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Senate Breaks GOP Filibuster of Unemployment Extension, Bill Now Set to Become Law

July 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: I’m traveling, so a little late with the updates here, but it looks like this finally passed earlier this evening by a vote of 59-39. The bill now moves back to the House of Representatives for one more vote. They are expected to hold that vote tomorrow and the bill will most likely be signed into law tomorrow as well.

UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.: The Senate is voting right now on 5 Republican amendments to the bill and will vote on final passage of the bill after these votes. None of the amendments are expected to pass. Under Senate rules, the final vote on passage must happen before 9 p.m. this evening. You can follow along with the votes live on C-SPAN 2.

Original post below…

After 6 weeks of failure and delay, the Senate this afternoon finally voted to end a Republican filibuster of the unemployment insurance extension bill, allowing it to move forward towards final passage and becoming law. The Senate still has to take one more vote on the bill, but the motion they passed this afternoon was the big hurdle that, until now, they had been unable to overcome. The bill is now virtually guaranteed to be signed into law this week.

Sen. Carte Goodwin [D, WV], West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s pick for replacing the late Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV], was sworn-in just moments before the Senate voted on the motion to end the Republican filibuster, and he provided Democrats with the 60th vote they needed to pass it. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], voted with Republicans against the motion, and two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

Under Senate rules, a vote on pasage of the bill itself must now occur within 30 hours. The vote on passage requires a simple majority of 51 “ayes” to pass, not 60 like the motion to break the filibuster. Since the Democrats have just shown that they have more than 51 votes for the bill, the Republicans may agree to letting the final vote happen before the 30-hour clock has completely run out.

What’s in the Bill?

This bill, H.R. 4213, began as a $141 billion, 426-page omnibus package of stimulus spending, tax measures, unemployment insurance and more. But what the Senate voted to move forward with today (S. Amdt. 4425) is revision of the bill that whittles it down to $34 billion, 13 pages and includes only one substantial item — an extension of unemployment insurance for people who have been out of work for 6 months or longer. You can even see this change reflected in the title of the bill. It was originally called — somewhat awkwardly — the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act.” It has now been renamed simply the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act.”

The filing deadline for unemployment insurance benfits expired on June 2nd; this bill would extend that deadline until November 30, 2010, allowing unemploed individuals who exhaust their current tier of benefits, or who have exhausted their last tier since June 2nd, can file to move into the next tier of benefits.

The bill also provides for benefits to be paid back retroactively for people who have seen their payments cut off since the filing deadline expired on June 2.

Additionally, it includes an extension of the closing deadline for the first-time homebuyers tax credit, but that provision is redundant with a bill that was signed into law on July 2nd (H.R. 5623). There are also three revenue-raiser provisions in the bill — changes to the Travel Promotion Act, cracking down on tax fraud committed by prisoners, and recessions from the Defense Department budget. These are three provisions are estimated to raise $146 million over the next ten years and generally non-controversial. You can read more about them here.

What’s Not in the Bill?

Tier V — The bill would not create additional weeks of unemployment benefits. 99 weeks (Tier IV) would still be the maximum amount of a time a person could receive benefits for in states with high unemployment rates, and 86 weeks (Tier III) would still be the max in states with low unemployment rates.

Federal Additional Compensation Program — This stimulus program, which provided an extra $25 per week in unemployment benefits payments, would not be extended under the bill. That means that all retroactive payments would be for $25 less than what they were before June 2nd, as will all payments in new tiers.

COBRA — These benefits for helping unemployed people pay for health insurance were dropped from the bill in a previous iteration. They will not be extended in this bill and there is no plan to extend them during this session of Congress.

What Happens Next?

As I mentioned above, the Senate will take one more vote on the bill within the next 30 hours. Once that passes, they will send it over to the House of Representatives, which will vote on agreeing to the Senate’s changes to the bill. The House already has that vote on their schedule for the week, and it is expected to pass easily. After that, the bill will be enrolled and sent to President Obama for his signature. That could happen by the end of the week, possibly even as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Once the bill is law, state labor departments will immediately begin implementing it and sending out payments. As Annie Lowrey at the Washington Independent explains, these agencies are already preparing for the law, but the combination of high unemployment and uncertainty over what Congress will do with the benefits has given them a real logistical headache and may cause some hiccups in implementation.

