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House to Vote on Stand-Alone Unemployment Insurance Bill Today

June 29, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The House of Representatives this afternoon is scheduled to pass, under the expedited suspension of the rules procedure, a new, stand-alone bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits. The bill is H.R. 5618, the “Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010.” It was introduced yesterday by Rep. Jim McDermott [D, WA-7] and has one co-sponsor — the powerful House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Sander Levin [D, MI-12].

This is expected to pass easily in the House, as indicated by its place on the suspension calendar. It would then be sent immediately to the Senate to give the upper chamber a chance to pass it before the end of the week when they are scheduled to leave for their July 4 recess.

Although the House is generally supportive of a robust benefits extension for the uninsured, Rep. McDermott has purposefully limited the scope of this bill to what he thinks can pass  the Senate. The bill would not extend the Federal Additional Compensation program from the stimulus bill that provided an extra $25 per month for benefits recipients, and it only extends UI benefits to November 30, 2010, one month shorter than the Senate’s stand-alone bill. It would not create a new fifth tier of benefits. 99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time unemployed individuals could receive UI payments under this bill.

Both chambers have to pass the exact same version of the bill before it can be snet to President Obama to be signed into law. These changes make it more likely that the Senate can simply agree to the bill, avoiding a situation where the two chambers ping-pong the bill back and forth with their own amendments until they can find an agreement.

It’s still unclear, though, if this has the support to pass in the Senate. For one thing, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV], who ultimately decides what bills get voted on, still wants to do unemployment insurance together with Medicaid funding and other unrelated tax issues. Additionally, only one Republican — Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] — has said publicly so far that she would vote in favor of such bill. That means the Senate Dems may still be two votes short of the 60 they need to break an inevitable Republican filibuster.

UPDATE: Contrary to some reports I’m seeing on Twitter and Facebook, the House has no passed this bill yet. It was brought up and debated, but the vote was postponed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA]. Under House rules (Rule XX, CLause 8), it now must be voted on within two days. But it will likely be voted on sooner, probably tonight or early tomorrow.

The fact that Dems are trying to do this under suspension of the rules is giving them a little trouble. Suspension allows bills to pass quickly and without minority obstructionism tactics (no amendments can be offered and debate time is limited to 40 minutes), but they need 2/3rds support for it to pass under the procedure. That means the Dems will need about 35 Republicans to cross the aisle and vote with them on this. The Democratic leadership is surely busy behind the scenes right now working to win over Republicans (and the GOP leadership is undoubtedly working to keep wavering members from defecting).

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Displaying 61-90 of 106 total comments.

  • peytonsplace007 06/29/2010 10:19am

    Unbelievable. They don’t care about American citizens. Only themselves.

  • desperatentx 06/29/2010 10:19am

    now what are we supposed to do…they give us a little hope and then drop us as if no one really cares!!!!! where do we go from here?

  • EmilyGoodall 06/29/2010 10:20am

    GOP supporters crack me up. They think they’re in the club and that the GOP is representing their interests. Here’s a quick test to see if you’re in the club:

    1) You’ve given at least 1 million dollars to a GOP – or multiple GOP – representatives, and he, she or they have contacted you and acknowledged the donation.

    2) You’ve recently been contacted by a GOP congressman, by phone, and struck up a first-name basis conversation.

    3) You’ve had legislation introduced and passed that directly benefited your private financial self interest.

    If you don’t recognize any of these, you ain’t in the club. You’re just a raa-raa wannabe who’d LIKE to be in the club.

    True GOP club members are corporations, large private financial self-interests, and oil company executives.

    If you “work hard” and have great “family values” but don’t fit into any of the above categories, sorry, you ain’t in the club. But you can always fantasize!

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/29/2010 11:10am

    President Obama gets it. The GOP who are busy watching out for Wall Street/Corporations. Shame on Congress for not coming up with a solution for all its unemployed americans.

    Watch President Obama discussion on this earlier today, go to CSPAN.

    Then go to

  • raegan81 06/29/2010 10:20am

    Several Democrats also voted against this, if the dems would have had 100% voting yes it would have passed so they are to blame too. They want it to be included in a package that includes pork spending and do not care about us unemployed any more than the Republicans do!

  • ladob1028 06/29/2010 10:20am

    So are we going to get the back pay as well?

  • peytonsplace007 06/29/2010 10:22am

    Only hope is the Senate bill which hasn’t made it to the floor yet. Deplorable actions on both sides. Happy 4th of July. Who wants to celebrate this country with all this crap going on.

  • Devider440 06/29/2010 10:23am

    How they can sit and wait and debate on this issue for so long is dumbfounding for me and our families.Can you imagine if this does not pass, Millions in the streets, you think it’s bad now? wait until this does not pass and see what happens to the economy. We are all struggling now if this extension does not pass it’s beyond over, it will be the Unemployment version of Katrina, watch and see

  • jchalk 06/29/2010 10:25am

    It failed, not enough votes.

  • jrhill 06/29/2010 10:25am
    Link Reply
    + -2

    well obama just wrote a $30 million check to the palestinians to help build schools and dig sewer pipes…

    divide that $30 million up by the number of unemployed and divy that out instead…

    like I said.. im in the same boat with you guys, but I live in reality. Where does the money come from?? Put logic in front of your passion and its hard to disagree..

  • Comm_reply
    nh2010 06/29/2010 10:27am

    It was $400 million he gave to the Palestinians who are under terrorist leadership.

  • Comm_reply
    jrhill 06/29/2010 10:35am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    divide that $400 million by the number of people (like ME BTW) who have had their unemployment expired…

    that’s a lot of dough… be glad this administration is sending your Unemployment Checks to the Palestinians to help buy bullets and rockets…

    how bout it?

