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House to Vote on Stand-Alone Unemployment Insurance Bill Today

June 29, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The House of Representatives this afternoon is scheduled to pass, under the expedited suspension of the rules procedure, a new, stand-alone bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits. The bill is H.R. 5618, the “Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010.” It was introduced yesterday by Rep. Jim McDermott [D, WA-7] and has one co-sponsor — the powerful House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Sander Levin [D, MI-12].

This is expected to pass easily in the House, as indicated by its place on the suspension calendar. It would then be sent immediately to the Senate to give the upper chamber a chance to pass it before the end of the week when they are scheduled to leave for their July 4 recess.

Although the House is generally supportive of a robust benefits extension for the uninsured, Rep. McDermott has purposefully limited the scope of this bill to what he thinks can pass  the Senate. The bill would not extend the Federal Additional Compensation program from the stimulus bill that provided an extra $25 per month for benefits recipients, and it only extends UI benefits to November 30, 2010, one month shorter than the Senate’s stand-alone bill. It would not create a new fifth tier of benefits. 99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time unemployed individuals could receive UI payments under this bill.

Both chambers have to pass the exact same version of the bill before it can be snet to President Obama to be signed into law. These changes make it more likely that the Senate can simply agree to the bill, avoiding a situation where the two chambers ping-pong the bill back and forth with their own amendments until they can find an agreement.

It’s still unclear, though, if this has the support to pass in the Senate. For one thing, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV], who ultimately decides what bills get voted on, still wants to do unemployment insurance together with Medicaid funding and other unrelated tax issues. Additionally, only one Republican — Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] — has said publicly so far that she would vote in favor of such bill. That means the Senate Dems may still be two votes short of the 60 they need to break an inevitable Republican filibuster.

UPDATE: Contrary to some reports I’m seeing on Twitter and Facebook, the House has no passed this bill yet. It was brought up and debated, but the vote was postponed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA]. Under House rules (Rule XX, CLause 8), it now must be voted on within two days. But it will likely be voted on sooner, probably tonight or early tomorrow.

The fact that Dems are trying to do this under suspension of the rules is giving them a little trouble. Suspension allows bills to pass quickly and without minority obstructionism tactics (no amendments can be offered and debate time is limited to 40 minutes), but they need 2/3rds support for it to pass under the procedure. That means the Dems will need about 35 Republicans to cross the aisle and vote with them on this. The Democratic leadership is surely busy behind the scenes right now working to win over Republicans (and the GOP leadership is undoubtedly working to keep wavering members from defecting).

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Comments

Displaying 31-60 of 106 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    sldhouston 06/29/2010 9:20am

    Michigan has been hit hardest in unemployment. I do not see Mr Camp keeping his Senate seat in the future… do you?

  • Comm_reply
    mojo1951 06/29/2010 9:26am

    The problem is, so many people just reads the blogs. They don’t actually see these people in action (ie CSPAN). If I lived in Michigan he certainly wouldn’t get my vote. Sadly, the truth is many people don’t even bother to vote.

  • Comm_reply
    julez310 06/29/2010 11:23am

    Don’t you need an address to vote? …All these people will be on the street! You watch he’ll get voted in again.

  • DSS2010 06/29/2010 9:22am

    Can anyone clarify if this bill will extend benefits for those on the federal-state Extended Benefits (EB)? I think some folks refer to it as a ‘tier 5.’This is different from the federally-funded EUC benefits(tiers 1-4).

  • Comm_reply
    donnyshaw 06/29/2010 9:23am

    There is no Tier V in this bill. 99 weeks would still be the max. I will update the post to clarify that.

  • sldhouston 06/29/2010 9:34am

    We don’t have to worry about the House as much as we have to worry about the Senate… again. These leaders disgust me… “how will it be paid for?” How about this… you know them checks you guys get… how about you disburse some of that money to the unemployed while you duke it out so that way some of us can SURVIVE I bet then you will get that bill passed.. We’ve paid millions into the unemployment… so basically you leaders spent our money a long time ago on misc bullsh!t now when we need it for ourselves, you ask how will it be paid? Am I the only one who see’s something wrong w/this picture???