To find and share information on how this bill is being implemented in your state, see the Benefit Wiki project on OpenCongress.

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Comments

Displaying 151-180 of 395 total comments.

fa2010 07/21/2010 6:45am
in reply to ExGOP Jul 21, 2010 6:21am

I have found myself talking to the TV while watching C-Span a lot in the past couple of months. Usually what I have to say requires that little ears not be in the room and it’s directed at a Republican in response to the old “deficit, deficit, deficit” argument. Isn’t Kyl all for giving the rich a tax break and allowing it to be added to the DEFICIT? But that’s okay – those are his friends. eyeroll

comments5647 07/21/2010 6:41am

And again, we wait… unbelievably cold and callous to use your constituents in such an abusive fashion…way to go GOP Senators!!! You convinced me to change parties and I won’t choose the Democratic party either…

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:39am
in reply to mikes1lakerfan Jul 21, 2010 6:35am

voting for Republican SENATORS that is.

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:35am

IF YOU KNOW ANYONE THAT VOTES, OR VOTES FOR REPUBLICANS & UNDERSTAND JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON WITH UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS. PLEASE TELL THEM TO WATCH THE VIDEO on YouTube titled “UPDATE Unemployment Extension ON HOLD AGAIN! JULY 20 2010” AND THEN ASK THEM HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT VOTING FOR OR CONSIDERING VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!

ExGOP 07/21/2010 6:34am
in reply to artledoux Jul 21, 2010 6:22am

If cavsruleall was replying to my sore loser statement, then you both are correct. However, his statement regarding HR 5618 is still incorrect, and that is what I was replying too.

dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:32am
in reply to dwcstmdznr Jul 21, 2010 6:31am

Life long Republicans have lost faith in this party. My husband, myself and my children will NEVER again vote Republican for anything including Dogcatcher.

dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:31am

I just sent an email to every republican and the one lone dem who voted against this bill, here is the text of that messsage:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???

There are millions of American TAX PAYERS who are going hungry, loosing their homes,cars, and credit rating. They are unable to pay for medications which are life saving. And why? Because you stupid stupid, petty Republicans are doing everything in your power to destroy them! Hope you aren’t planning on keeping your job next election because every unemployed worker, their family and friends will remember how you stabbed them in the back and then kicked them while they were down! You are all a bunch of petty little tyrants playing “I’ll get even with you and hold my breath till I turn red in the face because you won’t do what I want you to do!” You have turned your backs on your constituents, the very people who put you in office. Get ready to apply for unemployment yourself, you pompous ASS.

artledoux 07/21/2010 6:30am
in reply to cavsruleall Jul 21, 2010 4:20am

51 votes for cloture, the final vote needed. the first vote needed 60 to
stop the filibuster.
Art LeDoux

dwcstmdznr 07/21/2010 6:27am
in reply to mikes1lakerfan Jul 21, 2010 5:43am

Probably more like FRI. figure it passes the senate tonihjt, I doubt it’ll make it to the house till tomorrow. House passes thurs, get to Obama fri

