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 31-60 of 395 total comments.

Ktula7 07/20/2010 11:28am

And thank you to Donny Shaw for being so informative during such a difficult time for us all. Kudos to you sir for a job well done!!!

Ktula7 07/20/2010 11:25am
in reply to trynghard63 Jul 20, 2010 10:31am

May God bless you as well! I will still stay and fight for those who are still without any benefits as I hope all of us do. And I hope that all of us here make them remember the time they forgot about us!! Godspeed!!!

Abaratarrr 07/20/2010 3:00pm
in reply to pscoley1 Jul 20, 2010 2:50pm

historicly it has taken 3-7 weeks for people to start getting their money.

I found this story were the executive directer of a a state unemployment office said this
""Within three or four weeks, we anticipate that we’ll have everyone paid who is retroactively owed funds," he said. "

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=144564&catid=339

expect it to take a good month from the time the bill becomes law.

ExGOP 07/20/2010 4:51pm

REMEMBER NOVEMBER … the 40 NAY voters

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)
Murkowski (R-AK)
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)

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!!!!!!

ExGOP 07/20/2010 5:41pm

To my fellow unemployed Americans …

Please sign the petition at the following site:
http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

This could be you! Economists predicting the jobs will NOT be back by Nov. 30th! Let’s start now to help avoid the crap we just went through.

Iamamerican33 07/20/2010 7:47pm

Today, before the vote, I overheard an interview. Wasn’t paying alot of attention for they were talking about the President coming out to push on this passing. I remember thinking “I have heard all this” so did not pay close attention. Then as the conversation went on I distinctly heard the guy being interviewed say that there was talk of working on another 99 week run since the economy was so bad and is expected to recovery so slowly. Our money is not alot but it helps so much. I drew $226 a week. Also, ever dollar spent by us through this money creates an economic effect of $1.61. That is better than a lot of stimulus things they try. Not the best but there is a return and we we KNOW it WILL be spent. It is our food, our gas, our medicine, our bills, our lifeline! The person being interviewed was male and in front of one of our political bldgs. It made me believe there will be help for the 99ers. My heart is with you. I am unemployed too. In school but will be a 99er too, very soon.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

firestorm145 07/20/2010 2:44pm
in reply to Kerlynne Jul 20, 2010 2:31pm

Its one step at a time. To me this was a victory after many weeks. You have to think positive instead of negatively

Kerlynne 07/20/2010 2:31pm

As things stand now this is a hollow victory, first off it hasn’t been voted on in the house, they are going to wait the 30 hours and see who they can get to vote against it, and they haven’t approached the Tier V and have taken away the $25 a week stimulus. Could they write another bill to help this out?? Yes but will they?? Doubtful, somehow they won’t make time for it. All they have to do is vote no on this and it won’t happen till September.

Blesed90 07/20/2010 1:29pm

As far as I knew in Arizona what ever tier we were on we would just finish it out and that would be it. I had like 4 weeks left for my tier before they cut it off. So as far as I know I’m only getting the 4 weeks that was left. BUT I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR THAT. PROVERBS 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,but give me only my daily bread.

I am sooo thankful that this bill has passed. I am 35 weeks pregnant and I have been on pins & needles wondering how I was going to pay for my son’s needs. All the money I had went to bills So I havent been able to buy a crib or anything for my unborn child. With the 4 weeks worth of payments I will be able to do so.

dlharris1189 07/20/2010 12:32pm
in reply to HoustonTx25 Jul 20, 2010 12:14pm

That is so true!! I’ve lived in Austin all of my life and I could never understand how we have so many Democrats here but these freakin Republicans keep makin it in office! They made up some false scam and got Dawnna Dukes kicked out of the House yet she was for the people. Now all of these freakin KKK members from Wilco && there conspirators keep outvoting the democrats because we are a minority. The Republicans ever rigged the county lines to where they have the upper hand and will always win!! I HATE FREAKIN TX!!!!

Reader12 07/20/2010 1:59pm

>>Harry Reid is talking on C-span now. Vote will not be till tomorrow because Republicans are making wait the full 30 hours to vote on it A___wipes >>

wow, their heartlessness apparently knows no bounds.
Maybe they can call their banker lobbyist buddies to see if they can squeeze in a farewell round of evictions during that time……..

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!!!

Chris51 07/20/2010 2:32pm
in reply to skrapper Jul 20, 2010 1:13pm

The prayers from millions of Americans and their families have been answered. The USA is still in serious trouble, as there are millions who are left to turn to welfare assistance if they have passed the 99 weeks on unemployment.

