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Congress Has Never Let UI Benefits Expire With Such a High Unemployment Rate

June 30, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The National Employment Law Project and the Center for American Progress are out with a new report today that explains just what a historical anomaly Congress’s failure to extend unemployment insurance benefits is given the dismal state of the jobs market.

Never before has Congress cut off benefits when unemployment was so high. Since the 1950s, federal unemployment insurance extensions remained in place during recessionary periods until unemployment dropped to as low as 5.0 percent. The highest unemployment rate at which these extensions were allowed to expire was 7.2 percent, following the 1983 recession—substantially lower than our current rate of 9.7 percent.

The report is mostly a series of arguments in favor of Congress passing an extension, but it’s also a great resource for getting an overview of how the extended unemployment insurance system works and what is at stake on a state-by-state basis if Congress does not pass another extension.

Democrats in both chambers of Congress are trying once again to pass an extension today. See this blog post for all the information you need to follow the votes.

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  • Chris51 06/30/2010 7:16am

    • 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


  • desperatentx 06/30/2010 7:31am

    i really hope they make a positive decision for those of us who continue to suffer!! i am trying so hard to keep it together but continue to find myself not sleeping at night and have no appetite! im hoping and praying that God touches each and every heart of these people in which our lives are depending on!

  • indimom2010 06/30/2010 7:38am

    Does anyone know what time today they are voting on the extensions for unemployment?

  • juju39567 06/30/2010 7:47am

    i just want to thank Donny Shaw for keeping us informed. For the last month ive been scratching by begging for food from churches my car has been repoed moved in with disabled parents and BEGGING FOR NEWS COVERAGE to follow this. If it wasnt for this site and Donny Shaw we the suffering would know absolutely nothing of the day to day happenings. Thank you again.

  • Comm_reply
    mojo1951 06/30/2010 7:54am

    Yes, thank you Donny. I need him to interpret what I am seeing on CSPAN, as it can be very confusing. What a circus.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 8:36am

    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.

  • tiredofbeingtired 06/30/2010 7:55am

    This whole situation is sad. It angers me that I’ve worked for over 15 years and never filed unemployment, and now when it is needed most, it’s not available. Congress is out of touch with the common person and they have no idea what the American people are going through…and what’s worse they don’t want to be involved enough to recognize it. Sad….

  • Iamamerican33 06/30/2010 8:35am

    One could get a kindergarden class in order more quickly than they can a set of politicians. When it is time for a vote they become like ants. The time runs out and the presiding speaker literally has to ask who has not voted, ask their votes, and continuously ask them to come to order and clear the floor. I believe… as long as it takes you to get to the point of voting… GET TO THE SEAT YOU HAVE BEEN ELECTED TO SIT IN AND VOTE! Our taxes pay you to act like adults. It is definitely time for a younger generation of fresh minds and faster feet in the House of Representatives!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 06/30/2010 10:23pm

    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

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/01/2010 9:51pm

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME to Republicans and those few Democrats who blocked several U.I. Ext. bills from passing they turned their backs on THE PEOPLE again.

    Most of these same House Representatives and Senators united to pass bills that gave their Wall Street/Banks SEVERAL billion $$$s in bailouts in 2008, starting with JP MORGAN CHASE, one of the many banks that took advantage of consumers.

    Then their oil companies made billions in profit during the summer of 2008, as they strategically increased gas prices by $1-$2 on Americans at the pump. Americans had to pay for gas to get to work. Soon American’s household budgets were out of balance, and started foreclosing on home loans.

    Your companies stayed fat$$ at the top by cutting jobs, while leaving The People jobless, without Unemployment Insurance, struggling and sadly disillusioned.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/08/2010 6:49pm

    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:

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/08/2010 6:50pm

    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.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:58pm

    Top 5 Contributions from Oil&Gas Industry 2009-2010:
    1 Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86%Repubs
    2 Exxon Mobil $548,214 13% Dems, 87% Repubs
    3 Chevron Corp $516,891 18% Dems, 82% Repubs
    4 Valero Energy $467,000 17% Dems, 83% Repubs
    5 Marathon Oil $378,190 23% Dems, 76% Repubs

    Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Money flowing primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks receives substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, which make substantial annual donations to conservative org…

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:59pm

    Sharron Angle a Tea Party favorite:
    If you’ve been following the ongoing Senate campaign of Nevada hopeful Sharron Angle, you know that she’s sick and tired of the long-term unemployed taking home all of those cushy unemployment benefits. Angle’s angle is that these millions of Americans are just living large on the dole and need to have their unemployment benefits terminated so that they will be motivated to go out and get a job — one of the millions of magical jobs that exist in Sharron Angle’s mind!

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 2:59pm

    Letter was written to Senators:
    On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to carefully consider all aspects of H.R. 4213…

    If the bill comes to a vote as currently formulated, we encourage you to vote NO, and will track the vote on our Economic Scorecard….