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 11:08am

    Although I may/may not agree with this action, it has NOTHING to do with helping AMERICANS with UNEMPLOYMENT. Our Country is designed to have a government where we do not have a ruler who can make all of the decisions…we rely upon the Congress/House on these matters. The President cannot simply write a check to the Unemployed.He cannot sign an executive order to do this because we are a democracy and our reps in Congress/House MUST pass this. The REPUBLICANS keep blocking the progress of getting this assistance which has been in place for decades to stall and use antics/tactics to posture themselves. They are digging themselves a big hole…Stop diverting attention to non issues and get the Unemployment Assistance passed TODAY! Stop creating diversions. Amercians need assistance NOW!

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:27am

    So what does that mean will it be presented today or not???

  • jrhill 06/29/2010 10:28am

    some of you are in such a panic you don’t care what burns down in order for us to get our precious UC checks…

    listen… if the congress really cared about the ‘unemployed’ (like many others have said) then they would create a bill FOR THAT PURPOSE ONLY with NOTHING ELSE.

    But they cannot.. they cannot help but stuff it with all kinds of Tax increases, more job-killing legislation and handouts to the unions… face it.

    all the dopes who just say “pass it” “pass it” “pass it” are the same dopes who take a 30 page contract and just blindly sign it without reading it…

    probably why some of you are in the position you are in in the first place…

    but im not to judge.. I ALSO want the extensions to pass.. but I live in “reality” not in “liberal la la land”..

  • gbasham5 06/29/2010 10:30am

    Well thank you members of the House. I will just tell my LandLord that you will be writing him a check, so that my children and I are not homeless this 4th of July weekend? Despicable! I am not a 99’er, but my benefits stopped on June 2nd. Indiana doesnt care about it’s unemployed either!!

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:31am

    Does anyone know the title of the senate bill that they are presenting?

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 10:34am

    the Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010. Senator from Michigan..

  • Comm_reply
    jrhill 06/29/2010 10:37am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    uhm.. no it’s not…

    uhm.. no it’s not…Its a HOUSE RESOLUTION

    uhm.. no it’s not…Its a HOUSE RESOLUTIONH.R.5618 – Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010

    uhm.. no it’s not…Its a HOUSE RESOLUTIONH.R.5618 – Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010The Senate Resolution is still alive and hopefully will pass…

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 10:47am

    What are you talking about? The Senate version is what we are waiting for. Presented by Michigan Senator and is what Democrats are trying to gain support from your friends on. The house version was voted on and failed a little while ago-thanks to your Republican friends. “INFORM yourself before shooting off your mouth” as your republican friend stated.
    The real issue is passing the unemployment assistance for ALL Americans who need it.

  • Comm_reply
    lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 10:37am

    Thank You
    i looked it up by that name it is: S-3520

  • gale99 06/29/2010 10:45am


  • sweett813 06/29/2010 10:56am

    Well I will become the next bonnie n clyde looks like

  • lonnienyssa 06/29/2010 11:06am

    ok so now I am REALLY confused are they presenting another bill about the Extending it or not?? Is there another Bill??

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 11:26am

    Yes there is another attempt. The Senator from Michigan presented the bill and now it must be presented by the Senate to the floor so it can be voted on etc. the problem is that they are not going to present it unless they think there is support on the Republican side..I have read there may be some hope there and that Reid is working with the Republicans to get it done prior to the end of the week. If you press blogs at the top of the page, look for the stand alone bill presented by the Michigan Senator and you can read a little more on is only 3 pages and extends the Unemployment along with the extra $25 I think until November. They are working behind the scenes to get this to the floor for the vote. Obviously the Republicans are feeling the heat to support the assistance. Keep calling/e-mailing etc…hope that helps

  • Comm_reply
    Revolution 06/29/2010 11:31am

    The House Version is not completely dead either..the vote that was defeated earlier was to move faster on passing to the Senate etc..that failed..but now the House can vote under regular rules to pass and get to the Senate but may take a longer period Today-Thursday etc…Dont give up,, they are feeling the pressure and know this is an emergency and that their posturing/playing games is not going to be tolerated. Hang in there!

  • NevadaMod 06/29/2010 11:12am

    Can you believe that these persons who represent the people are playing with the lives of so many? Political showboating should be a capitol offense; I do not care what side of the isle you are on. Where was their concern over the deficit when the banks that were “too big to fail” needed two trillion dollars, they lined up their jets and flew in from all over the country to pass trillions to aide Wall Street and the banks. Now when citizens need assistance and it is a matter of people starving they want to play like they are concerned; just like the addict who spent his pay check on his addiction buys a candy bar to feed his children all week. My prayers go out to the people who are trying to make it in this economy, and I also pray that the ones refusing to help have nightmares about it.

  • peony8702 06/29/2010 11:13am

    Revolution!… thanks for the information. I didn’t know there was another bill. so there is still hope….

    I don’t understand why the unemployment extention money can’t be found, if that is the problem, frankly?? does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    I understand from what I’ve read umemployment extentions have always been considered emergency funding, not pay/go. But now the GOP + some Dems are dmanding pay/go, so this isn’t an emergency???,
    at this point,can’t they just come up with some money so people can get paid?

  • triciacelt 06/29/2010 2:10pm

    thank you to Senator Levin….because this doesnt make sense….it is either more money for unemployment or more money for welfare….take your pick…

  • Revolution 06/29/2010 3:21pm

    “When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
    When the funds are low, and the debts are high
    And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
    When care is pressing you down a bit-
    Rest if you must, but do not quit.
    Success is failure turned inside out;
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
    And you can never tell how close you are
    It may be near when it seems so far;
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
    It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.”

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