Americans still have a long ways to go. The money and power is still going to the hands of politicians, Special Interests groups, big corporations, and a few wealthy families.
The damage they caused from 2000-2008 and NAFTA is irreversible, and USA’s lower and middle income households will continue to struggle. This is not good for our nation.

ExGOP 07/20/2010 2:40pm
in reply to Brian9 Jul 20, 2010 1:58pm

Read the “Reid Amendment #4425” at the below link:

http://finance.senate.gov/legislation/download/?id=bdec0c85-9766-4b6b-8e15-ed7b19ebd49c

It does fund EB provided your states unemployment rate qualifies for it.

kapachupi1012 07/20/2010 11:38am

Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things that you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ so that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.’”

agapemu 07/20/2010 11:22am

I am happy for all of you who are owed back checks. But before you know it you will join us 99ers who have been looking for jobs for a real long time. I’m sorry to say you will probably join us soon and then what will Congress do? I thought the President was going to include us, as one of the folks he met with at The White House was a man from NJ who is a 99er. Guess he’s out of luck also. I think every elected politician should take in a family from their home state and really see what is going on. There’s no suffering going on in their homes. Vacations, kids at camp, college this fall etc. They’ll have a lovely month off and they will sleep at night real well!!!!! Wall Street and GM they bail out, but not those of us who really worked our butts off all our lives. No company can be successfull without the people who work for them but the CEO’s get the big bucks!! God help us all. See you all in November.

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!!!!!!!!

taxthis 07/20/2010 4:41pm
in reply to skrapper Jul 20, 2010 3:51pm

Yes Skrapper, you are right. IF ANYONE IN FLORIDA READS THIS, DO NOT VOTE FOR SENATOR LEMIEUX. PLEASE MAKE SUR TO VOTE IN YOUR STATE IF YOU WERE AFFECTED BY THIS AND VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT OF OFFICE. THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE THE HONOR OF BEING A SENATOR SOLELY BECAUSE OF THIS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY VOTE THAT THEY DID.

PPearson 07/20/2010 10:08am

Finally! It is good to finally get this on the road to being resolved. It is a shame about the abandonment of the COBRA assistance. That has been a real lifeline for so many. The damage that has been done by this Republican fiasco will leave scars for years. People have lost too much while Nero fiddled. I only hope that people remember at election time.

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!

Christine58 07/20/2010 2:15pm

Okay, I was doing the extreme happy dance until I read they are taking until tomorrow to vote again. How do they decide on that?
Anyhow I voted today in the elections here in Georgia. I DID NOT vote Republican!! Keep praying everyone!

taxthis 07/20/2010 6:19pm
in reply to ExGOP Jul 20, 2010 5:41pm
I will sign this. We as Americans need to stay vigilant, even if we become employed. It’s the right thing to do. Thank you exgop
skrapper 07/20/2010 1:39pm

If you lost your job do to your company moving to another Country “DISPLACED” as far as I am concerned, our Government owes you until they can give you a decent job. “not minimum wage either” You have to have money flowing in and out of business, and banks to end this Depression. “and it is one!”
Also come November, it’s are turn to vote. If your Unemployed, or you have seen the B.S. that has been going on “holding us hostage” while they play games. Just remember, take that to the polls with you. Don’t forget what they did to us. What are they going to do with us who no longer qualify? Sweep us under a rug. Don’t think this can’t and won’t happen to you. November is our turn to vote. Make sure you do, and no Incumbants will be re-elected. We need new people.

taxthis 07/20/2010 11:15am
in reply to RichardStone Jul 20, 2010 10:04am

I think: I agree with you so much. These people could care less about one another , you ,or me. The games people play now,every night and every day now, never meaning what they say now ,never saying what they mean. Remember?

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.

skrapper 07/21/2010 2:44am
in reply to shirlallen4 Jul 20, 2010 8:40pm

End the WAR! Bring our jobs back! ,and we all don’t need the UI Extensions.
This is not our fault!!! Government created this situation. They need to get us out of it..
You wouldn’t have these politicians going back and forth with this game their playing.
Bring our people home, and jobs with it. It will take a while, but we will do just fine taking care of fellow Americans.

Reader12 07/20/2010 1:49pm

the fact that 40 U.S. Senators actually voted “no” on this bill is chilling.
Republicans seem to think as long as they can keep the economy tanked and everything in ruin they will inherit the government come November from an angry mob of misinformed unemployed and underemployed.
I think not!

masnavi 07/20/2010 12:06pm

It is to bad that this was delayed for so long causing undo stress. I will never forget this and will make sure my family never forgets what filibuster means and that is rarely used until now!!!!!!!! I Will make sure no one in my family ever votes Republican. To be made out that the hard working Americans who lost jobs are just looking for hand outs is despicable.

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