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Unemployment Insurance Still May Be Expanded

February 18, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

If you were disappointed that Congress didn’t end up expanding unemployment insurance benefits as part of their economic stimulus package, here is the bill you should be asking your senators and representative to pass:

Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008

When the stimulus bill was passed a couple of weeks ago, there was a general consensus to drop the extended unemployment insurance and additional food stamp assistance from the Senate’s version of the bill in order to speed the bill towards a quick enactment. But most Democrats in Congress (and just about every economist) felt that beefing up unemployment benefits in the bill would have been ideal. Indeed, as the decision to drop the unemployment provision from the bill was being solidified, House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) remarked, “Eventually, if this does develop into a recession, I think we’ll be coming back to consider unemployment insurance benefits.”

Ted Kennedy (D-MA), the sponsor of the stand-alone unemployment bill in the Senate, laid out the specifics in a press release:

>EXTENDS AND EXPANDS BENEFITS: Provides 20 more weeks of benefits to eligible workers with an additional 13 weeks in states with high unemployment. Benefits would be temporarily increased by $50 per week to help families with skyrocketing energy and food costs. Eligibility for the extension would last for one year.
>
>COVERS RECENT EXHAUSTEES: Provides benefits to unemployed workers who exhausted their regular benefits in the year prior to enactment.
>
>DOES NOT BURDEN STATES OR EMPLOYERS: Fully funds this temporary program to avoid forcing states to make spending cuts or increase taxes on employers.

The House version is here.

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Comments

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Anonymous 11/19/2008 6:55am

Michigan’s October unemployment rate surged to 9.3 percent, its highest rate since July 1992. How can we get back to work?? How can we pay our bills? I would like to see Congress “get by” with unemployment. The unemployment extension is our only hope. Help bail-out those without jobs through no fault of their own.

Anonymous 06/05/2008 3:46pm

Yes i was in the mortgage industry i need an extinsion my bennifits just ran out Im trying to go to school get a new job this sucks!!

Anonymous 05/28/2008 3:13am

I cannot believe that our own Government does not help out its own citizens. We can send millons of dollars a day to finance other countries , but not take care of our onw. Please pass the extension of unemployment law.

Anonymous 05/21/2008 6:19am

Has anyone watched CSPAN Senate hearings. They spend hours talking about nonsense. Most recently on LBJ 100th year of celebration of his birth “year”. Give me a break. Why not get to real issues; the economy, jobs, gas….

Anonymous 05/14/2008 10:43am

I am of the opinion that Michigan is a sinking ship, and NO ONE has been able (or willing) to lift the anchor. I have worked for this State since I was 13 years old, and they tell me I am only entitled to 26 weeks of un-employment. How do you figure that? I’ve worked here for 32 years. I have been un-employed since August, 2007. I collected the full 26 weeks of un-employment, while diligently looking for another job (with no luck) I “exhausted” my benefits in March, as MARVIN so eloquently put it. I have a cleaning job that I do every other week for $80.00. With gas prices sky rocketing, food prices sky-rocketing, etc., I soon will probably be on the streets. I have NEVER believed that I would have ended up a street person. I’ve exhausted all avenues of the people that can help me. Most of my family are in the same position I’ve found myself in. With the help of a friends computer, I am able to enter this comment. I’m thankful and blessed that I have people in my life that have been and are willing to help me out at this stage of my life. A lot of people have no one that can count on. My youngest sister lives in Texas, and she says jobs are plenty there. People are leaving this state in droves – I thought about leaving myself, but how can I get where I want to go when my only income is $80.00 every other week cleaning someone’s house? I really do not want to leave Michigan, especially with an elderly mother whose health is failing, but I feel I won’t have a choice. MICHIGAN NEEDS YOUR HELP!!! BRING BACK THE EXTENSIONS – They said extensions are possible when we hit the 5% range of un-employment. They must be joking! Michigan met that rate a LONG time ago. They are only counting the people that are receiving benefits. They have not considered the people who received benefits and “exhausted” them. Remember the 80’s? – “Last one out, turn out the lights.”

Anonymous 05/04/2008 2:09pm

Nothing is going to happen, so get over it. You think the fatcats actually care about people suffering? Unless someone whos been out of work blows up a building or something they will do nothing. Its the type of government we have now, they dont believe in fixing problems before they get out of control.

Anonymous 04/19/2008 4:24am

sign up to help with the fight.
www.freewebs.com/workerssurvival2008
Thanks to all our members!

