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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 31-60 of 107 total comments.

  • sldhouston 06/28/2010 9:06am

    DEBBIE!!! I LOVE YOU! You are what the Senate should be about!!!! She has the fight in her to NOT GIVE UP ON US! We’re about to see what liars the Repubs are b/c if you recall last week, the Repubs said to the Dems, “Come out w/a stand alone UI bill and we’ll pass it.” Let’s see if the Repubs keep their “party of no” title. Have a heart! I was able to get a job last Friday after being out of work since Jan 2009. God does work… and I’m praying he will work through the leaders to get you guys your much deserve unemployment! DEBBIE STABENOW… YOU ARE THE BEST! “Thank you” from a woman in Texas who’s leaders (Cornyn and Hutchinson) were too ignorant to help the people… Remember people, these leaders work for us!

  • craines 06/28/2010 9:11am

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


  • 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

  • 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!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    sldhouston 06/28/2010 9:28am

    No… this bill needs to pass b/c it’s almost been a month w/NO INCOME! Like we could ever save w/UI benefits?? I don’t know about y’all but I ran out of money long ago… this IS an emergency!

  • indimom2010 06/28/2010 9:34am

    Thank You Debbie for trying to help the unemployed…. I like so many others are without income. I have been applying everywhere I possibly can with no job offers. I have been unemployed for 14 months. PLEASE PASS THIS HELP THE UNEMPLOYED.

  • 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.

  • sldhouston 06/28/2010 9:39am

    To make matters worse, that tropical storm Alex looks to hit Texas-Will turn into a hurricane before hitting land… I sure don’t have the money to prepare for this storm if it continues to move north and hit… Seriously Senate… get it together!

  • 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!

  • PJMac 06/28/2010 9:42am

    Maybe the Republican alternative will pay you $50,000 to move to Canada or Australia and give up your American citizenship …

    “No” They would rather starve us to death (far cheaper) ….

  • 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.

  • Smalltownhoss 06/28/2010 9:53am

    Its’ not possible for them to see us eye to eye about things. Because they can’t relate. Have they ever lived on the streets’. Have they ever went hungry. There is not enough jobs to go around. Plain and simple. There are people with bachelor’s and master’s degree’s competing for Labor jobs. The facts are simple….The government is there to protect us, to take care of and manage the economy. We pay taxes and live by the rules they’ve made. Our brother’s, mother’s, grandfather’s who have fought for this country. They will soon learn how much the system really cares about there people. Things are being manipulated beyond our control. The Republican’s are hoping to get through till friday so they can go on there 10 day vacation. Meanwhile people are going hungry, and becoming homeless. I think the coming weeks will truely define us as a nation. What needs to happen is OBAMA, needs to take control of the situation. Because it’s clear the Senate can’t agree on ANYTHING. GOD BLESS

  • Sher1 06/28/2010 10:02am

    Don’t be fooled by what you think you see, there has been stand alone bills before and they were to September 30.2010 HR 4707 and its collecting dust somewhere because the Republicans wouldn’t go along with it. Here we go again with the same political B.S. and this bill S 3520 will be debated as to how to pay for it and then the 12/31/10 date will change to a 30 day or maybe a 60 day extension of expiration dates to coincide with their return MAYBE! Call your Senators folks and tell them to stop playing games with our lives!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • msdonna2148 06/28/2010 10:12am

    Before they go on yet another paid vacation, ALL senators better wake up and realize the pain they are inflicting on so many Americans by their bickering, finger pointing and sheer self serving moves.
    Put forth a stand alone unemployment extension bill without any attachments to fight over and get it passed NOW, BEFORE JULY 4th.
    It amazes me how easily and quickly they hand out billions and trillions to other countries (most that hate us), useless organizations, pork projects and corporations yet they can’t help the people who have generated that money for many years and will continue to do so.
    Shame on the senate.

  • Smalltownhoss 06/28/2010 10:16am

    Republican’s are to blame. I think you all know what has to be done………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Not re-elect them when the time comes.

  • MelinFlorida 06/28/2010 10:17am


  • 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.

  • pamtech70 06/28/2010 10:22am

    Well, This is my 3rd week, without my U.E. and when my place of unemployment closed last year due to lack of sales etc…I tried really hard to find another job in my field…There was none, so when the D.O.L. sent put those letters stating that we need to go back to school, that this is the perfect time, I finally decided, since my 1st degree is not working out in finding a job, I decided (we decided, hubby & me) that if I can get my unemployment while I hit the books once again, that we could sacrifice, change our lifestyle and within a year or so…I would have a degree in the medical field and We would get back on track..Not gonna happen NOW….

  • Comm_reply
    pamtech70 06/28/2010 10:23am

    ….We are barely getting by, along with EVERYONE ELSE in my situation…I guess I am gonna quit school, We can’t afford it, The drive is 45 min. one way..Gas etc….$$$$$ And to think I was making A’s and I was trying really hard to make a better life for my 2 kids/family…I live in Georgia, and I voted for my representatives..and they VOTED “NAH”(NO) for the EXTENSION???!!! What do I do now? No one is hiring in my area in my field, still today…I am gonna apply at a grocery store or Walmart etc….I have no choice anymore…..and as of last week, they were not hiring either… I am trying very hard to think positive, but I am losing this battle…

  • rushchairman 06/28/2010 10:43am

    Finally, a stand alone bill. This will really put the Republicans to test. If the extension can be paid for and there is nothing added to it those Republicans who do not vote for this will reveal that politics takes precedence over the well being of the American people. The democrats will vote for this as will the moderate Republicans (both of them) and the independent Joe Liberman. However, with the loss of Senator Byrd this may still be tough going if the party of no continues their track record. I am hopeful that it will pass, but if it does not and it meets all of the criteria the Republicans say it must before even one will vote then there is no choice but to do everything anyone can to vote them out of office.

  • Comm_reply
    For_The_American 06/28/2010 11:46am

    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 !!!

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Jonathan_Nicholas 06/28/2010 11:03am

    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.

  • Jonathan_Nicholas 06/28/2010 10:55am

    For many of our citizens, this could be a matter of life or death, LITERALLY!

  • notstupid 06/28/2010 10:56am

    15,000,000 UNEMPLOYED = 15,000,000 VOTES.

  • Comm_reply
    sldhouston 06/28/2010 11:09am

    Double and triple that number b/c it includes spouses, friends and loved ones who know how to vote too… 15 mil x 2 or 3.

  • 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!

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