  • Comm_reply
    Jaleel 06/29/2010 9:57am

    The problem with these guys is power, that is until election time. And not many people watch cspan. I have been researching news station and they have put the unemployed on the backburner all they offer are blog sections. What happen to the local and world news? When a situation is not shown on television we forget the urgency of people lives to just survive. I agree we have paid a great amount into unemployment insurance for many years and yet we are critcize, talked down, called lazy. This is not fair. And if you go to school that can be a purnishment to get retrained or futuring our education. I have tried changing jobs, going down on salary, retraining and relocating. Sometimes I wonder if there are companies placing ads but have no jobs. I will not stop applying but it is fustrating when you know you can do the work. Thanks for letting me vent!!

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 9:45am

    OMG!! This waiting is killing me…. Waiting to see if I have to start calling shelters for me and my children to live at. I am crying due to the stress of waiting… Oh god please let them make the right choice and voe all yays.

  • XvxRAINxvX 06/29/2010 9:50am

    I just want to say thank you Mr. Shaw for keeping everyone updated on this issue. If it wasn’t for this site I wouldn’t know what’s going on half the time. Thanks I’m sure on behalf of everyone for keeping us informed!!!

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 9:50am

    They are voting NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    CJKell 06/29/2010 9:57am

    they are ? oh man i’ve been sooooo stressed out lately i’ve been out of a job for 2 years and have been sending my resume and going on interviews but have had no luck i hope this passes

  • Comm_reply
    kgarman1685 06/29/2010 10:21am

    they just announced on Cspan that it did not pass. :(

  • bprante 06/29/2010 9:53am

    Thank you to Representatives Jim McDermott and Sander Levin for this bill. I hope the remainder of the House is willing to get on board. I had emailed Senators and my Husband has been calling them to plead the case for the millions in need. I suggest each of you do the same. Perhaps some can cover the Representatives.

  • sldhouston 06/29/2010 9:56am

    While I am thankful that Shaw is reporting back, I’m really curious to know why a bill that affects so many U.S. citizens, is being held from the media? What is the real truth here? Is the media placed under some gag order by our govt? It’s starting to seem that way isn’t it? When back in Easter the threat of benefits ending was all over the news, this has certainly surpassed that story back in Easter yet the media is extremely quiet. If it wasn’t for Shaw or not being able to watch CSPAN2 and go back to report to everyone, we wouldn’t have a clue… There is something fishy with this… what is the govt trying to hide and WHY?

  • Chris51 06/29/2010 9:58am

    How hostile are some members of Congress, not only about unemployed Americans in general?
    “You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to BLOW IT ON DRUGS and not take care of their own children.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
    “Is the government now creating HOBOS?”, Rep. Dan Heller (R-Nevada)
    “We shouldn’t TURN THE SAFETY NET INTO A HAMMOCK, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
    “[W]e have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have SPOILED OUR CITIZENRY and said, you don’t want the jobs that are available.”, Sharron Angle, Republican Senate candidate in Nevada and Sen. Harry Reid’s opponent
    “©ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a DISINCENTIVE FOR THEM TO SEEK NEW WORK” ,Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona)
    If you are one of the 1.2 million Americans who have not been able to find jobs and who are at risk of losing their benefits go to WWW.CHANGE.ORG

  • jrhill 06/29/2010 10:00am

    its being voted on right now

    HR 5618

    DEM Y: 18 N: 0
    REP Y: 0 N: 10
    IND Y: 0 N: 0
    TOTALS

    Time Remaining: 7:18

    If the Democrats would just stop adding to the debt and deficit and use the billions upon billions of stimulus (already available) money to pay for it, it would pass with no problems… be careful where you put your blame on this one.

    The reason the senate voted it down was because the bill was stuffed to the brim with pork…

    hopefully the senate will pass the “stand alone” version by Sen Stabenhow..

    Im in the same boat with all you unemployed, just having my benefits shut off this month.. But I am still disgusted with the wasteful performance of this democrat congress.. it is a disgrace like never before..

    just be very careful how and where you put the blame at.. INFORM yourself before shooting off your mouth..

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 10:09am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    You are ignorant. No one cares at this point where it comes from-the deficit and debt talk is a stall tactic by the REPUBLICANS who ARE to blame for not passing the assistance. At this point blame doesnt matter or pay the bills. Why dont you take your own advice about shooting off your mouth…
    All of a sudden you and the republicans are worried about spending money-no one is falling for it and they will be unemployed soon.

