OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

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.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

Displaying 241-270 of 395 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    cavsruleall 07/21/2010 5:01am

    No problem. Everyone helping each other out and networking online has been a key element to letting our voices be heard by most of those cold, hearted Republicans in the Senate, save the two Maine Rep Senators, who voted for the bill. This is a very sad time for my beloved country. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Comm_reply
    understanding 07/21/2010 4:55am

    In another tweet:

    White House awaits final action Congressional action on #unemployment benefits. Pres.Obama to sign it SOON after passage.

  • Comm_reply
    ExGOP 07/21/2010 4:44am

    As of June 2010, PA unemployment rate is 9.2%. Source … http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm.

    This is what they mean by 99er:
    26 weeks = Regular UI
    20 weeks = EUC Tier 1
    13 weeks = EUC Tier 2
    01 week = EUC Tier 3
    13 weeks = EUC Tier 4
    06 weeks = EUC Tier 4 (for States with high unemployment rates)
    13 weeks = EB (for States with unemployment rates at or above 6.5%)
    07 weeks = EB (for States with unemployment rates at or above 8%)

    I hope this helps to reduce your stress. Stop worrying … you qualify for EB.

  • 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.

  • ExGOP 07/21/2010 4:55am

    TO ALL MY FELLOW UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS … LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AND DON’T STOP FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR CHECKS.

    PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE:
    http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

    THIS COULD BE YOU! ECONOMISTS PREDICT JOBS WILL NOT BE BACK BY NOV. 30TH! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT A SMALL PICKUP IN 2012, BUT EVEN THEN THIS COUNTRY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ABLE TO CREATE 15 MILLION JOBS. IN OTHER WORDS, ANY RECOVERY WILL BE SLOW. LET’S START NOW TO HELP AVOID THE CRAP WE ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH.

    P.S. PLEASE FORWARD THE PETITION LINK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO SIGN. WE STILL NEED 11,000+ SIGNATURES TO REACH THE 50,000 GOAL.

    P.S.S. THANK YOU DONNY SHAW FOR KEEPING US INFORMED.

  • Comm_reply
    comments5647 07/21/2010 5:58am

    @ExGOP As a recent former GOPer I thank you for this petition information. After listening to Senator Whitehouse’s eloquent speech this morning on the Senate floor I could not refuse to sign this petition. I encourage all unemployed to sign as none of us ever expected to be unemployed let alone unemployed for such an extended period of time and the GOP this morning has made abundantly clear by making the Senate wait the 30 hours before their is further movement on this bill what their feeling and intent towards us is. Please show the GOP Senators what we think of them by joining me signing this petition (please, I realize the average Republican does not share their callous disregard for their fellow unemployed Republican Americans as the Republican Senators do).

  • skrapper 07/21/2010 4:55am

    I’m glad you mentioned the 211 phone number…. That’s to The United Way, and it is for all of us that have been laid off.
    Just pick up your phone and dial 211. If someone answers, then it’s available in your area. Just have a pad of paper, pen, and questions, and be prepared to write the answers to your questions. You first might want to write your questions out, so they can be answered in order. They help with a lot of things, they no the situation were in, and they have people working with them to help. Trust me when I tell you there is no politics involved in this. These are all volunteers out to help you. If you were not given this number when you were laid off “SHOUD HAVE BEEN” then your getting it now. Go ahead and use it.
    I no I did and it helped.

  • skrapper 07/21/2010 5:06am

    By the way that 211# is a HAND UP not a HAND OUT.

  • 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!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:27am

    Probably more like FRI. figure it passes the senate tonihjt, I doubt it’ll make it to the house till tomorrow. House passes thurs, get to Obama fri

  • 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”!!!!