gerryd 07/21/2010 6:25am
Link Reply
+ -1

ITS’S ME AGAIN – THANK GOD TO HAVE PEOPLE TO RELATE WITH! I JUST READ A BOOK CALLED “THE sENATOR’S WIFE”. THIS HA NOTHING TO DO WITH U/C BUT I WANTED TO SHARE ONE PARTICULAR PARAGRAPH WITH YOU ALL. IT’S ABOUT A WOMAN WHOSE SENATOR HUSBAND HAS BEEN UNFAITHFUL!! IMAGINE THAT??? ANYWAY, THESE ARE THE AUTHOR’S WORDS NOT MINE, AND I QUOTE—- AT A PARTY THIS SENATOR SAID "DEMOCRATS ARE STUPID (WHICH HE WAS CAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT)BECAUSE THEY CHOOSE TO SLEEP WITH WASHINGTON’S SO-CALLED “WHITE TRASH” THE YOUNGER, “NOBODYS” SO TO SPEAK WHO ARE LOOKING FOR MONEY AND FAME AND WORKING THEIR WAY UP. HOWEVER, THE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE TO PICK WEALTHY, WASPY WOMEN OR MEN, WHATEVER, BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST IN IT FOR THE FUN!!!" I THOUGHT THAT VERY INTERESTING REMEMBERING TED KENNEDY WITH MARY JO KOEPECKNE AND CLINTON WITH LOWINSKI AND ON AND ON!!! THE REPUBLICANS EVEN KNOW HOW TO CHEAT ON THEIR WIVES/HUSBANDS JUST LIKE THEY DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!! JUST SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!!!

artledoux 07/21/2010 6:22am
in reply to ExGOP Jul 21, 2010 5:19am

I took cavsruleall’s answer,“both” as a reply to your statement,“Are they
sore losers or are they cold hearted bastards…or both?”
If that’s what you are replying to then he is correct.
Art LeDoux

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 6:21am

H.R.1207 AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE. It look like this bill may have had a chance but some SENATORs jumped ship at the last minute and the bill was voted down. Hmmmmmmmm!!!! I wonder why???? Maybe because there might too much investigating needed and criminal action going on???? If you read the summary about the bill on this site make sure you READ THE WHOLE summary. I GUARANTEE YOU it will leave some questions in your head!!!!!!!!

ExGOP 07/21/2010 6:21am

Senator Kyle (R-AZ) just finished speaking on C-SPAN3. He’s still talking about how UI should be paid for. I found myself talking to the TV. “It’s too late dude. The bill will pass AS IS”.

shirlallen4 07/21/2010 6:05am

I just wanted to say “THANKS” to all of you! Its good that we have this avenue here to vent, ask questions-and also get them answered here. I appreciate all of you who have helped myself, and others in the time of need-if only to lend a listening ear, and get frustrations off our chest. You never know how far on the edge some people are, and a word of encouragement, a bible verse, or even some much needed information has caused them to have hope, and hang on in here a little longer.
Thanks again!
And may God bless each and everyone of you to have, and keep the strength to deal with the issues of today, and have peace in your home, amongst your family and lives, and a burst of financial avenues-whether it be your own business, or newly created job opportunities. My prayer daily is for God to bless you.

gerryd 07/21/2010 6:04am

WE NEED A MILLION PERSON MARCH TO WASHINGTON. I HAVE TRIED TO DO IT THRU VARIOUS BUS COMPANIES IN MY AREA AND NEWS PEOPLE BUT NO ONE WANT S TO GET INVOLVED. I EVEN CALLED SENATOR SPECTER’S OFFICE. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW WE CAN GET NOTICED??? IF YOU NOTICE, THE U/C ISSUES WERE REALLY NOT A BIG PRIORITY ON TV NEWS COVERAGE THESE PAST MONTHS. LET’S FACE IT 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE IS NOT A LOT CONSIDERING!!!!!!! BUT THESE PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE THAT THERE ARE AT THE VERY LEAST 20 TO 50 PLUS PEOPLE CONNECTED TO EACH ONE OF THE 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE WHO DO CARE ABOUT US AND THESE PEOPLE TOO ARE STILL ABLE TO VOTE!!!!!!!!!!! THEY HAVE NOT YET MANAGED TO TAKE THAT RIGHT AWAY FROM US YET!!! LET’S SOMEHOW WORK ON THIS CAUSE AND BE HEARD IN HUGE NUMBERS. WE ARE TIRED OF BEING PAWNS, BARTERING CHIPS, PEOPLE TO BE “FELT SORRY FOR” ETC. LET US GET BACK OUR SELF ESTEEM THAT OUR EMPLOYERS AND POLITICIANS MANAGED TO DESTROY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