  • Comm_reply
    jrhill 06/29/2010 10:33am
    Link Reply
    + -2

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROM

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..all you are doing is putting a bandaid on a gun-shot wound…

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..all you are doing is putting a bandaid on a gun-shot wound…you (and many others) had BETTER start caring where it comes from – or this will be the LEAST of your problems…

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..all you are doing is putting a bandaid on a gun-shot wound…you (and many others) had BETTER start caring where it comes from – or this will be the LEAST of your problems…I too am unemployed in the same boat.. but unlike the selfish “not in my backyard” liberal, I STILL care about our future, our children’s future.. and this country…

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..all you are doing is putting a bandaid on a gun-shot wound…you (and many others) had BETTER start caring where it comes from – or this will be the LEAST of your problems…I too am unemployed in the same boat.. but unlike the selfish “not in my backyard” liberal, I STILL care about our future, our children’s future.. and this country…disagree with me if you want.. but it’s the facts. You had BETTER start to care WHERE it comes from…

    yes.. we ALL care WHERE IT COMES FROMthis blatent spending and waste and printing money with no regards and debt as far as the eye can see is PART OF THE PROBLEM my friend..all you are doing is putting a bandaid on a gun-shot wound…you (and many others) had BETTER start caring where it comes from – or this will be the LEAST of your problems…I too am unemployed in the same boat.. but unlike the selfish “not in my backyard” liberal, I STILL care about our future, our children’s future.. and this country…disagree with me if you want.. but it’s the facts. You had BETTER start to care WHERE it comes from…not caring is what got us into this mess in the first place..

    lol.. id love to see revolution’s credit card bills.. hehh i can only imagine

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 10:41am

    Typical. Our Children and grandchildren and unemployed Americans need help NOW idiot. The Republicans spent all the surplus money already. Unemployment INSURANCE money should be there as everyone pays into it. You spent it in Iraq and Afganhistan. You want to talk about spending at a time of crisis? Your Rep senator from Texas was just on asking for flood insurance to be passed today-she voted no on unemployment.
    I said no one cares at this point due to the idiots on the Republican side as this is just an excuse-same as you are doing here. This issue is NOT the issue to take a stand on spending as it affects many..go fight about spending on other issues, not this one.
    The real issue is getting the unemployment assistance NOW regardless of how it is paid for NOW. This is playing with lives.

  • Chris51 06/29/2010 10:04am

    Congress that rushed through a $700 billion 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.
    The Wall Street Journal reported last week 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.

    WHEN WILL THE PEOPLE “THE REAL TAX PAYERS” GET PRIORITIZED?

  • peony8702 06/29/2010 10:07am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Please call these Republican Senators and politely ask them (if you can bear

    it…I KNOW) to vote YES on HR 5618.

    These 3 are our best shots to call and hopefully vote with the Dem’s:

    Senators: Brown 202/224.4543

    Snow 202/224.5344 Collin 202/224.2523

    Stay strong.

  • drios576 06/29/2010 10:16am

    The bill did not pass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:16am

    It frickin failed it did NOT pass. Now what do we do????

  • FIreTiger3986 06/29/2010 10:16am

    They just shot us back down.

  • Revolution 06/29/2010 10:17am

    The Republicans just did it again in the House! The stand alone bill presented failed the 2/3 majority due to the REPUBLICANS.

  • Comm_reply
    nh2010 06/29/2010 10:20am

    The democrats had a few voting against it as well. This is unbeleivable. Our economy is built on a deck of cards and is about to come down.

  • rufusjuice 06/29/2010 10:17am

    IT DID NOT PASS THE HOUSE. ONLY 30 REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR IT WHICH PREVENTED A 2/3 MAJORITY NEEDED.

  • Revolution 06/29/2010 10:18am

    Still waiting on the Senate version of the Stand alone bill…that has not been presented yet.

  • Comm_reply
    lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:19am

    Is that one of the 3 votes left????

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 10:24am

    Thats in the House…the Senate has a stand alone version to be presented (optional-they may not?) once that is presented, the Senate would go through the same thing we have been watching unless there is Republican support.

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