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Senate Breaks GOP Filibuster of Unemployment Extension, Bill Now Set to Become Law

July 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: I’m traveling, so a little late with the updates here, but it looks like this finally passed earlier this evening by a vote of 59-39. The bill now moves back to the House of Representatives for one more vote. They are expected to hold that vote tomorrow and the bill will most likely be signed into law tomorrow as well.

UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.: The Senate is voting right now on 5 Republican amendments to the bill and will vote on final passage of the bill after these votes. None of the amendments are expected to pass. Under Senate rules, the final vote on passage must happen before 9 p.m. this evening. You can follow along with the votes live on C-SPAN 2.

Original post below…

After 6 weeks of failure and delay, the Senate this afternoon finally voted to end a Republican filibuster of the unemployment insurance extension bill, allowing it to move forward towards final passage and becoming law. The Senate still has to take one more vote on the bill, but the motion they passed this afternoon was the big hurdle that, until now, they had been unable to overcome. The bill is now virtually guaranteed to be signed into law this week.

Sen. Carte Goodwin [D, WV], West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s pick for replacing the late Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV], was sworn-in just moments before the Senate voted on the motion to end the Republican filibuster, and he provided Democrats with the 60th vote they needed to pass it. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], voted with Republicans against the motion, and two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

Under Senate rules, a vote on pasage of the bill itself must now occur within 30 hours. The vote on passage requires a simple majority of 51 “ayes” to pass, not 60 like the motion to break the filibuster. Since the Democrats have just shown that they have more than 51 votes for the bill, the Republicans may agree to letting the final vote happen before the 30-hour clock has completely run out.

What’s in the Bill?

This bill, H.R. 4213, began as a $141 billion, 426-page omnibus package of stimulus spending, tax measures, unemployment insurance and more. But what the Senate voted to move forward with today (S. Amdt. 4425) is revision of the bill that whittles it down to $34 billion, 13 pages and includes only one substantial item — an extension of unemployment insurance for people who have been out of work for 6 months or longer. You can even see this change reflected in the title of the bill. It was originally called — somewhat awkwardly — the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act.” It has now been renamed simply the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act.”

The filing deadline for unemployment insurance benfits expired on June 2nd; this bill would extend that deadline until November 30, 2010, allowing unemploed individuals who exhaust their current tier of benefits, or who have exhausted their last tier since June 2nd, can file to move into the next tier of benefits.

The bill also provides for benefits to be paid back retroactively for people who have seen their payments cut off since the filing deadline expired on June 2.

Additionally, it includes an extension of the closing deadline for the first-time homebuyers tax credit, but that provision is redundant with a bill that was signed into law on July 2nd (H.R. 5623). There are also three revenue-raiser provisions in the bill — changes to the Travel Promotion Act, cracking down on tax fraud committed by prisoners, and recessions from the Defense Department budget. These are three provisions are estimated to raise $146 million over the next ten years and generally non-controversial. You can read more about them here.

What’s Not in the Bill?

Tier V — The bill would not create additional weeks of unemployment benefits. 99 weeks (Tier IV) would still be the maximum amount of a time a person could receive benefits for in states with high unemployment rates, and 86 weeks (Tier III) would still be the max in states with low unemployment rates.

Federal Additional Compensation Program — This stimulus program, which provided an extra $25 per week in unemployment benefits payments, would not be extended under the bill. That means that all retroactive payments would be for $25 less than what they were before June 2nd, as will all payments in new tiers.

COBRA — These benefits for helping unemployed people pay for health insurance were dropped from the bill in a previous iteration. They will not be extended in this bill and there is no plan to extend them during this session of Congress.

What Happens Next?

As I mentioned above, the Senate will take one more vote on the bill within the next 30 hours. Once that passes, they will send it over to the House of Representatives, which will vote on agreeing to the Senate’s changes to the bill. The House already has that vote on their schedule for the week, and it is expected to pass easily. After that, the bill will be enrolled and sent to President Obama for his signature. That could happen by the end of the week, possibly even as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Once the bill is law, state labor departments will immediately begin implementing it and sending out payments. As Annie Lowrey at the Washington Independent explains, these agencies are already preparing for the law, but the combination of high unemployment and uncertainty over what Congress will do with the benefits has given them a real logistical headache and may cause some hiccups in implementation.

To find and share information on how this bill is being implemented in your state, see the Benefit Wiki project on OpenCongress.

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Comments

Displaying 1-30 of 395 total comments.