Anonymous 04/02/2008 10:17am

Please help now…extend the benefits. I am an economist, PhD, out of work for 13 months now. My family relied on my salary and we have used up all of our savings and sold most of our stocks to survive the past year. We are hitting rock bottom and need help now.

Anonymous 04/02/2008 4:45am

It’s a no brainer, extend the unemployment benefits now, what is the hold-up? The economy is sinking, extended benefits will give it a jump start.

timndel 04/01/2008 8:53pm

Our country is just about to hit poverty. My spouse is a union laborer and he was out of work on and off from last may and has currently been out of work since mid January. His unemployment benefits have ran out. I have been job for about 6 months with no job offers. Now we are pinching pennies and scraping and trying to find ways to keep our head above water. I am sure there are millions of other families in my same situtation so for our sake EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TODAY!!!!

Anonymous 03/29/2008 8:09pm

I have been unemployed for 5 months. Have applied for 100’s of jobs. The people of America need this extension! I have NEVER been through tough times like this and it’s getting tougher every day. Please let us get an unemployment extension. Millions of us unemployed are losing, if not already lost, everything we worked so hard for. I have never needed unemploymemt before and now I am 50 years old and need it. PLEASE EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS NOW!

Anonymous 03/26/2008 5:48am

WE NEED THIS / PEOPLE ARE SINKING / MY FIANCE HAS NOT WORKED IN ALMOST A YEAR / UNEMPLOYMENT RAN OUT IN DEC. WE’RE LIVING ON MY INCOME ALONE / INCOME TAX RETURN GOT US THROUGH TO NOW / HE HAS LIKE EVERYONE ESLE APPLIED EVERYWHERE 100’S OF APPLICATIONS / LOST JOB DUE TO LACK OF WORK / DON’T QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE MY GROSS IS $1600 A MONTH I BRING HOME MAYBE AFTER EVERYTHING $1000 A MONTH / OUT RENT IS $525. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSE TO DO AS A NATION / WHEN MIDDLE CLASS IS NOW LIVING IN POVERTY / I HAVE RAISED MY 3 CHILDREN AND HAVE BEEN THROUGH ROUGH TIMES / BUT NEVER LIKE THIS… WE NEED THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSTION / HOPEFULLY THIS SUMMER WILL BRING BETTER THNGS IN THE JOB MARKET / BUT I’M NOT COUNTING ON THAT.

Anonymous 03/24/2008 10:22pm

We are in trouble if Congress doesn’t act fast- Remember it was McCain who’s vote was missing to pass an extension of U/I Benefits.

Get our State REPS INVOLVED

Anonymous 03/20/2008 5:30am

I have been unemployed now for 6 months, have applied for over 100 jobs with not one response, and this is in New Jersey. What are we gonna do with our Stimulus Package checks? SAVE THEM or pay DEBT! Not spend them like the government thinks were going to do! We are in a scary, terrible situation with unemployment. The government states that the unemployed are not looking, we are looking, COMPANIES ARE NOT HIRING! And there is a terrible segment who can’t get hired, whose unemployment is running out, and they risk being out on the street. This is no joke. We are educated,well minded people with skills who cannot find work and we need the unemployment benefits to this stimulus package to get us through this stagnation in hiring.

Anonymous 03/17/2008 10:59am

What will it take for the government to see that we are in trouble! I worked for 15 years for the same company then in September they walked in and shut us down. Now I have no job…been looking for a long time…still no job…..applied for many…..still no job….now unemployment has ran out….still no job!!!!! HOW does BUSCH want me to pay bills and feed my family?? Even the many internet job sights have very little to offer. So Busch says I’ll send you money through a stimulus package this summer….woooohooo….by then all your bills will be so far behind what economy are you going to stimulate???? Maybe when we are all homeless and starving to death our government will see the reality in front of them….

Anonymous 03/13/2008 9:45am

A MUST HAVE WITH THE ECONOMY PEOPLE LOSING HOUSES JOB LOSSES GAS WENT CRAZY BUSH GAS PEOPLE LAUGHING WHY ISNT THEIR A REBELLION?

surveyor 03/04/2008 9:23am

I believe it is imperative that there is an extension given to umeployment. I can’t belive that it wasn’t included in the stimilus package. That is the fastest way to boost the economy and give unemployed workers money in their pockets to buy essentials they need to live. Giving out checks is nice to receive, BUT what good are they going to do in May or June when people have lost their houses or don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay rent or mortgages. Come on Senators…..do something about this and get it passed. People need it to live.

kurtisfertman 02/27/2008 2:54pm

It is absolutely necessary to add the unemployment extension as legislation because this will help stimulate the economy with the recession we are facing more than the checks we will be receiving

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