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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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Displaying 31-60 of 106 total comments.

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:59pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 9:56am

GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

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

jenny2010 06/29/2010 8:42am

Thanks to all the senators who are still trying to help us stay afloat. Its very hard having to look for work all day only to come home to search for the latest news on unemployment extensions so that I can survive while looking for work. I have been unemployed now for 6 months and don’t know how I am going to pay my mortgage if i go another week without benefits. PLEASE ACT COMPASSIONATELY TODAY AND HELP THOSE IN NEED, I PRAY EVERYDAY THAT I WILL FIND A JOB SO I WILL NOT HAVE TO BE AT THE MERCY OF OTHERS. GOD BLESS US ALL.

drios576 06/29/2010 10:16am

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

CJKell 06/29/2010 10:16am
in reply to WeThePeopleFightBack2010 Jun 29, 2010 10:10am


rufusjuice 06/29/2010 10:17am


FIreTiger3986 06/29/2010 10:16am

They just shot us back down.

Revolution 06/29/2010 10:24am
in reply to lonnienyssa Jun 29, 2010 10:19am

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.

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.

jchalk 06/29/2010 10:25am

It failed, not enough votes.

desperatentx 06/29/2010 10:19am

now what are we supposed to do…they give us a little hope and then drop us as if no one really cares!!!!! where do we go from here?

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:27am

So what does that mean will it be presented today or not???

ladob1028 06/29/2010 10:20am

So are we going to get the back pay as well?

nh2010 06/29/2010 10:20am
in reply to Revolution Jun 29, 2010 10:17am

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.

CJKell 06/29/2010 10:20am
in reply to WeThePeopleFightBack2010 Jun 29, 2010 10:10am

how many has it been in total?

gbasham5 06/29/2010 10:30am

Well thank you members of the House. I will just tell my LandLord that you will be writing him a check, so that my children and I are not homeless this 4th of July weekend? Despicable! I am not a 99’er, but my benefits stopped on June 2nd. Indiana doesnt care about it’s unemployed either!!

peytonsplace007 06/29/2010 10:22am

Only hope is the Senate bill which hasn’t made it to the floor yet. Deplorable actions on both sides. Happy 4th of July. Who wants to celebrate this country with all this crap going on.

Devider440 06/29/2010 10:23am

How they can sit and wait and debate on this issue for so long is dumbfounding for me and our families.Can you imagine if this does not pass, Millions in the streets, you think it’s bad now? wait until this does not pass and see what happens to the economy. We are all struggling now if this extension does not pass it’s beyond over, it will be the Unemployment version of Katrina, watch and see

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:31am

Does anyone know the title of the senate bill that they are presenting?

jrhill 06/29/2010 10:28am

some of you are in such a panic you don’t care what burns down in order for us to get our precious UC checks…

listen… if the congress really cared about the ‘unemployed’ (like many others have said) then they would create a bill FOR THAT PURPOSE ONLY with NOTHING ELSE.

But they cannot.. they cannot help but stuff it with all kinds of Tax increases, more job-killing legislation and handouts to the unions… face it.

all the dopes who just say “pass it” “pass it” “pass it” are the same dopes who take a 30 page contract and just blindly sign it without reading it…

probably why some of you are in the position you are in in the first place…

but im not to judge.. I ALSO want the extensions to pass.. but I live in “reality” not in “liberal la la land”..

Revolution 06/29/2010 10:34am
in reply to lonnienyssa Jun 29, 2010 10:31am

the Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010. Senator from Michigan..

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:37am
in reply to Revolution Jun 29, 2010 10:34am

Thank You
i looked it up by that name it is: S-3520

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

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..

gale99 06/29/2010 10:45am


sweett813 06/29/2010 10:56am

Well I will become the next bonnie n clyde looks like

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 11:06am

ok so now I am REALLY confused are they presenting another bill about the Extending it or not?? Is there another Bill??

Revolution 06/29/2010 11:08am
in reply to nh2010 Jun 29, 2010 10:27am

Although I may/may not agree with this action, it has NOTHING to do with helping AMERICANS with UNEMPLOYMENT. Our Country is designed to have a government where we do not have a ruler who can make all of the decisions…we rely upon the Congress/House on these matters. The President cannot simply write a check to the Unemployed.He cannot sign an executive order to do this because we are a democracy and our reps in Congress/House MUST pass this. The REPUBLICANS keep blocking the progress of getting this assistance which has been in place for decades to stall and use antics/tactics to posture themselves. They are digging themselves a big hole…Stop diverting attention to non issues and get the Unemployment Assistance passed TODAY! Stop creating diversions. Amercians need assistance NOW!

becauseican 11/09/2011 2:48am

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Chris51 07/08/2010 9:56am

Read and sign this petition on today if you agree.

Petition Title: Tell your Senators to vote for an emergency extension of UI Benefits.

Chris51 07/10/2010 6:47am

Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

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