abandonign their own. The Senators need to remember the faces that go along with the names of the people who are hanging on to every minute and word until this is passed or help is finalized. This is pure torture to families in this country. It is a sad state of affairs.
You need to take IMMEDIATE action and enough about saving the defecit etc. There is no doubt this can be done today! Stop playing games and get it done. This is an emeregency and the world and your citizens are watching.
Do the right thing….NOW!!

therabbi4168 06/28/2010 10:34am
in reply to againstsplitgovernment Jun 28, 2010 8:52am

from what i have been reading, it seems the republicans want the economy to fail so they can blame the dems and take over the house in the november midterms. it blows my mind that the lively hood of the poor and unemployed are in the hands of millionares who care about there bankrolls and not the people who put them in office.. IT MAKES ME SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jonathan_Nicholas 06/28/2010 11:03am
in reply to rlheinz Jun 28, 2010 10:54am

I’m a registered Republican, as well… but consider myself ‘undecided.’

This embarrassing lack of support for our citizens… has made the decision FOR me.

Goodbye G.O.P.

For_The_American 06/28/2010 11:46am
in reply to rushchairman Jun 28, 2010 10:43am

These days I pretty much ashamed to admit that I’m a Republican ! Being unemployed myself I feel that the ones I voted for and help gain thier place in office have thanked me by turning thier back on me in a time of great need. I didn’t ask for my job to end. I’ve worked full time since 1982 and with the exception of going on unemployment in September of 2009 I’ve drawn one other unemployment check in my entire life. And it was only one week because I went right back to work at the company I was laid off from. That won’t happen this time because the company I was working for is GONE ! A sign of the times these days and the Rupublicans ARE ignoring this fact ! We need to pressure the president to ignore foriegn policy and the Gulf Crisis at this time and help the people in our HOMELAND !!! He needs to step in and tell them to pass something or else !!!

XvxRAINxvX 06/28/2010 9:13am

Please hurry and pass this bill people are going further and further down to the point that if they pass it… Well that might be too late

Revolution 06/28/2010 6:35pm

I am going to visit each Senators page on this site who voted NO and post the message below in their comments section. Also,you can post your rating of each senator on their page by reducing the slider on the right side marked “my rating”-I am palcing them all at 0. This lowers their rating posted and visible to all,you may want to visit and give your rating and comments:
You are a disgrace to your country and should be embarrassed to have the UNITED STATES in front of your title.4th of July is upon us-it reminds us of history and how the people can come together to make a difference.I hope you and your family meet the same outcome as the 15,000,000+ unemployed.You turned your back on the Citizens by playing games and stupid antics.Assistance needs to be offered to ease the minds of the families and allow continued dignity no matter the cost. You spend OUR money like water and the American people MUST and SHOULD be priority one! I alsi included a previously posted quote…

jenny2010 06/28/2010 12:21pm

I’m praying that this bill will pass soon!!! All of us who are unemployed are only asking to have our benefits extended to make ends meet while we look for jobs to get out of this hell we are in. My mortgage is past due and there have been no new job openings this week. I hate that my kids are not in school because they have to hear me frantically search for work. Every time the phone rings they cross their little fingers and hope its a job. It breaks my heart when its only a bill collector.

Iamamerican33 06/28/2010 10:08am

Thank you Senator Stabenow and thank you Senator Snow. Now let us see who else is brave and caring enough to do the right thing. The HUMANE/DECENT thing.

lordgotmilk 06/28/2010 11:29am

As a conservative Republican that had to take some time this weekend to think through how I felt about the end of the previous bill, I say I understand that the Republicans held it up because of all the pork that was incorporated into the bill and therefore the cost. I heard, time and again, that if unemployment were a stand alone bill that many of them would support it. It’s time for you to put your money where your mouth was and get this passed quickly. Your own constituency is watching.

