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Update on Tuesday's Unemployment Vote

July 16, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As some of you have noted in the comments, in my post last night on what’s been going on with the unemployment bill, I came to the wrong conclusion about which bill — H.R. 4213 or H.R. 5618 — would be getting a vote on Tuesday. Because, as I explained, Senate Democrats had been setting up the procedure for bringing H.R. 5618 to the Senate floor directly (skipping the committee process), I figured that was the bill they were planning to move forward with. However, shortly after publishing the post, new information was posted on the Senate calendar that indicated H.R. 4213 would actually be the bill getting a vote.

Here’s what it in the Congressional Record Daily Digest for Thursday about Tuesday’s vote:

A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at 2:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 20, 2010, Senate resume consideration of the amendment of the House of Representatives to the amendment of the Senate to H.R. 4213, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions; that the motion to reconsider be agreed to, and Senate vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill with Reid Amendment No. 4425 (to the amendment of the House to the amendment of the Senate to the bill), in the nature of a substitute.

This is the same exact motion and the same exact amendment that the Senate voted on on June 30. It was effectively filibustered then by a vote of 58-38, but, remember, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] only voted “nay” in order to preserve his right under Senate rules to bring the bill back up for another vote. If another senator had voted “aye,” Reid would have switched his vote to an “aye” in order to secure the 60 votes that are needed to break a filibuster. On Tuesday, after Carte Goodwin (Byrd’s replacement) is sworn in, the Democrats will have 60 votes to break the Republican-led filibuster and pass the cloture motion.

Once cloture passes, the Senate will then have to vote on passage of the “motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill with Reid Amendment No. 4425” within 30 hours. The Republicans could choose to keep the debate open for the full 30 hours, or they could let the Democrats proceed within the final vote sooner. It’s customary for the minority party to let the final vote happen shortly after cloture is invoked since passage only takes 51 votes and it has just been shown that the majority has at least 60, but the Republicans do stand to benefit by using up as much of the Democrats’ time as they can, so we’ll see.

Once final passage is secured in the Senate, the bill will have to go back to the House for a vote on a concurring to Senate amendment.

On May 28, the House passed a version of this bill that contained the unemployment insurance extension and several controversial tax provisions by a vote of 215-204. On July 1, the House passed a stand-alone unemployment extension bill (H.R. 5618) by an overwhelming 270-152. Given their ability to pass both a stand-alone UI bill and one that includes a bunch of unrelated tax items, they should have no problem passing the Reid Amendment. Besides the UI extension, it contains an extension of the closing date for the first-time homebuyer tax credit, which is fully offset by three non-controversial revenue items, details of which can be found here.

As soon as the House votes favorably on concurring with the Senate amendment, the bill can be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.

Now let me throw in this important disclaimer: This is all at the discretion of Majority Leader Reid and it is subject to change. As we know, Reid has been working simultaneously to have H.R. 5618 ready for a vote as well, and just because the calendar says H.R. 4213 right now doesn’t mean that is definitely what will happen on Tuesday. No matter what, it looks right now like there should be no problem with getting the unemployment extension signed into law by the end of next week. Keep checking this blog or subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.

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Displaying 31-60 of 216 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    ladbjangles 07/17/2010 1:57pm

    I appreciate the timeliness of your response. My concern, after reading all of the post, was simply that if my 26 weeks was part of the “99”, then essentially I too, would have exhausted all of my extensions. When I phoned the unemployment office, she told me that while I only had used two tiers, that they had added money back onto both of those. So, now I am panicing, thinking I had benefits coming, and now I am unsure. I received my first unemployment check, from my employer, the second week of December, 2008. I live in Indiana. Hope someone can clarify this, and Kerlynne you were helpful. Thanks!

  • Comm_reply
    Hope06 07/17/2010 1:50pm

    KittenCat/Kerlynne: Tell Congress: Stop this injustice. It is the law we have auto insurance. It’s not an option, it’s not a choice. Credit should not be considered while buying mandated auto insurance. Only your personal driving record. Wealthy people/politicians can have a horrible driving history, yet because they can pay bills on time, they can afford the high premiums. Buying a house or a car, yes; not auto insurance. The extra $25 a week or $100 monthly “bonus” would (at least for me) pay a portion or all of a monthly premium. I just want a job. I don’t want to continue begging for help. I was not in debt before becoming unemployed, however now, I am in so much debt due to all the higher interest rates charged by credit card companies, and the higher rates of insurance because of this past year. It seems like a person better be rich so he can afford the higher costs of being unemployed. Does that make sense?

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/17/2010 5:26pm

    Any kind of insurance would be nice now. I have been riding this roller coaster now for 2 and half years. I got a reprevie as I got a job for 6 months and started the ride after they reorged. I get by on unemployment and gifts from my friends and neighbors. My college son gives me 20 bucks every so often so I can feed my dogs. I have no credit anymore. I am a breath away from living in a tent city, if even there. Washington has a state extended program that I will qualifiy for next week since the federal one wasn’t voted on. A help, but then again for a short amount of time. I am tired and sick to my stomach most of the time. I sit in shock to be treated like I am “invited” to a cattle call for a potential job and then judged on my age and not my experience. I don’t want to be a “criminal” anymore. What did I do wrong?

