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Unemployment Insurance Votes Possible in Both Chambers Wednesday

June 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

It’s going to be a big day in both chambers of Congress on the issue we’ve been tracking steadily on this blog for weeks — extending unemployment insurance benefits for the millions of unemployed individuals who have had their payments cut off since late May. Here’s what you need to know to follow today’s votes.

After failing on Tuesday to pass a stand-alone unemployment insurance bill under expedited rules, Democrats in the House have tentatively scheduled another vote on the bill for today, this time under normal rules that require only a simply majority of 217 votes to pass. Democrats had 261 votes for the bill yesterday, including the support of 30 Republicans (it didn’t pass because a 2/3rds majority was needed under the rules), so it should have no problems passing today under normal rules. The “rule” governing the debate of the bill that was approved by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday night limits the length of the debate and does not allow for any amendments.

The House bill (H.R. 5618) would extend the filing deadline for extended unemployment insurance benefits until Nov. 30, 2010. It would not create a new fifth tier of benefits for those who have exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of benefit payments.

On the Senate side, Democrats Tuesday evening announced their fourth iteration of H.R. 4213, the awkwardly-named “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.” The latest version of the bill is severely trimmed back from what it was a month ago, but it’s still not a stand-alone unemployment insurance bill. In addition to extending the filing deadline for extended unemployment insurance until November 30, 2010, it would extend for three months the closing deadline for first-time homebuyers trying to get the $8,000 tax credit approved in the 2009 stimulus bill. The new version of the Senate bill also contains about $145 million in new revenue raisers, made up of changes to the Travel Promotion Act, recession of Defense funds, and allowing the IRS to disclose prisoners’ tax information to state prison officials.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has filed for cloture (a motion to break a filibuster that requires 60 votes to pass) on Tuesday night, setting up a vote on cloture for Thursday morning at the latest. Reid is hopeful that he can strike a deal with the Republicans to allow the cloture vote to take place this evening because the Senate is scheduled to spend Thursday morning honoring the life of recently-deceased Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV]. Reid has already “filled the tree,” a parliamentary maneuver that blocks anyone else from offering amendments to the bill.

At this moment, Democrats do not seem to have the 60 votes needed to pass cloture. WIth the passing of Sen. Byrd, they now hold 58 Senate seats. Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe [ME] last week sent a letter to Senate Democratic leaders asking for a vote on a stand-alone unemployment bill and is expected to join the Democrats on this vote. But her “yes” vote will only offset Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], who is expected to vote “no” because the bill is not fully offset with new revenues. So, the Democrats still need two more Republican votes to pass cloture.

Sen. Johnny Isakson [R, GA] has been a main supporter of extending the closing date for the homebuyer tax credit. He even co-sponsored an amendment on it with Reid to a previous version of the bill. Putting the closing date extension in the bill is likely designed to attract Isakson’s support for the full package. But Isakson is up for re-election in November and, like the rest of the Republicans, likely doesn’t want to vote in favor of the $34 billion in new deficit spending for unemployment insurance benefits.

What happens if the Senate does figure out a way to pass its bill? In that case, we would be looking at two different bills — a standalone UI bill in the House and a unemployment/homebuyer tax credit/miscellaneous revenue-raisers bill in the Senate. As you know, both chambers have to pass the same exact version of a bill before it can be signed into law, so some other action to reconcile the two chambers’ differences will have to be taken. The most likely scenario if the Senate passes their bill is that they would just send it over to the House, which should have no problem finding a simple majority in favor to pass it. On Tuesday, the House passed a stand-alone version of the homebuyer tax create closing date extension by an overwhelming vote of 409-5, so clearly its addition to the UI bill only helps with Republican support.

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Displaying 1-30 of 97 total comments.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:32pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:29pm

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.

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:31pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 6:51pm

Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:30pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 9:29pm

Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:29pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 6:51pm

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 ;)

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:28pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 10, 2010 6:43am

Top 5 Contributions from Oil&Gas Industry 2009-2010:
1 Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86%Repubs
2 Exxon Mobil $548,214 13% Dems, 87% Repubs
3 Chevron Corp $516,891 18% Dems, 82% Repubs
4 Valero Energy $467,000 17% Dems, 83% Repubs
5 Marathon Oil $378,190 23% Dems, 76% Repubs

Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Money flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, which make substantial annual donations to conservative org…

Chris51 07/10/2010 9:28pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 6:51pm

Oil & Gas Industry, history of strong influence in Washington. Individuals and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 MILLION to candidates and parties since the 1990 (Bush Senior term) election cycle, 75% of which has gone to REPUBLICANS…
Former oilmen George W. Bush and Dick Cheney occupied the White House for 8 yrs, the oil and gas industry could not win support for repealing bans on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, Congress voted in 2008 to lift a ban on offshore drilling… Read full story:

Drilling bans were lifted during Bush’s last months in WhiteHouse in 2008. The After consumers & transportation industry & economy felt the pain of $1-$2 price hikes of gas, during Summer 2007. It was “the straw that broke the Camel’s backs”, PUTTING USA/AMERICANS INTO TAIL SPIN.

Chris51 07/10/2010 6:43am

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.