    FreedomWorks (FreedomWorks funders for Tea Party ;)

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:25pm

    Republicans only care about one thing, their own job preservation. Reps are working hard to win November’s election with the help of Tea Party Movement (FreedomWorks) and their BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST.

    Oil&Gas Industry Contribution 2009-2010
    Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86% Repubs

    Kosh has made big contributions to FreedomWorks, a non-profit that funds Tea Party. These 2 organizations are putting a great deal of pressure on Senators to not support UI Ext. with stimulus that require corporations to help pay back through taxes.

    Most big corporations have made record profits this year by cutting jobs long-term. They started layoffs in 2007, and putting millions of Americans on unemployment.

    They created the business mantra of “DO MORE, WITH LESS”, causing today’s workforce to do more job responsibility with no more pay.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 9:24pm

    Oil & Gas Industry, history of strong influence in Washington. Individuals and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 MILLION to candidates and parties since the 1990 (Bush Senior term) election cycle, 75% of which has gone to REPUBLICANS…
    Former oilmen George W. Bush and Dick Cheney occupied the White House for 8 yrs, the oil and gas industry could not win support for repealing bans on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, Congress voted in 2008 to lift a ban on offshore drilling… Read full story:

    Drilling bans were lifted during Bush’s last months in WhiteHouse in 2008. The After consumers & transportation industry & economy felt the pain of $1-$2 price hikes of gas, during Summer 2007. It was “the straw that broke the Camel’s backs”, PUTTING USA/AMERICANS INTO TAIL SPIN.

  • jwilson04161 06/30/2010 9:39am

    i fucking hate these guys in office meaning the rep

  • jenny2010 06/30/2010 10:46am

    I’ve worked for over 15 years and have never filed for unemployment. I’ve been laid off since September of last year and desperately been looking for work to no avail. My benefits have been exhausted and now my mortgage payment is past due. We’ve tried so hard to avoid foreclosure and pray this bill passes so we can hang on till I find a job. My kids don’t understand how this can happen in America.

  • downandout 06/30/2010 12:25pm

    We have all been pointing fingers at who is holding this bill up. We do know the cause, but let’s become adults(as opposed to those in Congress) and stop the blame game. At this point it does not matter at all to me who is to blame for this just so long as they stop behaving like children and do their job which is taking care of the American people who elected them. PASS THE BILL TODAY OR STAY IN SESSION UNTIL YOU DO.

  • Jess01869 06/30/2010 6:03pm

    And it didn’t pass. Happy 4th of July. I’ll probably be homeless by then let alone by the 12th…along with lots of other people I know.

  • DeborahJBrown 07/01/2010 6:25am

    CONGRESS IS WAGING A CIVIL WAR – I have been a registered Republican since 1972, a loyal supporter but I can’t support this kind of thing. It’s becoming way too obvious that it’s not about the bill, it’s about stalling, going on break after break, avoiding accomplishment, avoiding resolution. I don’t get it – my party isn’t offering any ideas or suggestions and there IS a job crisis and the American people are desperate. I don’t see my party representing the people. They are blindly casting votes dictated by a party. Congress is focused on waging a political war between parties rather than on compromise and addressing important issues. I really hope to see Independents run this year. If ever there were a time when Independents are vitally needed and have a genuine chance of winning it is now. We need Independents to break the stalemates and END THE CIVIL WAR BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. Remember this 4th of July and on Election Day… United we stand, but divided we fall..

  • eavina30 07/02/2010 4:41pm

    i am a republican that’s officially voting democrat in November, now lets get them unemployed

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/10/2010 6:42am

    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 07/03/2010 9:56pm

    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

  • Houselogic 07/06/2010 6:20am

    Good men and women are forced to be silent and hold their tongues cause of fear of what is thought of them. What is the best thing to do for a man when he fails, its to mock him. So to help someone who has failed as a result of an outside influence (Congress/Senate) is fear of losing POWER over the 1 you made fail. Get in the way or get out the way but don’t block failure or success. These men in women who make these polices and write these bills, are no more diffrent than being Lords/Ladies in medieval times. Like the majority of most Americans I wait silently, waiting for the time when those who say, “There are jobs out there you have to go look!!! don’t be Lazy!” Soon the constant ignoring of your people Lords/Ladies of the senate…. Will be met with tyranny of the people’s own doing, and then when everyone begins to ask, “How did we get here? Where did it all start?” Good men and women will be made evil and tyrants will be made gods!!

  • Chris51 07/07/2010 9:09pm

    CNN has actually screened and blocked several comments/blogs that expose the truth about the Republican Senators in regards to the UI Ext bills.

    Here are some stories written with very accurate reporting of the UI Ext Crisis.

    The unemployment emergency

    Senate struggles with unemployment benefits

    Calls to Suicide Hotlines Skyrocket Along with Unemployment

  • Chris51 07/08/2010 9:35am

    Read and sign this petition on today if you agree.

    Petition Title: Tell your Senators to vote for an emergency extension of UI Benefits.

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