As note to the Democratic Senators out there, your pressure will be needed to get through to Senator Reid that his own position on the stand alone bill will be watched carefully, since he said before that he will not allow it. If he continues with this thinking, it will assure that he nor any of his supporters will have any stand in the upcoming elections.

craines 06/28/2010 9:11am

Thank you Debbie I’m from Michigan and we need all the help we can get.


twokidstosupport 06/28/2010 11:37am

Welcome to the land of the free. Yeah right. Only the rich are free and everyone else is screwed. Oh well, it’s been a fun ride, but it is time for all the unemployed to take action. We can call all the senators and complain, but do you think they really care? They’re getting their fat checks and long vacation next week. Time for 1776 all over again, might as well be on 4th of July. Burn baby burn!!!!

firestorm145 06/28/2010 9:26am

This bill needs to pass. People need help I have been looking for a job since may of 2009 and my unemployment benefits have expired for the tier I am on which was 2,. My husband is on disability and I cannot find a job because I am up there inage. We need help now. Please pass the extension!!!!!!!

bprante 06/28/2010 9:38am

I have been emailing the Republican Senators for a couple of weeks about HR4213. Now I have begun with the new bill. I suggest that each of you do the same pick as many as possible and ask NICELY that they help the millions of struggling hard working americans in need of help.

junior5050 06/28/2010 11:37am
in reply to therabbi4168 Jun 28, 2010 10:34am

I agree with what people are saying and with no fault of their own are on unemployment for a reason and still are…. they are simply NO jobs out there regardless of what working background you have. If the DEMOCRAT voters can remember that the REPUBLICANS screwed over millions of people regarding the unemployment extension not being passed it shouldn’t be an issue come voting time in November, what the people have to do that are affected by this not passing is simply stick together and vote on the democrat side and stick it to these republican assholes…. plan and simple. If anything it should bring people together and hopefully get some pressure on these politicians.

onecent301 06/28/2010 9:22am
in reply to tiredofbeingtired Jun 28, 2010 9:03am

That could be the problem, they think we are a bunch of deadbeats who are wanting to sit back and collect that huge check. Seriously!!! I have my masters degree in education and can’t get a job. Even if you do not have a degree, the fact that you qualify for unemployment means you were once a working person and because of our politicians inability to control spending, our country went into a deep recession borderline depression. It is not our fault and I am certain every single person on unemployment would prefer to work. Unemployment is merely survival…pay what bills you have to (rent, electric, etc.) while our credit goes into the toilet, our meals are less than appetizing, our stress level elevated, and life style not a pleasant one but at least it provides a minimum security until each of us can find work.

pwc1011 06/28/2010 11:05am

Bad enough to be unemployed. It’s even more enjoyable now that the summer is here and kids are home from school, and I don’t even have money to buy them an ice cream!

It sure will be nice when I have a job again, so I can devote some money to getting my reps out of office!

Majorups 06/28/2010 10:43am

Congress please understand; hard times, makes hard people! Don’t let this go on for too much longer. When people get desperate, they’ll do whatever it takes to survive and feed their own. Many had nothing to do with Wall Street and the crisis we are in now. No one benefits from this disaster. You’re just creating a bigger monster.

tiredofbeingtired 06/28/2010 9:03am

I honestly believe it won’t pass. Like it says they have the ability to make it go either way. I honestly believe that they all think we are a bunch of deadbeats that are just expecting a handout. I have been in management for over 10 years in the hotel industry, and it is very difficult to find a job. I have a bachlors degree in business and still struggling. I’ve worked literally since I was 15 years old and I’ve never filed for unemployment until Jun 09 and I’ve made excellent money. I’ve never had to take money from the state and I’ve tried very hard to teach my children that hard work pays off. Increasingly difficult to do now-a-days. It’s sad, how this is all playing out. They say their FOR THE PEOPLE, but it looks like their only for the people that can financially help them.

Smalltownhoss 06/28/2010 10:09am

I believe this can be classified as an URGENT EMEGENCY CRISIS. Things need to get accompolished this week. The repercussion’s will start like a domino…Pushing one down…and another, and another….and soon those domino’s will find the people responsible for making the decison’s of whether people will keep there homes and have food on the table. All I can say is you can’t question a man’s will to survive. Whatever the cost maybe.

prosptvevoter 06/28/2010 10:22am

Republicans remember the unemployed when elections come in November, we will never forgive the GOP, get the drift remember the unemployment extension the GOP blocked again hmm not a hard decision Republicans or Democrats my vote the democrats.

Chris51 07/10/2010 10:02pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 10:01pm

Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle:
If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

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