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The Shrinking Unemployment Bill

June 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Once again, Democrats are downsizing H.R. 4213, the unemployment insurance/tax extenders bill, in order to lessen its impact on the deficit and round up the support to pass it. The bill has been floundering in the Senate for weeks, and yesterday, it officially stalled out after the Democrats failed 45-52 to overcome an important procedural hurdle requiring 60 votes to pass.

According to Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT] and the Senate Finance Committee, these are the big changes in the revised bill:

  • Shorten the Medicare payment cut patch, or “doc fix,” from 19 months to 6 months — Doctors are currently facing a 22% cut in their Medicare payments under an automatic pay formula that Congress created in 1997. The formula has recommended pay cuts for the past 7 years, but each year Congress has overridden it by passing temporary temporary patches. By shortening the length of the current patch by 13 months, the bill, technically, costs $16.4 billion less. But these savings are pretty cheap because Congress will almost certainly be back in 6 months when this patch expires to extend it again.
  • Eliminating the Federal Additional Compensation program — This is a stimulus program that provides an extra $25 per week for people receiving extended unemployment benefits. Eliminating it saves $5.8 billion over the next ten years.
  • Changes in the carried interest tax loophole closer — One of the big revenue raisers in the bill is a provisions to partially close a loophole in the tax code that lets hedge-fund and private-equity managers pay the lower capital gains rate (15%) on the cut they take from the appreciation of their clients’ portfolios rather than the regular income tax rate (up to 39%). In the Democrats’ last revision of H.R. 4213, they softened this provision to satisfy the influential hedge fund industry. In this revision, they are tightening it back up a bit by increasing how much of their income hedge fund managers old have to pay at the regular rate. This change would bring in an extra $13.9 billion over the next ten years.

There are also several smaller changes in the revision that you can see by downloading this PDF from the Finance Committee. In total, the revision takes a little more than $20 billion off the total deficit impact of the bill. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the revised bill would cost $105 billion and its net deficit impact would be $55 billion.

The big question: are these changes significant enough to win over the 12 Democrats who voted against the bill yesterday plus at least one Republican? That’s what it’s going to take for the Democrats to break a Republican filibuster and get this through the Senate.

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Displaying 1-30 of 43 total comments.

Chris51 07/10/2010 7:18am

Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:29pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 7:29pm

Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
Read all about it:
The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
Full Story:

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:29pm
in reply to Chris51 Jun 30, 2010 7:14am

GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

Chris51 07/03/2010 10:14pm

Why don’t our Senators get that there is a great need?

The job market is broken.
The corporate executives are not going to give up their year-end profit bonus by adding jobs/payroll to their companies.

Here are a few stories on our jobless nation:

Job recovery hits a wall

Job gloom at all time high

7.9 million jobs lost- many forever

Jobless claims spike

Thousands at risk for losing unemployment benefits

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:49am
in reply to sldhouston Jun 17, 2010 7:56am

Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat sevaral proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.

Chris51 06/30/2010 10:58pm
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 8:11am

The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

Chris51 06/30/2010 7:14am
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 8:11am

• It’s the Republican party who is busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations.
Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for ALL its’ displaced hard working Americans.
• 9.7% unemployed = 1.2 million Americans, and 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time. The BP Oil Corporation’s irresponsibleness is adding to lost jobs and lost lives.

Yesterday, President Obama’s discussed what was happening with corporations, the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed. Watch his entire interview on CSPAN. He gets it.

CNN and FOX only report on self-interested, with their main story and topics cycling 24 hours. Go to CSPAN


yourjoedaddy 06/21/2010 2:55am
in reply to chickenfighterky Jun 17, 2010 8:40am

Man I feel ur pain! I am also up in the air.I have never collected anything from the gov and could get some benifits. I am well educated and just want a chanch to get something going. Not a hand out but a hand back! I know that my well fare will b a we’ll care sometime! I am so upset that the well off senate members can not feel for us “The Voters”. I will remeber u senate!!! I know u shound look out for the well being of the “Many”. BUT!!! These are not ordinary times.The money u stick into the econ stays there (HERE). It is not a war where we Americans do not c it! HELP US!!!!!!!!!

kstiffler 06/18/2010 2:44pm

I do not understand if congress knew a deadline was coming up why they waited till it expired to debate for weeks on end. Don’t they understand this is not about who wins or loses. It is about thousands upon thousands of people who’s lives are held in the balance. It is about more foreclosures,repo’s,credit problems. On the other hand I know there are people that might argue that those on unemployment knew there was a deadline why didn’t we take the time to find a job before then. Truth be told I know my husband and have. People argue there are jobs available and time after time we’ve applied for anything and everything only to be told you are overqualified or underqualified. Frustrating!!!!

