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What the Introduction of the Stand-Alone UI Bill Means

June 28, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Just a quick note here regarding the new, stand-alone unemployment insurance bill in the Senate and what its introduction last week means for the prospects of getting an extension passed. To be clear, the fact that it has been introduced does not in any way indicate that the congressional leadership intends to move on it. Any senator can introduce any bill on any issue they choose. They don’t need consent from anyone else — they simply draft it and drop it in a box. Senate workers then assign it a number and file it away with the tens of thousands of other bills that have been introduced this session. The vast majority of bills in Congress never go anywhere in the legislative process, and only about 4% of the bills that are introduced in a given session become law.

Now, since, in principle at least, this is a proposal that the majority of the Senate supports, and one that they are getting bombarded with constituent emails and phone calls on, this bill is far more likely to become law than most. But it still needs leadership support to move forward. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] (pictured) makes the ultimate call on what does and does not come to the Senate floor for debate and votes. Right now, he has chosen to move onto the Small Business Credit Initiative Act, instead of continuing with the unemployment issue. Reid could call on the new stand-alone bill next, or he could choose not to because he may want to try to save precious Senate time and roll it in with other issues (like the Dems tried to do with the failed H.R. 4213). As Mike Lillis at The Hill reported last night, the Democratic plan for now still seems to be to keep the unemployment insurance extension together with other “must-pass” items, specifically aid for cash-strapped states struggling to pay fro Medicaid.

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Displaying 1-30 of 106 total comments.

  • XvxRAINxvX 06/28/2010 11:27am

    I do not like the sound of this…

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    For_The_American 06/28/2010 12:16pm

    We the people need to make our voices heard now ! Ring those phones off the hooks so that we can show these politicians that we are in fact following this very closely and intend on making our voices heard come the next election ! If they won’t help us then why should we help them win re-election ? Maybe the thought that they too could soon be jobless would chnge thier attitude towards us, the present jobless ! Bombard your local politicians with calls and letters … This WILL get thier attention !!! See the link below for phone and fax numbers.

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    fdenised 06/28/2010 12:56pm

    These people in the senate especially republicans could care less about us. Here goes another vacation for them. You can cry all you want they don’t care if you die tomorrow. 2 million americans is alot, someone will go crazy over this and then another disaster. Maybe a civil war. why not?

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    desperatehousewife 06/28/2010 1:59pm

    I agree, what does this really mean. My husband works in the financial industry and lost his job April 2009 and we’ve both been looking since then. I am even considering internships in order to close the gap in my resume since we both have lost over a year since being unemployed and still we are not even being interviewed. Living in NYC is still rough but we were surviving on unemployment benifits which ran out two weeks ago. So what does this mean, I am really heart broken at this horible turn of the events in the American political arena. I hope that they understand that the world is watching no matter what great speech the president gives at the G20 or G8 meetings. We the American people right here on his doorpost are hurting and God forbid, may even become homeless and hungry.

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    getnAOSwhileunemployed 06/28/2010 6:54pm

    I am in 100% agreement with you. I also worked in the financial industry and have been out of work since April 2009. I decided to take advantage of the situation, did my research from the NYSDOL website and found a 599 course (to get a degree) in order to gain a new skill in a “new technology” career. The rules of the NYSDOL allow me to attend the school, so I don’t understand why at least those people are affected by any funding stoppage. But I have concluded that the government officials don’t care. They just want to sling hash at each other under the flag of their parties. Landlords, cellphone carriers, the MTA, nor the supermarkets don’t care about political parties…they just want their money. Its hard to survive in this current heat spell, I pray for those whose light bills were turned off because they couldn’t pay their bill, while every single senator and congressperson goes home to an air-conditioned home…how can they sleep at night?

