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House Rejects Stand-Alone Unemployment Insurance Bill

June 29, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The House today failed to pass a stand-alone bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 5618). The final vote was 261-155. 277 votes (a 2/3rds majority of those present and voting) were needed under the suspension of the rules procedure that was used by the Democrats in order to avoid Republican obstruction tactics.

The full roll call details are not yet available online, but I will update this post with a link as soon as they are. Full roll call details can be found here.

Republicans opposed the bill because it’s costs, approximately $34 billion, were not offset with new revenue. Since the financial crisis of 2008, Congress has routinely passed UI extension bills without offsets because benefit payments to help the unemployed are considered “emergency spending” and are not subject to pay-as-you-go rules.

The bill that was rejected today would have extended UI benefit payments, which expired in late May, until November 30, 2010. Without the extension, some 1.7 million unemployed people will lose their payment by Jul 3. Benefits for the unemployed will continue to run out at a rate of about 200,000 per week until an extension is signed into law.

This leaves Democrats with basically two options for passing an unemployment insurance extension before the July 4 recess — find a revenue offset to pay for the costs that can pass through both the Senate and the House (which may be what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] is talking to Republicans about today on the Senate side), or try again in the House under normal rules and see if they can overcome Republican dilatory tactics and poison-pills to pass it with a simple majority.

UPDATE: Arthur Delaney at Huffington Post reports on the next step:

Bill cosponsor Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said Democrats will return to the measure on Wednesday, when it will face a much lower simple-majority 219-vote threshold. “It will pass,” said Levin, who added that he is coordinating with his counterparts in the Senate.

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Displaying 1-30 of 194 total comments.

hillbee 06/29/2010 10:34am

This is really very dissappointing. I am gainfully employed, however my 50 year old father is relatively recently unemployed. I speak on the behalf of the family members of the unemployed this effects.I am 24 years old just starting my life and I am having to pay my PARENTS bills just because of this blasphemy! I shouldnt have to do this, however my parents shouldnt have to go without food, water, or electricity. This makes me angry. And I feel if the government is going to stop assisting the unemployed I want to know how I can opt out money coming out of my paycheck. Because I need that money for my own unemployed family member.

indimom2010 06/29/2010 10:27am

Hopefully they can work this out….to come up with a solution today.

MrHappy 06/29/2010 10:47am

This argument is over the 60% of pay that the unemployed are now living with. An average of 200-300 dollars per week for the unemployed to live. This is being held up by our elected officials that make roughly $3400 per week of taxpayer funded income. This is base pay, does not include all the sweet little perks they get, like free health care nor the sweetheart deal they have for retirement. I would submit that those that serve in the senate are millionaires in their own right and don’t need their paychecks like the unemployed do.

How can a group of people making so much money even begin to comprehend what someone living on a few hundred a week is going through? How can they represent those of us that have worked for so long and so hard but now we have to watch as everyone else is helped, with free needles, free food, free cell phones, but those of us that have paid into the system for so many years are thrown under the bus. All for political gain. On both sides.
I am disgusted.

downandout 06/29/2010 10:33am

I simply cannot believe this. I watched the vote on c-span and was amazed. If the House cannot pass this, what hope do we have for in the Senate. We MUST have this passed and signed by the President before Congress can go home for their long weekend. We deserve better. I have aways loved my country but am now ASHAMED by the way we are treated. We have worked all of our lives and get kicked to the curb in our time of need, while every war, bail-out and other “emergency” bill passes with no problem. Congress, wake up or we, the people may just vote EVERYONE who is an encumbent(Dem or Repub) out of office in November.

tah 06/29/2010 1:14pm

I e-mailed both by state’s Senators yesterday – Hutchison & Cornyn. Neither of them has ever voted in favor of unemployment help.

At least Hutchison had an Unemployment drop drop to select as the subject of my e-mail. Cornyn, on the other hand, had no such drop down. However, he gave me the option of a picture request as the subject. Yep, Mr. John Cornyn really knows what the people of our state and this country need. Because you can bet every bit of our nonexistent unemployment funds are paying for taking, printing and mailing all those photos out to his loving public.

jkcookie 06/29/2010 10:41am

Wow. This speaks volumes about America. How pathetic.

odiolasgalletas 06/29/2010 10:33am

Can we organize sit ins in these elected official’s offices? I’m here in the District, anyone else?

CitizenG 06/29/2010 10:30am

This is what it feels like to not matter. We are collateral damage. Our lives do not matter to our government. So what would you like to do now people? I have some ideas that don’t require our elected leaders approval……….

bprante 06/29/2010 10:26am

This is sad so very sad. But, let us begin the campaign. My husband has been calling every senator to plead on their bill and I have emailed the President and senators. Now let us each take up the cause. Call your representatives and senators and those that aren’t yours and plead your case, the case of millions. Do it without anger.

MrHappy 06/29/2010 11:01am

Another vote tomorrow in the house, only a simple majority will be needed… Still has to pass the Senate.

Georgeofthejungle 06/29/2010 10:38am

I never really understand what is going on! We had more then 20 rep. vote yes and it still didn’t pass. Im lost. And lost for words. Whats next! And to think i voted for McCain instead of Obama. Why the hell did I vote Republican.

louis970 06/29/2010 11:04am

Very Sad they did not passed this stand alone Bill!!! Okay, I have a question for the the House. If you were so worried about spending why in the HELL did you give yourself a raise? I think we Americans have to right to lower your pay check so we can save money. You ASS Holes do not care about anybody but yourself. This country has already went to pot a long time ago. Now that their is no jobs for anyone you do not want to help the poor.

You know when elections come about I’m and I know of a hell of alot more will help put all the ones that voted against the BILL in the unemployment lines too. So you will know how it feels to be without a job!!!