JParvin07 06/18/2010 5:44am
in reply to KASwann Jun 17, 2010 10:49am

I am in the EXACT same boat as you Swann, Same dates ect. I was able to claim but was told I will not be getting any money as of now but to keep claiming. I am very scared, this is my only income & now it’s gone…no warning! The week prior I reiceved a letter that put my mins at ease (lol..yea ok) that I was fine & would be getting my benifits without any delay and now this! What a kick in the butt to all of us in this boat. I wonder if the people who voted NO could live with out a any money comming in, how would they fare?

spammie5 06/18/2010 5:36am

I too fell into that gap of exhausting my state benefits just 10 days after the deadline to file for the federally funded benefits. I owned my own business – that’s gone. Had 2 vehicles – those are gone. Had a home too. That’s gone. I’ve worked my entire life, paid taxes, got an education but I can’t find a job either. And for every one of us that posts on here, there are probably hundreds if not thousands more in similar situations.

It’s just sad that at a time when this country really needs to come together to pull itself out of this economic situation, some political yahoos in DC can’t agree on this.

Funny, all the ones voting on the unemployment bill have jobs. They have no idea….

representativesrus 06/17/2010 8:58pm
in reply to chickenfighterky Jun 17, 2010 8:45am

Basically, what I think, this is how they get their agendas passed, for their constituents, or their contributors. This is a classic example of pork barreling. Geesh, they don’t seem to care that Americans are suffering here and depending on their support.
Next time your congressman or senator asks for your support, look and see how they have performed on this and other legislation. If they have not stacked up in the people’s favor, don’t support. And, if there is anyone on this blog that does not vote, shame on you, that is the political process at work in the trenches.

emanrod 06/17/2010 5:13pm

Im currently going to school for medical assistant and will finish in the fall, i was counting on receiving the fed-ed until then. Ive been going to school through all the extensions and now I dont have money to finish. The worst thing is that the fed-ed was suspended just as soon as i finished my 4th tier. If i would have had some kind of warning before i finished i could have at least been prepared. Now I have no money, and all my schooling might go to waste. Theres no jobs in my town, which is why i went back to school and get a stable career.

bachi1314 06/17/2010 5:10pm

I serve working people that have been laid off. I help folks get information and apply for resources that are available in my community. In my 15 years I have never seeing so many folks struggling to make ends meet. Folks losing jobs and losing the American dream. It is truly a travesty that here in the strongest country in the world we forget to take care of our own. I am sure if we didn’t send all those jobs overseas we would have work here for AMERICANS. That needs to Stop or one day we will all be working for someone in China. Right now we have a chance to give folks the break they need to make ends meet. DO THE RIGHT THING AND PASS THIS, give folks hope in America. For those who don’t support 4213 shame on you. Shame on you for forget why you were elected to office. Let me remind you that you are to SERVE THE PEOPLE or we will remember in November.

jennyrebecca66 06/17/2010 11:43am

I am extremely frustrated as well. Started receiving benefits 6 months ago from a job I was at for 4 years, the company is no longer in existence and I miss my job terribly. Just finished tier 2, have no idea how these tiers work. I looked and they have already moved me to level 15 which is the federal-state benefits that have not been approved but it appears that even if approved there is enough money in the account for at least 12 weeks but it only goes through July 3rd which is 4 weeks. Very confusing. I just know I am 2 1/2 payments away from having my car paid off and right now have $2 in my bank account. Forget about groceries. Wonder how much this will cost in stress related health care?

chickenfighterky 06/17/2010 11:29am
in reply to chickenfighterky Jun 17, 2010 11:24am

Being the great baseball player he was, just think of all the revenue Bunning could bring in by selling autographs because of his vast popularity. He could possibly singlehandedly balance the budget by signing baseballs to sell the chineese since they already own everything else in this country..

chickenfighterky 06/17/2010 11:24am
in reply to BillSherlock Jun 17, 2010 10:28am

Hey bill, to be honest I’m from KY and I dont think you’d want what us folks have to offer lol (mcconnell, and bunning). But Mr. Sherlock I will make you this offer I’ll give you one “Lame-Duck” Sen. Bunning with a fresh pack of wrigley’s chewing gum for your Mr. Durbin. I would offer more but seeing how my unemployment ran out I have to use my college education and military experience to pick up pop cans for what little money I do have now……

KASwann 06/17/2010 10:57am
in reply to general Jun 17, 2010 10:25am

The 100.00 is not as important as HAVING benefits. ( I was cut off after a 26 weeks) May 29th. No more tiers, nothing for me….. how do you like that?
I think if I would have been on Tier two at May 22 date I would still be getting benefits, ( from what I was told) I fell thru some HUGE crack.. the 100.00 is coffee & doughnut money to congress.

seanurse 06/17/2010 10:56am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 17, 2010 8:31am

hi jgpt777 i have been all over change .org as i am a member and they dont have your petition. please let me know if it is different then above. I would really like to sign and participate.