HGAH_7 07/20/2010 10:02am

THANK YOU LORD JESUS! YOU ARE SO GOOD! COME ON HOUSE. PLEASE DON’T FAIL US NOW!

taxthis 07/20/2010 11:03am
in reply to HGAH_7 Jul 20, 2010 10:02am

Yes, thank you Jesus. But please, hgah, let us not forget about Jesus when he tipped the table over in the temple when he was so angry with the moneytakers. I am not a heartless person but I will never ever forget any persons name that voted nay on this issue. I hope any person that was affected by this does not cast a yes vote in november just because they are affiliated with a party. This situation that I and many other former working americans should never had happened. thank you for your post. Jesus will not fail us but dont count on all politicians.

kapachupi1012 07/20/2010 10:23am

“Unemployed Americans Rejoice!! “THE UNEMPLOYED AWAITING THE PASSAGE OF THIS BILL DIDN’T WANT A HAND OUT, ONLY A HAND UP” Thank You Thank You Jesus our Lord and Saviour and for every Democrat who voted in favor and a special thanks to Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], who crossed the lines to vote for us suffering americans who have lost their jobs thru no fault of their own.

juju39567 07/20/2010 10:10am

Donny Shaw i want to thank you for your excellent reporting on congress and specifically this topic. If it wasnt for you we would of all stayed in the dark and i know for my own situation this blog has helped me mentally get through this very tough time. Thanks to all the members here for your words of encouragement ive enjoyed the discussions this will be my site from now on to figure out what these arrogant politicians are up to (or not as the case may be)

HoustonTx25 07/20/2010 12:14pm

YES EVERY REPUBLICAN HAS BEEN PLAYING WITH US, BUT LET US NOT FORGET SEN. SNOWE AND COLLINS WHO VOTED FOR YES TO END THE GOP FILIBUSTER. VOTE FOR THEM NOVEMBER BUT NOT THE REPUBLICAN BODY WHO VOTED AGAINST THE BILL LIKE MY STATE SENATOR HUTCHISON AND CORNYN REPRESENTING TEXAS AS ONE OF THE GREAT STATE, THEY EMBARRASSED TEXANS AND MOST OF ALL AMERICANS. THEY ARE BOOTED OUT NOVEMEBER. BUH BYE! NOW, WE STIL NEED TO FIGHT FOR 99ERS. I FEEL BAD FOR THEM=( THEY ARE LEFT OUT.

MrHappy 07/20/2010 10:07am

I will believe it when I see the back pay. I hope it is soon, been a long five weeks.

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 5:43am

I CAN’T BELIEVE THESE BASTARD REPBLICANS ARE HOLDING UP THE UI EXTENSION BILL AGAIN!!! THEY ARE HOLDING THE BILL FOR THE FULL 30hrs. Setting up the final vote for either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. So instead of the President possibly signing the bill Wednesday afternoon it probably won’t be signed until Thursday. BEFORE ANYONE RESPONDS TO THIS COMMENT PLEASE GO TO YouTube AND TYPE IN THE SEARCH BOX “UPDATE Unemployment Extension ON HOLD AGAIN! JULY 20 2010” and PLEASE, PLEASE WATCH the WHOLE 2:53 video! We need to vote these UNCOMPASSIONATE ASS HOLES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

GodisGreat44 07/20/2010 10:14am

PRAISE JESUS! PRAISE OUR LORD!! This is amazing and I’m praying for support as soon as possible. Our great and powerful God is so amazing and we are BLESSED to have someone on our side like Him!! Keep praying everyone and we will see the blessings that we deserve.

gerryd 07/21/2010 5:55am

OH EXGOP YOU ARE AMAZING – THANKS!!!!!!!!!I JUST WATCHED SEN. REED OF RI AND HE MADE ABSOLUTE PERFECT SENSE. HE STATED THAT THE “OTHER SIDE” IS NOW GOING TO ACTUALLY WASTE 30 HOURS OF DOING NOTHING TODAY JUST TO AVOID VOTING UNTIL 9PM TONIGHT!! HOW CALLOUS. MY POINT IS THAT EVEN THO WE ARE ONLY GETTING U/C WE STILL DO PAY TAXES ON THAT AS WELL. SO IN ESSENCE, WE ARE STILL TAXPAYERS. I RESENT MY TAXES PAYING A BUNCH OF OVERPAID PEOPLE TO SIT AROUND ALL DAY AND DO NOTHING JUST BECAUSE THEY GOT DEFEATED AND ARE SULKING AND THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF TRYING TO SHOW THEIR POWER OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT. MANY OF THEM NEED THAT DEVICE CHEYNEY JUST GOT IN HIS CHEST AS WELL TO DO THE WORK OF HIS HEART, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE “HEARTS” AS WELL, SO TO SPEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!GUESS A LOT OF MARTINIS WILL BE HAD TODAY AND LONG LUNCHEONS ETC!!!! TO KILL THE REMAINING HOURS. THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY TAKE OUT THE “FOR LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL PART OF THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE”!!!!