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    davej59 06/29/2010 4:57am

    I continue to be AMAZED, and SHOCKED, and very much ANGERED by the Senate’s PUSSY FOOTING with this Unemployment Insurance Extension Bill. I have gone over 2 weeks now without my unemployment check. This was ALL the income I had the past year plus now since I was laid off last April (’09). How can the BASTARDS ad BITCHES in the U.S. Senate continue to play DIRTY political games while between 1 and 2 million unemployed Americans have LOST their weekly source of income???

  • unionman 06/28/2010 11:27am

    The Public Should Put the Senators Jobs on the Line.The Senators Who Vote Against Extending Benefits,Should be made to Sacrifice Their Employment in the U.S. Senate.VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE

  • dlharris1189 06/28/2010 11:31am

    Sounds like more bullcrap!!! PASS THE FREAKIN BILL U OVERPAID USELESS A******S!!

  • Jonathan_Nicholas 06/28/2010 11:36am

    This is confusing/frustrating… Reid makes the call, but unless you’re from Nevada, you can’t really express your thoughts to him.

    Unless I’m missing something…

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    jasdavis09 06/28/2010 1:15pm

    You can voice your concern to his office either in D.C or Nevada. Call him email him find his facebook page. Do all of it multiple times! Make your voice heard. I have called him 10 times today and voiced my opinion.

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    ttedder 06/29/2010 9:44am
    You can email him or FAX him @ 202-224-7327

    www has a free trial. I’ve been faxing senator’s all day.

  • Revolution 06/28/2010 11:38am

    I am a Veteran from Boston who is unemployed and have always looked forward to 4th of July for what it stands for in our history. The Republicans should be embarrassed in having the words United Stated in front of their titles. They are a disgrace and this 4th of July America is abandonign their own. The Senators need to remember the faces that go along with the names of the people who are hanging on to every minute and word until this is passed or help is finalized. This is pure torture to families in this country. It is a sad state of affairs.
    You need to take IMMEDIATE action and enough about saving the defecit etc. There is no doubt this can be done today! Stop playing games and get it done. This is an emeregency and the world and your citizens are watching.
    Do the right thing….NOW!!

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    Chris51 06/28/2010 2:04pm

    How hostile are some members of Congress, not only about this bill, but about unemployed Americans in general?
    “You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to BLOW IT ON DRUGS and not take care of their own children.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
    "Is the government now creating HOBOS?”, Rep. Dan Heller (R-Nevada)
    "We shouldn’t TURN THE SAFETY NET INTO A HAMMOCK, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
    “[W]e have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have SPOILED OUR CITIZENRY and said, you don’t want the jobs that are available.”, Sharron Angle, Republican Senate candidate in Nevada and Sen. Harry Reid’s opponent
    "©ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a DISINCENTIVE FOR THEM TO SEEK NEW WORK” ,Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona)
    If you are one of the 1.2 million Americans who have not been able to find jobs and who are at risk of losing their benefits go to WWW.CHANGE.ORG

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    crbrown68 06/29/2010 5:04am

    My question is if they are afraid that they are giving money to those unemployed by no choice to purchase drugs what do they think they have been doing for some of the welfare participants that have been on it for years. I know people that sell their food stamps to get drugs, get tanf not for kids or living but for drugs. Nothing is being done to protect the taxpayers on this they need to wake up and do it quickly. I personally say we give them a wake up call with the elections and put these jerks as unemployed as well. Problem is that they way it is wrote up they still get paid if they are an elected official or not. That is sick we don’t have that protection.

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    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:03pm

    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.

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    Chris51 07/08/2010 7:03pm

    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:

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    GABE1004 06/28/2010 4:09pm

    I don’t celibrate the 4TH anymore, much less this year. I am a little better off than most, but I feel that we who take the time to deal with things in our lives day to day are the true Americans. We come in different shapes and sizes and we come in all shades of colors.

    I am a veteran who served in Three different services and retired in 1997, you who get up each day and sacrifice for your immediate families and friends are the real America.


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    Chris51 06/30/2010 6:46am

    • 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

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    Chris51 07/01/2010 8:54am

    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 a 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.

