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Because Congress failed to pass an extension before taking off for April recess, thousand of unemployed Americans will have their only source of income, unemployment insurance benefits, cut off starting today. That's a big deal when 15 million Americans are out of work and Tim Geithner is saying things like, "[the unemployment rate] is going to stay unacceptably high for a very long time."

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No Deal on Extending Unemployment Benefits

March 26, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As the House was wrapping up health care reform last night, the Senate was engaged in a face-off over extending the filing deadline for unemployment benefits, which is currently set to happen on April 5th.

The sticking point: Democrats want to pass a one-month extension of the deadline, which will cost about $10 billion, without any plan to pay for it. Republicans, lead by Sen. Tom Coburn [R, OK], want to extend the deadline and pay for the it with unused money form the stimulus bill.

Coburn is objecting to a unanimous consent agreement on quick passage of the Democrats' bill that was approved by the House last week (H.R.4851). Besides the unemployment deadline, the bill would temporarily extend a slew of other expiring programs -- COBRA health benefits for the unemployed, the national flood insurance program, funding for furloughed highway workers, and a delay in a scheduled 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors.

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Whither the Unemployment Benefits Extension?

February 22, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), 1.2 million unemployed Americans will run out of unemployment insurance benefits in March if Congress fails to pass a new extension. Yet, as the Democrats pared down their jobs bill to get it the support it would need to pass through the Senate, an extension of unemployment benefits was one of the things that was thrown by the wayside.

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Just days after President Obama signed “pay-go” legislation into law, Democrats want to bypass it to extend unemployment and COBRA healthcare benefits.

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A Closer Look At The Senate's Jobs Plan

January 27, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The omnipresent refrain in Washington for the past few months has been “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Possibly terrified of the wrath of the unemployed voter, Senate Democrats are now making progress in crafting a jobs bill.

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Unemployment insurance benefits, which have been a perennial hot issue with OpenCongress users, will not be extended under the jobs bill that Senate Democrats are writing.

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While the country has experienced an almost unprecedented economic downturn this year, one of the most effective forms of stimulus has been unemployment benefits. Those benefits will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts.

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After more than a month of partisan delay, the Senate voted this evening to wrap up debate of H.R. 3548, the unemployment benefits extension bill. The bill is now set for easy passage later in the week, possibly late on Tuesday night but most likely on Wednesday.

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Launching the Benefit Wiki Project

October 6, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

A few weeks ago I wrote about the work a community of OpenCongress users is doing to research information about unemployment legislation. To help further that work, we're launching a new Wiki on unemployment benefits.

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The Unemployment Benefits Extension Explained By OC User nancym

September 22, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

The community that has built up around bills about unemployment benefits here at OpenCongress is a "community" in the truest sense of the word. In the spirit of that community, I thought I would use comments from the H.R. 3548 thread as the core of a blog post about the latest benefits extension. In particular, I'll single out nancym, who has done a remarkable job of tracking the legislation, contacting lawmakers and committees, and keeping her fellow users informed.

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