teajay33 07/20/2010 10:03am

that took long enough. about time someone started looking out for us.

jgpt777 07/20/2010 6:29pm

NEVER VOTE FOR THE ONES WHO VOTED NAY…..REMEMBER HOW THEY DID NOT CARE FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS……

Here’s the list from the party of NO
Those who voted NAY
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brown (R-MA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Nelson (D-NE)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)

WeThePeopleFightBack2010 07/20/2010 12:34pm
in reply to mikes1lakerfan Jul 20, 2010 10:42am

Your so right there. I am a 99, so this bill does not help me at all, but I’m very happy they passed it for all the people behind me. I sure hope the economy really is better for all of you come the end of Nov. All I was able to find was a p/t job at minimum wage. I’m lucky to have that, but try and survive on it. Unemployment is only a temporary fix, we need our jobs brought back to America. Bring back our factories!!!!!

Abaratarrr 07/21/2010 11:42am

I truly believe that the sunlight foundation (people that run opencongress) truly makes a difference in the way the senate operates, it was in the press earlier today that the republicans were going to make them wait the hole 30 hours before they could vote but when the genneral public got wend of how things work in the senate thanks to the sunlight foundation, reid called for a vote and no republican objected.

Slowly but surly the the information exchanges on the internet are changing the face of politics, they could not play partisan games for the sole purpose of blaming the other party today because to many people are paying attention.

thank you sunlight foundation.

Drewbot78 07/20/2010 10:05am

Luckily I have already somehow managed to take yet another $100 a month off my budget. so now I will only be getting $668 a month. YEAH im milking this easy street here RIGHT????
P.S. $50 a month is to NOT put away my monthly car insurance money…guess im not insured in 4 months from now YAY easy street is soooooo easy.

sruthj217 07/21/2010 7:56am

The 30 hour wait is pointless and has angered me more than anything the Republicans have done. It seems clear from what we have seen here there will be no more help for the unemployed if there is no possiblity of 60 votes on any bill.

THIS CALL GOES OUT TO ALL ALL VOTING UNEMPLOYED, X UNEMPLOYED AND TEMP WORKERS THIS FALL- WE NEED TO GET OUT & VOTE & HELP DEMS TO WIN NOVEMBER SENATE ELECTIONS—

  • 58 – 42 OR BUST! ****
Leary1980 07/21/2010 4:52am

It is amazing to me that these people (GOP) play with American lives as if they were toys on a playground. I live in the DC area and I see the neighborhoods, the cars, the suits and the resturaunts that these scum go to daily and they are so out of touch with the pulse of the country. In times like these we need HELP HERE!!!! Not the Middle East or foriegn countries but right here in the USA, and it’s not the banks, or the auto industry, or your lawns that need the help it’s the middle class. The people who everyday make this country great. If money changes compassion than lord never make me wealthy. Maybe the Republicans don’t know this but, this is affecting white people(me) too! Maybe if they know that than they can get off there high horses and do the right thing.

artledoux 07/20/2010 12:44pm
in reply to mikes1lakerfan Jul 20, 2010 10:42am

I heard on MSNBC the president said we must get something started now to help
the long term unemployment situation so we are not in the same boat come
November. Let’s hope they can come up with something to create jobs and stop
the madness caused by not knowing if or what we’ll have in the weeks to come.
It’s difficult to go to a job interview after you’ve slept in your car(if
your lucky to even have one), It’s hard to feed your child from a dollar menu
with the change you find on the car floor. We deserve and need something we
can count on! So senators and Congressman this is your next mission, use the
unallocated stimulus and come up with a plan for the working families of the
U.S.A.!
Art LeDoux

roswil 07/20/2010 12:06pm
in reply to taxthis Jul 20, 2010 11:03am

I agree with taxthis! Let’s not forget the power of our Lord Jesus..Amen!

OnlyinAmerica 07/20/2010 10:39am

The bill has not been passed yet. The Senate merely voted to limit debate. One more vote for passage will take place before it goes to the House. Usually the House works late on issues as important as this one. The fight is not over. This merely extends the benfits for a few more months. In November many of us will be faced with the same problem again. What about the 99ers? All of us need to continue to contact our Congressmen and Senators and let them know that the benefits and COBRA need a more long term solution. Only a program creating jobs will have a more lasting effect.

desperatentx 07/20/2010 11:01am

this news has turned my frown upside down back into a smile!!! lets get this done a.s.a.p…..thank you Lord!!!