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/17/2010 5:40pm

    It doesn’t Hope06 none of this does. We are being punished for our age, trying to work hard and retire at a decent age. We have become part of a puppet movie with congress pulling our strings. Insurance should be done on what is covered and what you want covered. That should be the same for medical, life, auto, home etc. Instead of giving a 4000 rebate on new cars they should of given 4000 to people that had cars and couldn’t pay for them. There has to be a law passed for the high interest rates and the stupid addtional past due fees.

  • Jonapoo4u 07/16/2010 12:39pm

    4215 wont pass the reason they made 5618 to get more seantors to vote for it and reid seceeded he got 2 more voters to vote for it failing again to get the 60 needed because of byrd’s untimely death. dig in guys apparently republicants arnt the only one playing politics with your lives and livelihood.This makes me sick I wish there were one side willing to fight for the american people.

  • Comm_reply
    dbruneau5973 07/16/2010 12:52pm

    HR5618 has never been voted on Jonapoo4u. Collins and Snowe both voted for 4213 last time around and today Sen Snowe went on record saying she will still vote for it as it was lasted voted on. Meaning if they didnt and dont change it prior to the vote, she will support it. That is GREAT news. Again keep up the effort, focus and pressure on each and every Senator. Call them. Email them. Fax them.. If anyone wants a form email you can reach me at

  • Comm_reply
    mindlike 07/19/2010 9:06am

    did you even read the above article how the mechanics for why it is now (in one form or another) likely to pass because of a newly elected democratic senator that can break the original filibusters?

  • Hope06 07/16/2010 12:41pm

    Finally, a little hope. Unfortunately, speaking as someone who has not received a check since May, the domino effect has already happened. It is hard enough to be unemployed. Here are some examples: (Not all apply to me, but most do)
    1. Auto Insurance Rates have gone up due to credit score;
    2. Credit score is bad because of no job;
    3. Employers are now looking at credit scores for applicants;
    4. Turned down for work because of credit;
    5. No mortgage or rent payments means eviction;
    6. Eviction could lead to living in car;
    7. Car repossessed due to behind in car payment;
    8. Borrowed money to go see doctor (for what I thought was minor) who takes cash payments – many doctors will not see a patient without insurance, even if they have cash;
    9. Doctor tells patient additional tests are needed;
    10. Can’t afford additional tests.

    Life altering decisions re a loved one without option. Job = options, unemployment = basic necessities. That’s my rant. Thank you.

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/16/2010 12:49pm

    11. ran out of money for needed medicine
    12. symptoms are returning
    13. not sick enough for Social Security
    14. need to wait till near death or heart attack
    15. waited to long.. died.
    16. now the money they could of given me to survive and help the economy, improve my life , credit score and get medicine will now be used to bury me.

  • Comm_reply
    Hope06 07/16/2010 1:20pm

    17. If dead before the bill passes, then no retroactive money to bury you with.
    18. Long walk off short pier (obviously around the BP oil spill).
    19. Sink to bottom, sharks devour.
    20. The circle of life, my friend.

  • Comm_reply
    comments5647 07/16/2010 3:49pm

    @Hope06 Please take congress with you especially those Republican senators who kept saying we don’t want to add to the deficit yet were too darn lazy to find the additional funds in to extend our unemployment. Take them with you as shark bait we will name schools after you and government buildings!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Hope06 07/16/2010 5:29pm

    Haven’t the poor ocean sharks that live in the Gulf been through enough? Eating greasy, slimy food. And oh yeah, they have to put up with the BP oil slick. Thank you very much for your recognition and future endorsement of Hope06 Hall of Justice. :)

  • dbruneau5973 07/16/2010 12:42pm

    We all would have felt much better had they proceeded with HR5618, but the reality is, at this moment, they are not. The best thing we can do is keep up the focus and pressure on EVERY SENATOR be it Democrat or Republican. I have personally emailed every Senator in the US Senate each day for the last 3 weeks. Sen Reid was in West Virginia today for a fundraiser. My email address is if you want to see what I have sent to them.

    In truth, there is a chance as slim as it might be that they switch to HR5618. I spoke with Sen Reid’s office today and they basically would only confirm there will be a vote and nothing else so we will have to see how this plays out. One thing I am trying to get confirmation on is the extra $25.00 being extended. I know its not a big thing, but when I read the amendment I didnt see it noted as being removed unlike HR5618.

    In the end lets PRAY for the Cloture vote to go smoothly and that they can vote on passage immediately there after.

