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Midweek Unemployment Extension Update

November 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE 2: The bill failed, 258-154 (290 votes were needed under the rule). The Democrats can bring this up again for a vote under regular order (requiring only a simple majority for passage), but it will be subject to amendments and a Republican motion to recommit.

UPDATE: House Democrats have put a three-month unemployment extension on the calendar for a vote today (Thursday). Read up on the bill, add a comment, and place your vote here:

H.R. 6419 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act

The bill is being considered under the expedited “suspension of the rules” process, which does not allow for amendments or motions to recommit that could trip up the bill’s passage. However, it requires a 2/3rds supermajority, so the Democrats will need all their members plus 35 Republicans to vote in favor. The last time they tried to extend unemployment under suspension of the rules, they failed, 261-155. With the bill not having a revenue offset, passage is unlikely. But we’ll see…. Check back for updates.

Original post below…

If Congress doesn’t pass an extension of unemployment insurance benefits this week, the filing deadline will expire and the long-term unemployed will start seeing their insurance payments disappear. Two million will be left without government support by the end of the year. We’re now more than half way through the week, so what’s the status with Congress getting this done?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] says the House is planning to hold a vote on extending unemployment benefits sometime before the session is up. And today Democrats introduced a bill that would extend benefits for three months, essentially keeping benefits alive until early in the next, more heavily Republican, session. The real problem is the Senate, where there is currently no plan for holding a vote on extending benefits. Senate Democrats only have 58 votes for passing an extension (all D’s except Ben Nelson [NE] and no R’s), but they would need 60 votes to beat an inevitable Republican filibuster. So far, they can’t figure out a way to round up the last few votes.

One emerging strategy for getting this through the Senate seems to be doing the unemployment extension and the Bush tax cuts together in one bill. Some reports recently have suggested that a temporary extension of all of the Bush tax cuts could be linked to an unemployment extension, possibly for up to one year. Extended unemployment benefits and the Bush tax cuts for income above $250,000 both would add about $70 billion to the deficit annually, so it would be an ironic solution to an impasse that is based maily on concerns about the deficit. But I guess that’s compromise, or something. This strategy is probably the unemployed’s best chance for securing a longer extension than whatHouse Dems are proposing.

Either way, this is not going to get done before Congress leaves on Friday for their Thanksgiving vacation. That means benefits will lapse, at least temporarily, and people who exhaust their current benefits  tier will not be eligible for additional weeks.

On the exhaustee front, the news, unfortunately, is much worse. Dave Dayen reporting from a call with Sen. Jack Reed [D, RI]:

Reed basically closed the door on any Tier V funding above 99 weeks of unemployment. Large numbers of the unemployed fall into that long-term category. “Our focus is maintaining the current system, and even that is a real challenge,” Reed said.

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Displaying 1-30 of 81 total comments.

  • eavina30 11/17/2010 1:48pm

    They are more concerned on voting for farmers, earmarks and the dream act for illegals, than voting for millions of 99ers that are suffering Why’d they wait until now, they could’ve passed this months ago….SMH, Reid is too old to be the Senate majority leader. There should be an age limit when serving in the Senate, seriously brains aren’t as sharp as they should be especially when your are a senior citizen. This is too important to be playing games with our lives.

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    enrico17 11/17/2010 2:23pm

    I do not agree with the age, look at Nancy, she is mature but then she is a woman, and women know how to get things done. If Reid does not put this to a vote than he has to be put out to pasture. Talk about lame duck

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    Penz2010 12/02/2010 2:27am

    Going to make this short, but for being a Republican my entire LIFE, I will NOW SUPPORT the Democrats. No I don’t care for what I perceive to be a tax and spend style, but the UE bill is something that is needed. For ONCE in their lives why not take care of the common man/woman? I do NOT care about tax credits for the RICH, or LARGE Corporations!! So I’m glad to see that Congress will once again turn it’s back on those that support it! Makes you wonder why we bother? Let’s worry about the ILLEGAL immigrants becoming immigrants. Let’s give money to the “black farmers” from ages ago that are gone. Let’s apologize to everyone for things done hundreds of years ago yet do NOTHING for people who scrape by every day just for a bite to eat. I used to be proud to be an American, yet it seems anymore that everything our ancestors fought for we prefer to give to someone else!