KASwann 06/17/2010 10:54am
in reply to tiredofbeingtired Jun 17, 2010 8:52am

I agree….. yes the oil in the gulf is a problem but so is the unemployment rate and the people without benefits. The gulf and their oil mess will just further the loss of jobs and this bill needs to be passed now not a month down the road. The gulf cleanup in underway and there isn’t much more that can be said or done about that as far as I am concerned.

KASwann 06/17/2010 10:49am
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 8:41am

I would hope they do something soon. AS a person who is unemployed ( NOV 2009) I just ran out of the 26 weeks of benefits and fell thru some sort of crack, there were no benefits * Tier 1,2,3,4 or whatever available because I signed for my last week May 29th.
I find this pretty unfortunate as there are MANY others been on unemployment , looking for work? maybe? and have drawn up to 99 weeks and here I was laid off late last yr. and get a whopping 26 weeks of benefits and now what? Pretty sad. I am hoping this gets passed soon, they figure a way to get the people that have been off for 2 yrs back to work or in trade schools etc. Take away the 25 bucks a week bonus I don’t really care… but give me my regular benefits please until I can find a new job.

catsat43 06/17/2010 10:47am
I have worked for most of my life and for no fault of my own I am jobless. I am not sitting on my butt just to collect unemployment. I have hit the streets and cyberspace looking. I think of all the BILLIONS being sent to other countries and to bail out the big guys, that I have helped pay for. Congress your first responsibility is your people. REMEMBER United we stand, Divided we fall. And as a last note, I would go to DC for a peacful stand but my car was repoed last week. Thanks to the American dream…..
BillSherlock 06/17/2010 10:28am

Hey chickenfighterky, That fine distinguished gentleman that you mention-The Honorable Dick Durbin happens to represent my state-you know the one—-we don’t allow our governors to retire-WE LOCK EM UP!!!! A vast amount of people would be willing to trade you for Mr. Durbin (me included)—what do you have to offer?
Once his term is up you won’t be seeing him anymore. If you don’t want to trade we’ll understand.

general 06/17/2010 10:25am

Do these guys have any idea how important 100$ a month is now they want to take that these guys are really out of touch.

sandyhavran 06/17/2010 9:36am

Maybe we need a peoples party! Dem’s, Republican’s, Independents, they are all out of touch. They have no clue what reality is for most americans, nor do they want to. They listen to money, because it speaks to them and their next campaigns. They days of Walter Cronkite and unbiased news are gone. We will only hear what the owners of the media outlets want us to hear. Unemployment is not a choice! I have worked since age of 16,over 38 years, now I am in a crisis that Congress created. Hell yes I will vote against any nay voter on this bill. I am keeping tabs, I’ll even volunteer for their opponnet, regarless of party.

chickenfighterky 06/17/2010 9:27am
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 9:24am

Thats fine, I’m healthy but hungry lol….

donnyshaw 06/17/2010 9:24am
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 8:41am

Sorry… to clarify, I only think this will pass if they take out the $24 billion in Medicaid money as well as what they have taken out in the new revision.

XvxRAINxvX 06/17/2010 8:58am
in reply to donnyshaw Jun 17, 2010 8:43am

What I do not understand is why they had to add all of these extra things in the bill when americans are suffering. Why not just pass the unemployment extension and worry about the other things later? Deal with the major issue at hand first the one that needs the immediate attention!

elleedr 06/17/2010 8:56am

If you are apart of the American unemployed or share the same views as the unemployed and want to have a peaceful march on Washington to show that we do need our unemployment or in support of unemployment, email me at This has to be done, a peaceful stand needs to take place soon to make a difference. Before a lot of Americans lose the little bit that they do have. We didn’t ask for the economy to be this way and it is not our fault that we can not find jobs all at the same time. We worked all of our lives and now that we need help, the people in congress is saying no! We are the ones that help pay for wars, national disasters, and the congressmen paychecks. Now they are telling us that they cannot pass a bill so we can feed and house our families. What is more important the “Oil Spill” or the unemployed and their children. I don’t think so, it’s time for a peaceful march, email me at, to make a peaceful stand now.

general 06/17/2010 8:53am

Thats right senators rep and dem alike keep hanging this up over your precious deficit while you have no problem finding money to help every third world country and fund 2 not 1 but 2 wars billions a day but when it comes to helping americans who are unemployed you worry about deficits not to mention the 185 billion to AIG who has yet to pay it back Yeah wanna fix the deficit stop giving tax breaks to your rich friends who most likley got rich off the working people who are now taking the brunt of so called resession that sounds alot better than calling it what it really is a full blown DEPPRESION.

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