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Dems Will Have 60 Votes for Passing the Unemployment Extension Bill Next Week

July 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Apparently West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s chat last night with election attorneys didn’t convince him to go ahead with appointing an interim replacement for Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV] before the legislature in his state meets on Thursday. Here’s the latest on the situation, from the AP:

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin says he’ll make a temporary appointment to the late Robert C. Byrd’s Senate seat by Sunday.

Manchin said Monday he could announce his pick as early as Friday.

That means this entire week will go by without any Senate work on the unemployment insurance extension bill unless Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] or another Republican changes their position on it. It does sound pretty certain that there will be a replacement for Byrd by the beginning of next week, but, in that case, even under the best-case scenario, it will take the Senate until the end of next week to get the bill to final passage. And then the process of implementing the extension in the 50 states begins…

On the bright side, when Congress does finally get the extension done and it is signed into law (most likely during the final week of July), the bill is will allow for benefits to be paid back retroactively to everyone who has been cut off since they expired on June 2nd. By the end of July, 3.2 million unemployed Americans will have had their benefits cut off prematurely due to the Senate stalemate.

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