Jonathan_Nicholas 06/29/2010 11:09am

Please go to CNN and leave your feedback.

SUBJECT: “Unemployment vote-Congress”
COMMENT: “unemployed U.S. citizens need help, and deserve more coverage.”

Please do it NOW… I did.

raegan81 06/29/2010 10:47am

This is democrats fault too. I am unemployed single father with a daughter and I recently ran out of unemployment benefits. Republicans are somewhat justified in voting no because democrats are not providing a way to pay for this, republicans submitted a bill that cut spending in other areas to pay for the extension. Mainly I would like to note that over enough democrats voted no to pass this bill, if all democrats would have voted yes then this bill would have passed. 30 republicans voted for this which is the largest number we have gotten so far. I hope than Sen. Reid can work out a deal with Republicans in senate to offset the cost of this and get it passed today or tomorrow. I hope they put aside their politics and own selfish interests on both sides of the aisle and come up with a deal before the long recess coming up.

overthrow2010 06/29/2010 10:58am


Chris51 07/10/2010 9:43pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:42pm

Letter was written to Senators:
On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to carefully consider all aspects of H.R. 4213…

If the bill comes to a vote as currently formulated, we encourage you to vote NO, and will track the vote on our Economic Scorecard….

Signed FreedomWorks President and CEO
(FreedomWorks funds Tea Party ;)

proudtobehiswife 06/29/2010 11:15am
in reply to Georgeofthejungle Jun 29, 2010 10:52am

How is that fair to those innocent people who have done nothing wrong? I’ve been reading the comments on these unemployment bills for days now, and the amount of posters who are threatening violence against innocent people is disgusting. I feel for the unemployed, I know it’s difficult out there…but threatening to kill and take from innocent people is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. I hope you’re only venting your frustrations here and not making legitimate threats…what if the person you kill and steal from has children to feed as well?

hawk1717 06/29/2010 11:06am

This makes me physically ill too. Today I received the balance of what was left over in my unemployment account…$ 34.00. Congress bailed out the banks and the car companies without having to find additional revenue. The government and those greedy bankers caused all this crisis and unemployment, and we’re the ones who paid. Now, we’re left hanging. I’m a single father with a 12 year old boy, we have been drinking water and eating eggs. When is this madness going to stop ??? Why should they care, they have jobs which they’ll lose in the fall hopefully, but of course the financial institutions will be there to hand them new jobs.

unemployed2009 06/29/2010 11:05am

The Senate must pass the unemployment extension bill in order for the american people (who made you senators) to survive. This bill needs to be passed prior to the July 4th holiday. This drama between the democrats and republicans is unacceptable. Your people are being hurt. I myself (like the rest of the unemployed people) have tried so hard to look for work but have being unlucky. My family depends on this money to have food and shelter; it is becoming so hard to just to bring food into the table. It is sad to think that our own government coult give a s*** about the american people.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:44pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:43pm

Republicans only care about one thing, their own job preservation. Reps are working hard to win November’s election with the help of Tea Party Movement (FreedomWorks) and their BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST.

Oil&Gas Industry Contribution 2009-2010
Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86% Repubs

Kosh has made big contributions to FreedomWorks, a non-profit that funds Tea Party. These 2 organizations are putting a great deal of pressure on Senators to not support UI Ext. with stimulus that require corporations to help pay back through taxes.

Most big corporations have made record profits this year by cutting jobs long-term. They started layoffs in 2007, and putting millions of Americans on unemployment.

They created the business mantra of “DO MORE, WITH LESS”, causing today’s workforce to do more job responsibility with no more pay.

Ktula7 06/29/2010 11:13am

I cannot believe this!! They are going to go on their July 4 breaks while almost 2 million people are worrying about where their next meal is coming from or if they can keep a roof over theirs and their childrens’ heads. Dispicable!!! I mean, that truly makes me sick!

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:57pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 6:56pm

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.

Jonathan_Nicholas 06/29/2010 10:48am

I think the time for writing letters, and signing petitions may be over… what we need now is “names & phone numbers.”

And the calls must go out immediately.

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:56pm
in reply to hotcitykitty2 Jun 29, 2010 6:26pm

Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
Read all about it:
The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
Full Story:

Chris51 06/29/2010 11:02am
in reply to indimom2010 Jun 29, 2010 10:27am

President Obama gets it. The GOP who is busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations. Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for all its displaced hard working americans.

Watch President Obama discussion on this earlier today, go to CSPAN.

Then go to

jkbrink 06/29/2010 10:35am

I just can’t believe this is happening, so very sad. Have these so-called Americans ever had to wonder how they were going to feed their children, or if they would have a roof over their heads from one day to the next. No one wants to hire you if you are currently unemployed, what are we suppose to do? Oh wait, maybe we are suppose to move to another Country, one of the ones that the US is so willing to send money to all the time! I say they should be helping their own, the ones who vote their sorry butts into office.

mikes1lakerfan 06/29/2010 10:40am
in reply to downandout Jun 29, 2010 10:33am

IT’s not just for a long weekend when the house goes into recess. The house doesn’t resumes until july 12. They have next week off.

kgarman1685 06/29/2010 10:41am
in reply to desperatentx Jun 29, 2010 10:27am

desperatentx I understand where your coming from, but your children, would want you not the money. Keep your chin up, hopefully in time things will get better, my husband is unemployed as well and we have a 2 year old, we had to move back in with my parents for now, and it has been very trying. So I understand the situation your in, but one thing no one can take from you is your family! At the end of the day they have you and to them thats all that matters! I hope the best for you and your family!

dsmith7079 06/29/2010 10:27am

What is the government doing? People need this money.

mom2304 06/29/2010 11:36am

Wow! What a day, my badly trampled heart can not take much more of this!

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