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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 61-90 of 106 total comments.

peytonsplace007 06/29/2010 10:19am

Unbelievable. They don’t care about American citizens. Only themselves.

Revolution 06/29/2010 10:18am

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

rufusjuice 06/29/2010 10:17am


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.

FIreTiger3986 06/29/2010 10:16am

They just shot us back down.

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:16am

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

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


drios576 06/29/2010 10:16am

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

realamerican007 06/29/2010 10:16am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 29, 2010 8:10am

The entire dam congress conveniently forgets about us Americans who were raped and pillaged by the Banks, Mortgage Companies, Wall Street in general. Why do you forget this? The 99ers need the unemployment and tier 5 much as others not able to find a job. The hell with Wall Street, Main Street is the only one who counts. Overlooking the 99ers could result in a complete downfall of your political careers.

Main Street doesn’t supply monies for your coffers, but remember you work for us, so help us now by supporting the 99ers in your stand-alone unemployment bill. Whether you are willing to admit it or not, American is in real financial trouble, and failure to support all unemployed Americans will only lead to Americas downfall, just a Rome did.

As long as you leave out the 99ers and tier 5 , I don’t support your bill or you in November.

WeThePeopleFightBack2010 06/29/2010 10:10am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 29, 2010 8:39am

99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time unemployed individuals could receive UI payments under this bill. Doesn’t that mean that the 99ers are SOL?

Revolution 06/29/2010 10:09am
Link Reply
+ -1
in reply to jrhill Jun 29, 2010 10:00am

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.

WeThePeopleFightBack2010 06/29/2010 10:09am
in reply to kkilgore Jun 29, 2010 8:40am

99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time unemployed individuals could receive UI payments under this bill. Doesn’t that mean that the 99ers are SOL?

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.

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.


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..

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

Jaleel 06/29/2010 9:57am
in reply to sldhouston Jun 29, 2010 9:34am

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!!

CJKell 06/29/2010 9:57am
in reply to lonnienyssa Jun 29, 2010 9:50am

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

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?

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.

lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 9:50am

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

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 9:45am

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.

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???

mojo1951 06/29/2010 9:26am
in reply to sldhouston Jun 29, 2010 9:20am

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.

donnyshaw 06/29/2010 9:23am
in reply to DSS2010 Jun 29, 2010 9:22am

OpenCongress Staff

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

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).

sldhouston 06/29/2010 9:20am
in reply to mojo1951 Jun 29, 2010 9:17am

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

mojo1951 06/29/2010 9:17am

I agree with the comments regarding Dave Camp. I watched the proceedings and was appalled by his reaction to this bill. People of Michigan, he is working against you when you are in dire need of help, along with so many others in this country. I don’t know if he is up for re-election in November, but you should not give him another 2 years, even if we do get this bill passed. His arrogance was hard to take.

wendya1972 06/29/2010 9:16am

God Bless All the Senators still standing up for the American people!
I don’t see how the Republicans voting NO can sleep at night knowing that they are responsible for children starving!

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