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Black Caucus Opposes Tax Deal, Wants Relief for 99ers

December 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Hot on the heels of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee’s [D, TX-18] statement Thursday on the House floor that an extension of unemployment insurance for 99ers should be added to Obama’s tax deal, the Congressional Black Caucus has announced that adding 99ers relief is essential for winning the support of their members.

“The CBC has reached a consensus on three areas that we believe we can unite behind, ”http://www.opencongress.org/person/show/400364_Robert_Scott">Rep. Bobby Scott [D, VA-3] said at a press conference on Friday. “First, we support the 13-month extension of unemployment insurance benefits, but we all agree that we also ought to extend benefits for the so-called 99ers — those who are exhausting the benefits they have.”

View the full press conference here.

The deal brokered by Obama and congressional Republicans would extend the four tiers of unemployment benefits that expired on December 1st, but would not create a new tier of benefits for those who have moved through those tiers and are still unemployed. The four tiers provided up to 99 weeks of benefits in some states, and we’re now more than 99 weeks out from the brunt of the ‘08 financial crisis. That means that, before the tiers expired, a wave of people who lost their jobs as a direct result of Wall Street recklessness and regulatory incompetence began being dropped off the backend of the federal insurance programs. There’s no official estimate of how many 99ers there are already, but most estimates put the number around 5 million.

The Congressional Black Caucus has 42 members, which might not be enough to force a change in the tax deal. If all House Republicans vote for the bill, only 39 Democratic votes would be needed to secure passage. In September, 31 conservative Blue Dog Democrats wrote a letter to the leadership advocating for all of the Bush tax cuts to be extended, so they can be counted as likely yeses. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama Administration is currently working to round up the final votes they need by lobbying lame duck Democrats in the House who lost re-election in November and are no longer accountable to voters.

Ultimately, whether or not additional weeks for 99ers can be added to the bill is up to Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] and the House Democratic leadership. The Senate is expected to pass the bill early this week, and Pelosi and crew have the choice of passing it as is, or passing it with an amendment. Even if Pelosi goes with an amendment, it’s possible that it would address other items — the estate tax or the length of the extension of the existing unemployment tiers — and not seek to add anything for the 99ers. As the WSJ reports today, Pelosi is “walking a perilous path” by attempting to satisfy her Democrats, who strongly oppose the deal, while at the same time trying to shepherd some form the deal into law so the tax cut debate is not pushed back to the next, more Republican, session of Congress.

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Comments

  • nickJ 12/12/2010 6:54pm

    Protection of the Bush tax cut deal proposed by the Obama administration this week has focuses on tax cuts for the wealthy. I found this here: Bush tax cut deal the more you earn the more you benefit But the tax compromise includes other conditions that would help normal Americans, dependent upon how well off they’re. What hasn’t been said is that the Bush

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  • craines 12/13/2010 4:07am

    The 99ers need to be included in this bill, how can Nancy Pelosi ignore over 5 million people who are facing one of the worst winters in years.

    Our power was out for Three hours last night in Northern Michigan and we are on the way to having 2 FEET of new snow on the ground, school closings today and probably tomorrow.

    99er’s need a lifeline here, Nancy Pelosi can do this, were not lazy, there is
    NO WORK. YOUR SHOVEL READY Project’s WERE A JOKE. There’s nothing on the books for construction for the first half of 2011. We need jobs, big jobs, jobs that would employee hundreds and thousands of construction workers who RIGHT NOW ARE JUST GETTING BY.

    This is serious … 99er’s need to be included, we have went through our savings,
    401ks are depleted, our houses wont even sell … there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. 99er’s NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS BILL.

    CR

  • beenblue 12/13/2010 7:58am

    Great move by the CBC. They just changed the game from tic tac toe, to chess, I hope the rest of the DEMs catch on.

  • Abaratarrr 12/13/2010 8:36am

    Contact Nancy Pelosi today (202) 225-4965 more benefits for the long term unemployed is entirely up to her at this point, let her know that the 13 month extension proposed by Obama does nothing for the long term unemployed

  • badams82 12/13/2010 9:52am

    Pelosi and congress in general need to help 99er’s. Do not ignore those that need help. We, have used all of our savings and have nothing left we did not want to be laid off. Please do not ignore us. We, are motivated to work but not many are motivated to hire us during these difficult times. Include 99er’s in the bill it is Essential and Vital.

  • seanurse 12/13/2010 10:20am

    well senate passed the incomplete bill and the 99ers are not even counted. THIS GOVERMENT DOESN’T WANT US BACK ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT TOTALS CAUSE THEY WOULD THEN ALL HAVE TO FACE HOW BAD IT REALLY IS AND THEY DON’T CARE. jUST SO YOU KNOW THE UNEMPLOYMENT TOTALS ARE TAKING FROM SERVEYS ON PHONE CALLS NOT BASED ON HOW MANY CERTIFY OR HAVE CLAIMS. THIS ALONE SHOWS US HOW F UP THIS COUNTRY IS.

  • beenblue 12/13/2010 11:16am

    Do the representatives despise us, by humiliating those who have nothing? Shall I praise them for this, and say their American? Certainly not! Where is the remorse that is due us, and our children`s, children, who will have to live with their contempt towards the common man.

  • Ktula7 12/13/2010 11:59am

    I don’t know how they think that if people that are unemployed for less than 99 weeks can’t find employment that the 99ers can. We are all in this together and there is just no work out there for anyone. We need a tier 5, that’s the bottom line!

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