  • gerryd 07/21/2010 6:04am

    WE NEED A MILLION PERSON MARCH TO WASHINGTON. I HAVE TRIED TO DO IT THRU VARIOUS BUS COMPANIES IN MY AREA AND NEWS PEOPLE BUT NO ONE WANT S TO GET INVOLVED. I EVEN CALLED SENATOR SPECTER’S OFFICE. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW WE CAN GET NOTICED??? IF YOU NOTICE, THE U/C ISSUES WERE REALLY NOT A BIG PRIORITY ON TV NEWS COVERAGE THESE PAST MONTHS. LET’S FACE IT 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE IS NOT A LOT CONSIDERING!!!!!!! BUT THESE PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE THAT THERE ARE AT THE VERY LEAST 20 TO 50 PLUS PEOPLE CONNECTED TO EACH ONE OF THE 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE WHO DO CARE ABOUT US AND THESE PEOPLE TOO ARE STILL ABLE TO VOTE!!!!!!!!!!! THEY HAVE NOT YET MANAGED TO TAKE THAT RIGHT AWAY FROM US YET!!! LET’S SOMEHOW WORK ON THIS CAUSE AND BE HEARD IN HUGE NUMBERS. WE ARE TIRED OF BEING PAWNS, BARTERING CHIPS, PEOPLE TO BE “FELT SORRY FOR” ETC. LET US GET BACK OUR SELF ESTEEM THAT OUR EMPLOYERS AND POLITICIANS MANAGED TO DESTROY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shirlallen4 07/21/2010 6:05am

    I just wanted to say “THANKS” to all of you! Its good that we have this avenue here to vent, ask questions-and also get them answered here. I appreciate all of you who have helped myself, and others in the time of need-if only to lend a listening ear, and get frustrations off our chest. You never know how far on the edge some people are, and a word of encouragement, a bible verse, or even some much needed information has caused them to have hope, and hang on in here a little longer.
    Thanks again!
    And may God bless each and everyone of you to have, and keep the strength to deal with the issues of today, and have peace in your home, amongst your family and lives, and a burst of financial avenues-whether it be your own business, or newly created job opportunities. My prayer daily is for God to bless you.

  • ExGOP 07/21/2010 6:21am

    Senator Kyle (R-AZ) just finished speaking on C-SPAN3. He’s still talking about how UI should be paid for. I found myself talking to the TV. “It’s too late dude. The bill will pass AS IS”.

  • Comm_reply
    fa2010 07/21/2010 6:45am

    I have found myself talking to the TV while watching C-Span a lot in the past couple of months. Usually what I have to say requires that little ears not be in the room and it’s directed at a Republican in response to the old “deficit, deficit, deficit” argument. Isn’t Kyl all for giving the rich a tax break and allowing it to be added to the DEFICIT? But that’s okay – those are his friends. eyeroll

  • Comm_reply
    sruthj217 07/21/2010 7:25am

    I am amazed how these Republicans (not to mention the Teabagger Corporate Puppet brigade) are suddenly all concerned about government waste— when they themselves barely batted an eye while billions of our taxpayer dollars were squandered and disappeared in Iraq during all the years of Bush’s reign.
    If any of them remember, Bush and the Republican-run Congress took power in 2000 with a Congressional surplus, and left the country in deeper debt than any time in America’s history. So much for cost offsets.

    How can they lecture anyone on spending?! If you ask me helping American citizens who paid these taxes and spending on stimulus which directly helps our economy makes a heck of a lot more sense than dumping our money on pet contracts, foreign wars and killing, which is what they would most likely do if they were running things again.

    Sorry to be so brass, but this angers me it borders on ridiculous in my opinion.

  • 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!!!!!!!!

  • gerryd 07/21/2010 6:25am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    ITS’S ME AGAIN – THANK GOD TO HAVE PEOPLE TO RELATE WITH! I JUST READ A BOOK CALLED “THE sENATOR’S WIFE”. THIS HA NOTHING TO DO WITH U/C BUT I WANTED TO SHARE ONE PARTICULAR PARAGRAPH WITH YOU ALL. IT’S ABOUT A WOMAN WHOSE SENATOR HUSBAND HAS BEEN UNFAITHFUL!! IMAGINE THAT??? ANYWAY, THESE ARE THE AUTHOR’S WORDS NOT MINE, AND I QUOTE—- AT A PARTY THIS SENATOR SAID "DEMOCRATS ARE STUPID (WHICH HE WAS CAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT)BECAUSE THEY CHOOSE TO SLEEP WITH WASHINGTON’S SO-CALLED “WHITE TRASH” THE YOUNGER, “NOBODYS” SO TO SPEAK WHO ARE LOOKING FOR MONEY AND FAME AND WORKING THEIR WAY UP. HOWEVER, THE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE TO PICK WEALTHY, WASPY WOMEN OR MEN, WHATEVER, BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST IN IT FOR THE FUN!!!" I THOUGHT THAT VERY INTERESTING REMEMBERING TED KENNEDY WITH MARY JO KOEPECKNE AND CLINTON WITH LOWINSKI AND ON AND ON!!! THE REPUBLICANS EVEN KNOW HOW TO CHEAT ON THEIR WIVES/HUSBANDS JUST LIKE THEY DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!! JUST SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!!!

