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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 61-90 of 194 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    WeThePeopleFightBack2010 06/29/2010 2:37pm

    please go to and sing my petition. WeThePeopleFightBack

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    kgarman1685 06/29/2010 10:45am

    hillbee, I’m sorry you and your family are going through this… however I am commenting because I want to personally thank you, to see that a 24 year old is paying their parents to help them out, these days you don’t find that much. Your doing an amazing thing, usually its the other way around, and unfortunately for my situation it is, I’m living with my parents due to unemployment and I wish more than anything that I could be able to help them out because they are struggling as well. I hope things get better for you.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/29/2010 10:38pm

    To the 1.2 million jobless americans I thought you would be glad to know that the Republicans let the Democrates get the Small Business Bill through.

    How many Small Business loans will be approved to the jobless workers who are looking at the option of doing a business start up? NONE
    -Poor credit and/or unemployed need not apply.

    Everyone knows that banks, retailers, small or big businesses have the legal right to not interview or hire applicants if they have had any negative information on their credit history report. So on top of everything else the unemployed are trying to keep up with they must be sure to keep a high credit score standing while they are unemployed, in order to have at least a chance to get interviewed after completing MOST companies on-line application and required background information checks.
    - It’s not always about experience, but about the criteria businesses/agencies use to screen applications for employment.

  • Comm_reply
    skrapper 06/30/2010 2:12pm

    hillbee: It is very noble of you to take care of your parents for a while.
    Especiallet since they took care of you in life.
    You can contact your local DHS office file for aid, food stamps, whatever they will give them.
    They have to understand that this is not their fault. So if they can’t get unemployment, take the aid. That or loose everything. "TRUST ME THEY WILL. I NO WE DID…
    This will help them out some what, also dial 211 that’s the UNITED WAY, they can help with food,a lot of things. Have a pen and paper ready.
    If you have a St. Vincent De Paul in your area. They will pay your shut off notices for a year. Also check out HABITAT FOR HUMANITEY they might help, finally go on line to Angel Food Ministries. Basically they pay $30.00, and get $60.00 in food.
    Give it all a try, and GL! Hope it helps.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 10:32pm

    The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

    President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

    As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
    1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

    The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 8:40am

    Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. 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.

    REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat a proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators 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.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 10:20pm

    $700 BILLION bailed out politician’s banks/wall street, and billions to cover the Bush/Chaney oil war. Congress concerned now?!

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME to Republicans and those few Democrats who blocked several U.I. Ext. bills from passing they turned their backs on THE PEOPLE again.

    Most of these same House Representatives and Senators united to pass bills that gave their Wall Street/Banks SEVERAL billion $$$s in bailouts in 2008, starting with JP MORGAN CHASE, one of the many banks that took advantage of consumers.

    Then their oil companies made billions in profit during the summer of 2008, as they strategically increased gas prices by $1-$2 on Americans at the pump. Americans had to pay for gas to get to work. Soon American’s household budgets were out of balance, and started foreclosing on home loans.

    Your companies stayed fat$$ at the top by cutting jobs, while leaving The People jobless, without Unemployment Insurance, struggling and sadly disillusioned.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • jkcookie 06/29/2010 10:41am

    Wow. This speaks volumes about America. How pathetic.

  • sweett813 06/29/2010 10:46am

    I hope those a holes enjoy thier 4th of July cause I want might get evicted by then my lights already been turned off I have a 4yr old at home

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 6:43am

    • It’s the Republican party 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.
    • 9.7% unemployed = 1.2 million Americans, and 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time. The BP Oil Corporation’s irresponsibleness is adding to lost jobs and lost lives.

    Yesterday, President Obama’s discussed what was happening with corporations, the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed. Watch his entire interview on CSPAN. He gets it.

    CNN and FOX only report on self-interested, with their main story and topics cycling 24 hours. Go to CSPAN

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    ohcraplookwhosincharge 06/29/2010 10:57am

    another “where have you been ??” commentary…….make sure you send it Priority mail with Delivery Confirmation !!!! fool

  • Comm_reply
    Jonathan_Nicholas 06/29/2010 11:15am

    I’m not sure I follow you. But rest assured, I have been doing my part for months.

    Maybe you’d rather I do nothing to help, since I’m just a fool.

  • Comm_reply
    ohcraplookwhosincharge 06/29/2010 12:06pm

    apologies from me…….the whole thing I think just has eveyone in a manic state, not knowing where to go or how to feed their families…..God Bless your efforts and I apologize again……Only United Do We Stand !!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Jonathan_Nicholas 06/29/2010 4:44pm

    That’s alright, I completely understand.

    Best wishes (for ALL of us.)

  • craines 06/29/2010 10:51am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    You Republicans wise well be Osama ben laden and his crew. It’s all the same …

    What the hell wrong with guys … You’re playing games with our lives,
    This is terrorism plan and simple. People can’t sleep, there worrying all the time,
    living from one day to the next,

  • Comm_reply
    WeThePeopleFightBack2010 06/29/2010 11:44am

    There is such an easy fix to this. They need to pass a law that heavily taxes the big business owners that moved their plants to other countries. Make it so that they would pay less taxes if they moved their plants back to America. Meanwhile use the money of their new taxes to pay the unemployment. Lets see how long it would take them to move back to America. They only did it to become richer, if it makes them become not so rich cuz of all the heavy taxes they would have to pay, maybe they would move their plants back to America. Why don’t they pass a tax law to do that?

  • Georgeofthejungle 06/29/2010 10:52am

    I fought deep in the jungles of another mans country. For what? So that at the end of my life my only hope is to Rob a bank to feed my children and to live. Im fixing this myself the way the arm forces trained me to do Take from another when you can’t survive. I killed in Vietnam and I took from the innocent time to do it again!

  • Comm_reply
    ohcraplookwhosincharge 06/29/2010 11:04am

    and you had better believe that this is even happening right now today to the families of our Soldiers risking their lives every minute……….so while these brave souls fight like you did, their wives and babies and parents are starving…….

  • Comm_reply
    proudtobehiswife 06/29/2010 11:15am

    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?

  • Comm_reply
    Georgeofthejungle 06/29/2010 2:46pm

    Your right! I hate I wasted my life fighting for this country. I will sit and wait for them to throw me out my house. I didn’t qualify for refinancing we have no income nobody in my house has a job. I sent the family to my reletives. One last stand you will see me on the news! Im a purple heart veteran I will die before I let them take my house!

  • CJKell 06/29/2010 10:54am

    dam i have a 7 month old to care for i feel stress to the do i know if im a 99er?

  • Comm_reply
    Jonathan_Nicholas 06/29/2010 4:46pm

    I don’t know what State you are in, but there is usually a way to check your ‘benefit history.’
    That would tell you how many weeks you’ve collected.

    (I hope I understood your question, correctly.)

  • charulata 06/29/2010 10:55am

    This is so so sad what are we going to do, why cant someone do something about this. people are losing eveything and getting kick out of their homes because they cant even afford to make their chapter 13 payments to the trustee. someone has to come up with something. they just cant let all these people lose everything this is awful, and it so stomach is in so many knots i cant eat or sleep anymore. its terriable.what are they doing to us.

  • overthrow2010 06/29/2010 10:58am


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