Chris51 07/08/2010 6:51pm
in reply to Chris51 Jun 30, 2010 5:25am

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 07/08/2010 6:50pm
in reply to Chris51 Jun 30, 2010 5:25am

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 07/08/2010 9:54am

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 07/07/2010 9:09pm

CNN has actually screened and blocked several comments/blogs that expose the truth about the Republican Senators in regards to the UI Ext bills.

Here are some stories written with very accurate reporting of the UI Ext Crisis.

The unemployment emergency

Senate struggles with unemployment benefits

Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment

Spam Comment

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:54pm
in reply to MrHappy Jun 29, 2010 11:35pm

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.

Chris51 07/01/2010 8:37am
in reply to MrHappy Jun 29, 2010 11:35pm

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.

Spam Comment

raindrop 06/30/2010 7:36pm

The Senate failed to limit debate….which means they are dragging it out as long as they possible can…then some

buckbusterdouglas 06/30/2010 6:23pm

pass it

buckbusterdouglas 06/30/2010 6:20pm

Hey people, They work for us never forget that, we the people put them in office and we the people will take them out! They are digging their own holes every time they vote against the bill, cant wait to see them sign up for unemployment

buckbusterdouglas 06/30/2010 6:12pm

Enough is enough, these senators that are voting against the unemployment bill are on a list that millions will see and come 5 months from now we will get our just due and vote these employees of the people out of office! YOUR FIRED cant wait to see them sign up for unemployment! Do these senators think we are that stupid that we will forget all this crap they are putting us through, I think not , what you did was just voted your dumbasses out of office!!!!!

GABE1004 06/30/2010 2:08pm
in reply to rosiegirl00 Jun 30, 2010 1:27pm

Hopefully a new retraining program and the economy starts to move. Have faith and a few more plans for making it.

I try to remember hearing uncles and aunts and gean parents talk about the depression and hard times.

I grew up in the field and picked cotton and vegetables when it was possible, but those jobs are still around but not in my area.


rosiegirl00 06/30/2010 1:27pm

Something to think about. What happens to the people that run out of all 99 weeks? What if these people do not have work yet? And families with children? Extensions will only last for so long. Don’t mistake me for not wanting extensions, they are needed. I pray they start to create jobs. As long as taxes stay up there will be no relief. I forgot what it felt like to live, get a check from earning it and sleeping at night. Congress and Senate did get raises this year. Guess who flipped the bill? God help us all.

rosiegirl00 06/30/2010 1:23pm
in reply to soonhomeless Jun 30, 2010 5:34am

Bless you guys. I had one more extension that I could file but now I can’t. Wasn’t much but six weeks worth but I need it! Not my husband has a few more checks and he cannot file either. Don’t know what we will do. Live in our car with a 10 mos. old?! The sad thing is that so many are 99’r and after that there is nothing. What happens to all that expire everthing? And the FedEd that comes after the 4th extension, they claim unemployment isn’t high enough to file for the FedEd. Go to the Welfare office and either you get it and it isn’t enough and you can’t work on the side cuz they will cut it but if your an alien…it’s handed right to you! Fight the battle on your knees!

candyla5 06/30/2010 1:03pm
in reply to WeThePeopleFightBack2010 Jun 29, 2010 11:43pm

Oh it addresses the “99ers” all right!! The now-profiled group who have been given a name, the “99ers”, have been totally cut off from unemployment benefits. And they have been unemployed the longest and have, or stand to lose the most!! And just what sense does this make? How did they come up with cutting off the people who have been unemployed the longest? Is it just that they felt they had to make a cut somewhere and the profiled “99ers” were the unlucky group?

A lot of the people who have been unemployed the longest time have lost homes, personal belongings, vehicles, and worse of all, HOPE. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE POLITICIANS OF THIS COUNTRY SLEEP AT NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

artledoux 06/30/2010 12:34pm
in reply to Chris51 Jun 30, 2010 5:25am

There are over 15 million jobless Americans, this figure does not include
people who have been dropped from unemployment nor those who have had their
hours drastically reduced. When does it end?
Art LeDoux

cghobbs 06/30/2010 11:32am
in reply to Jonathan_Nicholas Jun 30, 2010 5:55am

I would like to know why the news media is choosing to cover up this crisis!

slomo8a1 06/30/2010 11:31am

have they voted yet

cghobbs 06/30/2010 11:31am
in reply to lonnienyssa Jun 30, 2010 4:22am

I’ve been wondering why that is for a LONG time now!

lonnienyssa 06/30/2010 11:20am

Well that is the straw that broke the camel’s back my phone just got shut off so if any employer wants to call me for an interview they cannot. I have given up all hope. I am done I have no more faith left in our government.

downandout 06/30/2010 10:47am
in reply to Ktula7 Jun 30, 2010 7:08am

Check with your state about refiling the claims. I am in Texas and since I was already on Tier 1, ready to move to Tier II when cut off, I do not have to re-file. I just had to submit a payment request every 2 weeks and when (and if) Congress decides to let us not starve waiting, the state will automatically process the payment. Hopefully, it is the same in your state.

pennylee 06/30/2010 10:45am

Reading through these comments really opens our eyes. I have been praying continually and trusting God to come through within our government. He is the ultimate vote on this. This is a great website and I like many others find myself checking it many times a day. I appreciate Donny Shaw for keeping us all informed.

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