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/16/2010 12:46pm

    There is NO $25 stimulus in either bill.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/16/2010 1:09pm

    the $25 threw me for a loop also, if you look at 5618 you will note that it extends the dates from the bill passed in 2008, the extra $25 was added in the bill passed in 2009. Past poposed bill have extended the bill passed in 2009, 5618 extends the dates from the bill passed in 2008 before the $25 was added. 5618 does not have the extra $25

    As for 4312 I am at a loss, the $25 was removed from 4213 before the vote on June 24th, I have no idea what has since been added or removed from 4213

  • Comm_reply
    dedgar 07/16/2010 2:38pm

    Abaratarrr …

    Will you please provide the bill # that caused the June 2nd sunset? I can’t find it.

    Also, are you referring to the following bills:
    In 2008: HR 2642; HR 6867; HR 3548
    In 2009: HR 1

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/16/2010 2:44pm


    this is the text of the bill

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/16/2010 3:21pm

    I believe this is the part that is was included in 4851 (the $25) that is not included in 5618 and may or may not be in the current version of 4213.

  • Comm_reply
    icandootravel 07/16/2010 1:17pm

    I support this idea very much. This website provides contact info for all of the congress so even if they are going to be the fake liars that we have to deal with, at least put a little reality angel in their ears.

  • Jonapoo4u 07/16/2010 12:45pm

    i think they might be readying 5618 in case the other one fails..but i wouldnt put your hope on that we are pawn on a chessboard and unfortuantely we are pawns that die without substance

  • artledoux 07/16/2010 1:03pm

    5618 already passed the House, 4213 did not. so if they pass 4213 then how long
    will it sit in the house? We are waiting. I guess we can all live in a tent city.
    Art LeDoux

  • icandootravel 07/16/2010 1:06pm

    I agree that we should all call all of the senators. Like religous missonaries trying to save souls. Seems like those senators’ and their families could use some saving…

  • dscampau 07/16/2010 1:09pm

    I called both Senators from Maine today and was told they both still plan on voting for the extension next week. I also called Senator Reid’s office and asked if they were voting on the same bill the House already passed, and they said yes. I realize there is a lot of confusion on this, so we just have to hope for the best next week. I believe it will finally pass. It is in my prayers! Good luck everyone, and vote Democrat in November!

  • purplelilac3084 07/16/2010 1:17pm

    vote Democrat? are you out of your mind? this bill could of passed along time ago if they took the pay as you go! the republicans offered MANY ways to pay for it, but the democrats said NO…they want to spend, spend, spend
    I have also been waiting 3 weeks, but the Democrats are NOT creating jobs, they are passing Massive legislation that will kill even more jobs, and no one will really be hiring.
    It is time to vote the INCUMBENT out, whether they are democrat or republican!

  • Comm_reply
    comments5647 07/16/2010 3:51pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    You are EXACTLY right!!! I couldn’t agree more!!!

  • laidbackjt 07/16/2010 1:47pm

    Let me break this down for you as simple as I can; Unemployment extension is emergency spending. There is no stimulus money left to allocate for this. The Democrat back up plan is to use stimulus money to save government jobs; teachers, firemen, police, etc… I agree there is wasteful spending happening and there needs to be drastic over all change in congress, but in this case I truly believe the Democrats are right here. All of the hype on the GOP using this as political ammo is somewhat correct. Never in the history of Americans needing help has one political party so strongly opposed emergency spending. I do believe that the GOP is using this issue for political gain.

  • Comm_reply
    laidbackjt 07/16/2010 1:54pm

    Let me also make something else clear. I do not believe that unemployment insurance stimulates the economy. I believe its a life line that is absolutely necessary for the survival of so many Americans but what truly stimulates the economy are jobs, investing and spending. I am unemployed and I am desperately waiting for congress to pass this so I can eat and pay my rent, but I would much have the security of a job for the long run. Stimulus money should be used to invest into the economy not for emergency spending.

  • Comm_reply
    Kerlynne 07/16/2010 1:59pm

    I agree… would much rather be stressing out on a meeting and dealing with my customers worries than wondering if I will have enough money to get some food.

  • Comm_reply
    artledoux 07/16/2010 2:07pm

    “There is no stimulus money left” Well that’s incorrect. if you go to there is a breakdown of what is left. 352 Billion is
    left. The RepubliCONS want to spend from it for more tax breaks and unemployment.
    The Democrats want to use it for future job creation and not waste it. The longer
    they have it the more they’ll spread it out, if anything is left over it
    could go back and reduce the debt. If you go to the website you’ll see a
    map and you can mouse over your state and see how much they received, versus
    how much spent. I was surprised to find many states have not even spent 50%
    of what they received. There’s still a lot of money out there. Where is ours?
    Art LeDoux

  • Comm_reply
    laidbackjt 07/16/2010 2:16pm

    I think thats pretty much what I just said. Its obvious that there is money there but maybe I should have said “the money has already been allocated”. I’m aware that there is money there but as I said its not the right way to spend it.

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