  • tanidab 06/28/2010 11:39am

    It baffles me that there would be this much contention over passing a bill that would provide a bridge of assistance for those just barely hanging on. Why do the numbers not scare the Republicans?!?!? Roughly 2 million Americans will lose their benefits after July 10th. We can rush in to bail out banks, we can fund a war, but we can’t help those (who mind you had been working Americans) who need help now. Until more jobs can be created, this is a lifeline that cannot be dismissed.

  • Rationalview 06/28/2010 11:41am

    Thank you Mr. Shaw for the clarification – we already understand that we shouldn’t get our hopes up. I think it should also be made clear (that while I am a democrat) I am very disappointed in the NJ Senator and democrat – Robert Menendez. It has been reported that he voted against the unemployment bill. AND, if it ever does get passed – NJ’s governor is looking to take $50 away weekly from NJ unemployment benefits citing that the state needs it more than its citizens.

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    donnyshaw 06/28/2010 11:52am

    Menendez voted in favor of H.R. 4213 the last two times Dems tried to pass it. This is the bill including the UI extension that Dems have been trying to pass for the past month or so ::

    …He voted against it the first time, before they stripped a bunch of unrelated spending out of it ::

  • Jonathan_Nicholas 06/28/2010 11:43am

    It sounds like most people are getting cut off on July 3rd.

    Which means as we celebrate the United States’ birthday… many of it’s citizens have just been left ‘hung out to dry.’

  • EdKuhns 06/28/2010 11:45am

    This bill needs to be passed. I have been out of work for 1 1/2 years. I am 61 years old now and cannot find a job, no matter how many resumes I send out. This bill needs to pass to help the unemployed out , if it doesn’t the economy and the recession will worsen since millions of people will not have the money to buy food, shelter and other necessities. This will cause more unemployment because stores and businesses will have to lay off because of lack of consumer buying. This could also lead to money problems for the states because there will be an influx of people needing food stamps and welfare. It is not that people don’t want to work, there are not enough jobs to go around and new ones created.


  • RegisteredOHVoter 06/28/2010 11:46am

    For those politicians who are blocking the passage of unemployment extensions on the basis of “Austerity Measures” and “Deficit Reduction”, put your money where your mouth is! Introduce and pass legislation that cuts your salaries and benefits by 15% EACH YEAR until the budget decificit no longer exists. The next step is to role back the Bush Tax Cuts to the wealthy to help increase tax revenues on the highest earning citizens who pay the least amount of tax or who hide their taxable income in foreign accounts. Next, roll back the legislation that promotes the outsourcing of American Jobs! It’s very clear who you really work for, it’s not “we the people” but rather “Protect the Wealthy Inc”. Clearly November will be a renewed time of change. Let this be your first written notice prior to your 90 day notice of termination if you can’t do the job you were elected to perform.

  • rathwac 06/28/2010 11:49am

    I have been unemployed since 11/09 and have never used the unemployment system before in my life. I received the initial benefits, but was shut off on 6/5/10. In this economy, this is not enough time to find employment. Why are they making the newbies suffer. I know tons of people that have been collecting for 2 years-these are the people that should be shut off, not new people. This is an unjust, UNFAIR system and government is discriminating against the WRONG people. Shut off the people who have been on unemployment the longest. Wake up Washington-Please vote on this before your vacation. I didn’t have enough money to pay my bills (mortgage, etc), now I don’t have enough money to feed my family (which consists of 4 small children) over the holiday weekend.

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    KASwann 06/28/2010 11:56am

    I agree! I have been unemployed only since 11/09 and was cut also. May 29th. If I had exhausted my benefits a week before I would have been on tier whatever.. Pretty darn sad.

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    firestorm145 06/28/2010 3:31pm

    Yes but these people cannot find a job due to age and too many people applying for the same job, so you are wrong about what you are saying. The people that have been on unemployment the longest are looking for jobs but there not there so you better see the world at a different angle than what you do now. All american people need help

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