  • seanurse 11/17/2010 3:23pm

    ok i am a 99er getting served today by sheriff department. my only hope was they were going to use the s 3706 and attach to tax extensions. why are they not doing that. wow im so depressed and just want to end iot all. I cant belief this is happening in america.before christmas. what the fuck . im done good luck all.

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    comments11660 11/20/2010 3:12am

    I am so sorry I just saw your post…I have not been coming to this site as often as it is too depressing but I have been praying for you and hope you find a way through this. I hope you know that total strangers care about what is happening to you. When I pray for you I use your name Seanurse which must mean you are a caring person most nurses are. Hang in there Seanurse not one sparrow falls to the ground but what our Savior sees. His eye is on the sparrow I know He is watching you. Hang in their. Now is the time to fight back not give up even if fighting back means doing so in a homeless shelter. God bless you.

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    seanurse 11/20/2010 8:26am

    Thank you for your kind words. I am hanging in there and now have a burst of positive energy to fight this injustice to the hard working americans of the great usa. I’ve always been a positive person. You almost have to be to do my job,but even I can get run down after 2 years of this. anyway I’m back to meditating and talking with god on a daily basis. God once said he never gives you easy stuff to go through but he will always make sure the shoes he gave you will get you there. thanks again and have a blessed thanksgiving.

  • Mahlalie 11/17/2010 6:57pm

    Florida doesn’t exactly have the best jobs market in America and yet people here can still get a job if they try hard enough. I think a lot of people are full of crap.

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    mfoley0905 11/18/2010 6:05am

    I am so over idiotic remarks from people like you. Apparently you have a job and can afford to be judgmental of those who do not and are struggling to make ends meet and find a job. Wait until you are the one unemployed and see what it’s like. Living off of unemployment BENEFITS is not luxury. Get a clue!

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    roswil 11/18/2010 6:34am

    I live in Florida, and I have been out of work for 15 months! I look for work..ANY job, every day! Personally, I think YOU are FULL OF CRAP! Go take a laxitive!

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    TheDutchess 11/18/2010 9:19am

    I know, it’s better to take a job with KFC or Wendy’s huh? It would be nice if they would pay the mortgage, car insurance, gas, food, electric bill, phone bill, etc. Did I leave anything out? Let me know what kinds of jobs out there in Florida that can do these things. I’ll apply. But you are either ignorant or malevolent or both to make such a comment. Don’t worry, when you lose your job, because no one is immune, you will see how hard it is to get one. Good Luck with that. And go take a laxative, maybe a few. I can smell you from here!

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    Mahlalie 11/19/2010 3:17pm

    Really? No money is better than some money?

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    Educatednunemployed 11/18/2010 10:53am

    I think you had better watch what you say. If you have ever watched CNN, there are not enough job openings right now in existence to even absorb a fraction of the unemployed Americans. You must still be employed, and good for you, but you’ve got to be a little scared of what might happened if you were laid off. Don’t throw statements out like this when you’re clearly not educated enough to be doing so.

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    BenjaWiz 11/19/2010 2:49pm

    Are you threatening us? I mean how silly it is for you to say such a statement.

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    comments11660 11/20/2010 3:15am

    Educatedunemployed is not threatening you they are saying you could be the next one to lose your job. What is wrong with you why would you try to start a fight with this person they were just commenting?

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    Mahlalie 11/19/2010 2:37pm

    Might I point out I got this job in mid-recession. Who knew? I’m setting next to someone who got two jobs in this recession. You know who needs personnel? Those evil banks that are foreclosing on people who have a mortgage they couldn’t afford. Stunning what one can do.

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    Mahlalie 11/19/2010 2:38pm


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    Flyover 12/03/2010 4:19am

    Thanks NEA/AFT.
    Mahlalis(?)The evil bankers are the ones that were supported by the bailout program because American society DEPENDS on them to direct capital to concepts that are the most likely to prosper and thrive.
    PLEASE do a little research on the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The Carter Admin coerced the banking industry to make loans to people who could not repay them. The gov forced poison into a system of value that had worked for millennium
    Fact: Janet Reno of the Clinton Ad threatened the banks to comply even though it proved cancerous to their stability. Now, in the last twenty years, you had banks making loans (with government guns to their heads) that were not stable. This is where the loans to people that could not afford them came from. Foreclosures causing high housing inventory causing a decline in the one industry that that drives our economy: the building trades.
    It wasn’t the banks that caused this catastrophe, it was gov intervention.