comments5647 07/21/2010 5:58am
in reply to ExGOP Jul 21, 2010 4:55am

@ExGOP As a recent former GOPer I thank you for this petition information. After listening to Senator Whitehouse’s eloquent speech this morning on the Senate floor I could not refuse to sign this petition. I encourage all unemployed to sign as none of us ever expected to be unemployed let alone unemployed for such an extended period of time and the GOP this morning has made abundantly clear by making the Senate wait the 30 hours before their is further movement on this bill what their feeling and intent towards us is. Please show the GOP Senators what we think of them by joining me signing this petition (please, I realize the average Republican does not share their callous disregard for their fellow unemployed Republican Americans as the Republican Senators do).

gerryd 07/21/2010 5:55am

OH EXGOP YOU ARE AMAZING – THANKS!!!!!!!!!I JUST WATCHED SEN. REED OF RI AND HE MADE ABSOLUTE PERFECT SENSE. HE STATED THAT THE “OTHER SIDE” IS NOW GOING TO ACTUALLY WASTE 30 HOURS OF DOING NOTHING TODAY JUST TO AVOID VOTING UNTIL 9PM TONIGHT!! HOW CALLOUS. MY POINT IS THAT EVEN THO WE ARE ONLY GETTING U/C WE STILL DO PAY TAXES ON THAT AS WELL. SO IN ESSENCE, WE ARE STILL TAXPAYERS. I RESENT MY TAXES PAYING A BUNCH OF OVERPAID PEOPLE TO SIT AROUND ALL DAY AND DO NOTHING JUST BECAUSE THEY GOT DEFEATED AND ARE SULKING AND THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF TRYING TO SHOW THEIR POWER OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT. MANY OF THEM NEED THAT DEVICE CHEYNEY JUST GOT IN HIS CHEST AS WELL TO DO THE WORK OF HIS HEART, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE “HEARTS” AS WELL, SO TO SPEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!GUESS A LOT OF MARTINIS WILL BE HAD TODAY AND LONG LUNCHEONS ETC!!!! TO KILL THE REMAINING HOURS. THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY TAKE OUT THE “FOR LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL PART OF THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE”!!!!

mikes1lakerfan 07/21/2010 5:43am

I CAN’T BELIEVE THESE BASTARD REPBLICANS ARE HOLDING UP THE UI EXTENSION BILL AGAIN!!! THEY ARE HOLDING THE BILL FOR THE FULL 30hrs. Setting up the final vote for either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. So instead of the President possibly signing the bill Wednesday afternoon it probably won’t be signed until Thursday. BEFORE ANYONE RESPONDS TO THIS COMMENT PLEASE GO TO YouTube AND TYPE IN THE SEARCH BOX “UPDATE Unemployment Extension ON HOLD AGAIN! JULY 20 2010” and PLEASE, PLEASE WATCH the WHOLE 2:53 video! We need to vote these UNCOMPASSIONATE ASS HOLES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

ExGOP 07/21/2010 5:19am
in reply to cavsruleall Jul 21, 2010 4:59am

YOUR REPLY IS INCORRECT. HR 5618 WAS NEVER VOTED ON IN THE SENATE. THE HOUSE PASSED IT ON JUNE 29TH (JUST BEFORE THE 4TH OF JULY) DUE TO THE FILIBUSTERING IN THE SENATE REGARDING HR 4213.

skrapper 07/21/2010 5:06am

By the way that 211# is a HAND UP not a HAND OUT.

cavsruleall 07/21/2010 5:01am
in reply to understanding Jul 21, 2010 4:42am

No problem. Everyone helping each other out and networking online has been a key element to letting our voices be heard by most of those cold, hearted Republicans in the Senate, save the two Maine Rep Senators, who voted for the bill. This is a very sad time for my beloved country. They should be ashamed of themselves.

cavsruleall 07/21/2010 4:59am
in reply to ExGOP Jul 21, 2010 4:21am

Both.

understanding 07/21/2010 4:55am
in reply to understanding Jul 21, 2010 4:39am

In another tweet:

White House awaits final action Congressional action on #unemployment benefits. Pres.Obama to sign it SOON after passage.

skrapper 07/21/2010 4:55am

I’m glad you mentioned the 211 phone number…. That’s to The United Way, and it is for all of us that have been laid off.
Just pick up your phone and dial 211. If someone answers, then it’s available in your area. Just have a pad of paper, pen, and questions, and be prepared to write the answers to your questions. You first might want to write your questions out, so they can be answered in order. They help with a lot of things, they no the situation were in, and they have people working with them to help. Trust me when I tell you there is no politics involved in this. These are all volunteers out to help you. If you were not given this number when you were laid off “SHOUD HAVE BEEN” then your getting it now. Go ahead and use it.
I no I did and it helped.

ExGOP 07/21/2010 4:55am

TO ALL MY FELLOW UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS … LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AND DON’T STOP FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR CHECKS.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE:
http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

THIS COULD BE YOU! ECONOMISTS PREDICT JOBS WILL NOT BE BACK BY NOV. 30TH! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT A SMALL PICKUP IN 2012, BUT EVEN THEN THIS COUNTRY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ABLE TO CREATE 15 MILLION JOBS. IN OTHER WORDS, ANY RECOVERY WILL BE SLOW. LET’S START NOW TO HELP AVOID THE CRAP WE ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH.

P.S. PLEASE FORWARD THE PETITION LINK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO SIGN. WE STILL NEED 11,000+ SIGNATURES TO REACH THE 50,000 GOAL.

P.S.S. THANK YOU DONNY SHAW FOR KEEPING US INFORMED.

Leary1980 07/21/2010 4:52am

It is amazing to me that these people (GOP) play with American lives as if they were toys on a playground. I live in the DC area and I see the neighborhoods, the cars, the suits and the resturaunts that these scum go to daily and they are so out of touch with the pulse of the country. In times like these we need HELP HERE!!!! Not the Middle East or foriegn countries but right here in the USA, and it’s not the banks, or the auto industry, or your lawns that need the help it’s the middle class. The people who everyday make this country great. If money changes compassion than lord never make me wealthy. Maybe the Republicans don’t know this but, this is affecting white people(me) too! Maybe if they know that than they can get off there high horses and do the right thing.

ExGOP 07/21/2010 4:44am
in reply to gerryd Jul 21, 2010 4:28am

As of June 2010, PA unemployment rate is 9.2%. Source … http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm.

This is what they mean by 99er:
26 weeks = Regular UI
20 weeks = EUC Tier 1
13 weeks = EUC Tier 2
01 week = EUC Tier 3
13 weeks = EUC Tier 4
06 weeks = EUC Tier 4 (for States with high unemployment rates)
13 weeks = EB (for States with unemployment rates at or above 6.5%)
07 weeks = EB (for States with unemployment rates at or above 8%)

I hope this helps to reduce your stress. Stop worrying … you qualify for EB.

understanding 07/21/2010 4:42am
in reply to understanding Jul 21, 2010 4:39am

Cavsruleall, thanks for the clarification if this is the case. After all the changes and name changes, it is hard to know what’s in it.

understanding 07/21/2010 4:39am
in reply to gerryd Jul 21, 2010 4:28am

In a twitter tweet:

Senate Majority Ldr Reid: 9 pm EDT vote on final passage of unemployment benefits extension, unless deal reached w/ GOP to yield back time.

Kerlynne 07/21/2010 4:36am
in reply to gerryd Jul 21, 2010 4:28am

GERRYD>>> I am not in your state but I just wanted to let you know I understand and this is hard when no one will give you straight answers or you don’t understand the damn questions to ask or what they are saying. I do know that a 99er is someone that can have or has had 99 weeks of unemployment, some of it through their state and the rest through the federal government. After all of the Tiers ( 1 through 4 ) and then what ever the state provides it usually adds up to 99 weeks. Please try not to panic, there is some help out there. Call 211 and ask, it’s okay to ask now. Stay here and talk to us if you need too.

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