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:21am

H.R.1207 AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE. It look like this bill may have had a chance but some SENATORs jumped ship at the last minute and the bill was voted down. Hmmmmmmmm!!!! I wonder why???? Maybe because there might too much investigating needed and criminal action going on???? If you read the summary about the bill on this site make sure you READ THE WHOLE summary. I GUARANTEE YOU it will leave some questions in your head!!!!!!!!

BullWinkle 07/20/2010 12:04pm

THEY WILL TRY AGAIN TO KNOCK US DOWN IM SURE BUT I AM SO VERY SURE OF ONE THING HERE REBUPLICANS I WILL NOT FORGET THIS DAMN GAME YOU PLAYED AND WHEN ITS TIME TO VOTE I THINK DEMOCRATS WILL REMAIN IN THE HOUSE!! BECAUSE I CANNOT SEE ANYONE VOTING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AFTER WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO THE HARDWORKING AMERICAN PEOPLE.. STAY STRONG AMERICANS AND JUST LIKE 911 (NEVER FORGET)

ExGOP 07/21/2010 4:21am

I want reporters out there to call them (the GOP) on it. I want to hear their lame excuse for stalling on this bill so I can get pissed off all over again. Are they sore losers or are they cold hearted bastards … or both?

dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:31am

I just sent an email to every republican and the one lone dem who voted against this bill, here is the text of that messsage:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???

There are millions of American TAX PAYERS who are going hungry, loosing their homes,cars, and credit rating. They are unable to pay for medications which are life saving. And why? Because you stupid stupid, petty Republicans are doing everything in your power to destroy them! Hope you aren’t planning on keeping your job next election because every unemployed worker, their family and friends will remember how you stabbed them in the back and then kicked them while they were down! You are all a bunch of petty little tyrants playing “I’ll get even with you and hold my breath till I turn red in the face because you won’t do what I want you to do!” You have turned your backs on your constituents, the very people who put you in office. Get ready to apply for unemployment yourself, you pompous ASS.

arosebunch22 07/20/2010 12:42pm

thank god this has passed! we are nearly two months behind on our house payment! God bless all of those who did not stop until it passed!!!!!!!!

Ktula7 07/20/2010 11:18am
in reply to trynghard63 Jul 20, 2010 10:56am

Agreed, I called my phone Company the other day and I specifically asked where I was calling and he replied “the Phillipines”. I even felt a need to say something to him regarding how our Country is unbelievable and that here I am unemployed and calling a California based company’s help line located in the Phillipines. I must say, it’s an outrage and needs to be stopped. I think the Companies that are outsourcing any work should be fined heavily for it! That will pay down the debt real fast!!!

skrapper 07/20/2010 1:13pm
in reply to trynghard63 Jul 20, 2010 10:56am

tryinghard63: I agree at least 110%. Give us or jobs back, and we don’t need Unemployment. George Bush Designed NAFTA, and Bill Clinton signed it into law.
Clinton got BIGGG Money for this, that’s how this Country stayed in the Black.
His agreement was when he was out of office for Possibly 10 yrs., these foreign countries would start getting our jobs. Well they have had them long enough!!! It’s time to put a end to NAFTA, and put this country back to work.
We have a new President in Office, do the right thing and put this Country back to work.

peterr 07/20/2010 12:17pm
in reply to teajay33 Jul 20, 2010 10:03am

ACTUALLY, THEY’RE NOT LOOKING OUT FOR US, THEY’RE LOOKING OUT FOR THEY’RE OWN POCKETS…..BAN LOBBYISTS…..

trynghard63 07/20/2010 10:31am

Oh I wont forget! I am thrilled that we are going to get our back pay. I hate that we are losing Cobra benifits because my cancer is a pre existing condition and I have to keep medical coverage. But I am so happy I will get to hopefully get my bills caught up, buy a few grocreys and pay all of these back to school fees and supplies and cclothes for my son. Today I feel like God has truly blessed me, This goes through and I get a job offer. Its just so sad for the people who have lost thier lives because of this, lost thier homes, thier families. May God be with us all!

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 9:20am
in reply to downandout Jul 21, 2010 9:11am

This why Reid should have kept Senate in Session on July 1st and not let any Senators leave for Fourth of July Break until they had a resolution on any of the bills that were submitted to Congress!!!!!!

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