  • DeborahJBrown 11/18/2010 4:12am

    I would hope that any negotiations such as this would include a Tier V since during the year there will most likely be a new majority for unemployed — and that will be those whose benefits have expired. It’s very easy to see that those who ran out of benefits first ran out at a time when everyone was downsizing and that made it impossible to find work. Now, long-term unemployed are targeted for “do not hire” and many, if not most, are aged workers over 50 years old. If this is not included the biggest benefit will be to the top 2% Bush tax cut recipients.

  • eavina30 11/18/2010 6:08am

    With the number of people filing for unemployment up, Obama’s most concerned about airing out Republicans on twitter, No wonder they wont meet with them. Now Harry Reid wants to bring don’t ask don’t tell to the floor, this country is crumbling slowly. Don’t buy GM stocks, they wont be worth nothing once Republicans take over in January. The rich keep getting richer and poorer keep getting poorer.

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    Flyover 12/03/2010 3:57am

    “The Rich keep getting richer and poor keep getting poorer”

    You have just demonstrated how the NEA and AFT have complete failed to teach our children how to think. The teachers unions have done more damage to our society than any foreign power could hope to.

    The phrase “Rich keep getting richer….” has been used for thousands of years. If it were ever true, then in the last 2000 years of its use, the “rich” would have ALL of the money by now. That phrase is used by someone who does not know how to earn wealth. Again, thanks NEA and AFT.

    GM stock will never be as solid as it could be. Why? Because it does not have the foundation of entrepreneurship anymore. It is a maintenance program for the UAW. And the only sure thing is: the government will spend other people’s money propping up the UAW.

  • Hopeful2010 11/18/2010 8:09am

    I agree with Deborah J Brown… “during the year there will most likely be a new majority for unemployed — and that will be those whose benefits have expired. It’s very easy to see that those who ran out of benefits first ran out at a time when everyone was downsizing and that made it impossible to find work” … a Tier V is needed. Please try and vote on a bill that includes help for the 99ers.

  • eavina30 11/18/2010 8:13am

    Job benefits fell short of passing in the house today, so all those that are isolating themselves from the 99ers, you too are under that umbrella so the choice is yours.

  • TheDutchess 11/18/2010 9:12am

    I hope that the ones that are complaining the most are the ones that help to vote out all of our Democrats. They were our only hope. If you voted against the Democratic party, who were the only ones that has been trying to get this thing through, then you are exactly where you need to be – NO BENIES! Maybe you thought that changing the players might somehow change the game? No, you were wrong. The game is still the same, it’s just that you will never get above water. Once the republican session starts next year – Look Out! You can’t think that voting for republicans will get you any closer to the unemployment benies. I would be really shocked if it even gets passed during the next hurdle. The republicans want to cut spending and they have to spend to get this through.

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    Abaratarrr 11/18/2010 12:18pm
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    ? Harry Reid is a democrat! he is the individual filibustering 3706,

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    TheDutchess 11/19/2010 2:54am


    Have you been paying attention to CNN, Countdown, Rachel Maddow? If they can’t even get a simple extension passed, how in the hell is he supposed to get S3706 through? With all the Republicans that are dead set against adding to the deficit even if it means the devastation of the unemployed american citizen, they will do it. They have been blocking the entire time! I don’t know how they were able to get so many seats in the house and senate with all of these so called out of work people. The mid term elections should have been a land slide in favor of a democratic house and senate. People can’t sit there and knowing that they voted the other way and now want to complain that we are not getting unemployment benies. That’s hypocritical.

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    Abaratarrr 11/19/2010 4:36am

    what this vote means is that additional weeks for the 99ers can be added as an amendment to this bill by any member of the house, the they would have passed this with a two thirds majority it would have meant that no additional weeks for the 99ers could be added.

    It was a publicity stunt nothing more, no one expected a two-thirds approval especially on a bill that leaves the 99ers to freeze to death.

    Now a tier 5 can still be added to this bill along with funding so that it can pass the senate. this bill as currently written will can not pass the senate, you know that.

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    Abaratarrr 11/19/2010 5:27am

    this measure failed by 17 votes! 18 democrats did not vote for this bill.

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