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:32am

    Life long Republicans have lost faith in this party. My husband, myself and my children will NEVER again vote Republican for anything including Dogcatcher.

  • mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:35am

    IF YOU KNOW ANYONE THAT VOTES, OR VOTES FOR REPUBLICANS & UNDERSTAND JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON WITH UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS. PLEASE TELL THEM TO WATCH THE VIDEO on YouTube titled “UPDATE Unemployment Extension ON HOLD AGAIN! JULY 20 2010” AND THEN ASK THEM HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT VOTING FOR OR CONSIDERING VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:39am

    voting for Republican SENATORS that is.

  • comments5647 07/21/2010 6:41am

    And again, we wait… unbelievably cold and callous to use your constituents in such an abusive fashion…way to go GOP Senators!!! You convinced me to change parties and I won’t choose the Democratic party either…

  • dennypccc1 07/21/2010 6:46am

    So I understand this, because they lost the repliloosers want to just sit dig it in while millions of Americans are in desperation. They talk about the next generation paying for the bill, I cannot feed my son, he will be living on the streets in poverty NOW. God Bless the good senators who have fought this. I wish I could get up there right now, go to cspan and look there is noone there, it’s empty. We are paying for these guys to do what. This is all so unreal

  • DeborahJBrown 07/21/2010 6:54am

    I am happy for the unemployed who do not depend upon the State of Florida. According to the US Dept of Labor, June 2010 Florida has the 6th highest unemployment rate in the country but FL legislators say they have no plan to meet until March 2011 to consider a date change to existing Florida legislation that would allow Florida’s unemployed to receive Extended Benefits under the 100% federally funded EB Program. It’s a sad, sad day for Florida. This is clearly not concern about adding to the federal deficit as denying Floridians this benefit means Florida’s share will simply go to other states. It is a MESSAGE FROM REPUBLICANS who say that they believe that long-term unemployed are lazy people would rather receive (up to) $275 a week in Extended Benefits than work, even if it means losing homes, electricity, not being able to feed families,can’t keep the family pets, etc. They want to teach Florida’s long-term unemployed a lesson. See, it was never really about the deficit, was it?

  • firestorm145 07/21/2010 7:17am

    When are they voting the second time on this? Anyone know? Thanks!!

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/21/2010 7:23am

    reid can ask for a vote at anytime(so far he as not) but the republicans can say no that he has to wait the whole 30 hours which will be 9PM tonight.

    So they could try to vote at anytime, worst case 9PM tonight if they work late.

  • ams623 07/21/2010 7:40am

    Amen, Senator Stabenow!! She’s speaking on CSpan 2 now. She stated that dragging the unemployment bill out for the full 30 hours when there are no other votes even on the floor right now is " Just mean". I’ve been a Republican my whole voting life but my views have changed after all this.

  • Comm_reply
    BrandiWY 07/21/2010 8:46am

    Yes, I saw this. It brought me to tears to hear those 2 senators speak about our plight. Just as it makes my blood boil to think about the republican’ts sitting behind their huge mahogany desks all day today while we sit at home with no fingernails left wondering if the lights will still be on next week when we finally have some income.
    Thank all of you who voted to end the filibuster. God have mercy on all of you who blocked.

  • NoBodyFaultButMine 07/21/2010 7:53am

    Everyone blames the GOP for the not passing the unemployment bill. It would have been pass from the very beginning if the Dem will have use the stimulus money to pay for it but they had other plans for that money than to bail out the unemployed. Everyone says vote out those who voted against the bill but we are only a small percentage against those who are employed. The employed and others will vote on performance not being unemployed. They used the stimulus money to bail out the people who put us here where we’re at but won’t use the stimulus money to create jobs or bail out the unemployed. I don’t need health care reform I need a job. If I had a job I would have health care and pay taxes into system.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.