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Rep. Jackson-Lee Calls for Relief for 99ers in Tax Deal

December 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Finally, a sign that at least someone in the crew of House Democrats leading the revolt against Obama’s tax deal with the Republicans is fighting to add additional weeks of unemployment benefits. In a floor speech yesterday calling for “a reasoned conversation,” Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18] argued that a middle-income tax relief package should include a new tier of unemployment insurance benefits for those who have exhausted all available benefits. Jackson-Lee is among the 53 Democrats who signed a letter expressing opposition to the Obama tax deal.

The quote from the congressional record is below, and the video can be viewed at this link:

So, my friends, a middle-income tax relief that would include, if you will, a child tax credit, that would include an idea of ensuring that the working Americans who are now, unfortunately, unemployed will have unemployment insurance, that would further include those who have run up against a brick wall, the “99ers” as they call them, don’t have any more resources but still have mortgages and food to pay for and bills to pay, and they want to pay for it.

A reasoned tax relief legislation will be the real answer, not the answer, if you will, of a huge, ridiculous amount of dollars going to individuals who, of their own voice, have said, we are well. We are well. The economy is turning, the Dow is working.

For more on creating a new tier of benefits, see S.3706, the Americans Want to Work Act.

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Displaying 1-30 of 31 total comments.

  • tmc732 12/10/2010 8:36am


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    jenny2010 12/10/2010 2:13pm

    Yes, thanks again. words can’t express the gratitude so many of us feel for not forgetting about the 99ers.

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    Abaratarrr 12/12/2010 10:15am

    MODERATOR PLEASE LOOK AT 3706, the same individuals are making very offensive and insulting comments their political views should not give them freedom to insult others and disrupt opencongress.

  • njvixen 12/10/2010 8:45am

    Thank God someone is looking out for us. The sad fact is that the unemployment rate is based on people who are actively collecting,it does not include people who have exhausted their benefits yet are still unemployed. If the unemployment rate is at 9.8% now and then Congress adds a 99ers act extending the 99weeks, those 99ers would be able to actively collect again and that would raise the unemployment rate. The Government does not want this.

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    tmc732 12/10/2010 9:10am

    Everyone who is unemployed should still be certifying for benefits. I certify every two weeks so they have record of me in the system but i get a letter that says i am not able to receive any benefits… everyone keep calling in

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    Bunnie1978 12/10/2010 11:05am

    In Tennessee, we are supposed to keep doing our weekly certifications and keep sending in the work search logs. I’m glad someone has something to say about the 99ers. I think it’s politically smart to at least have something to say – but that doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot going into a session in a couple weeks full of congressmen that think rich people deserve political favors while the poor people are just lazy. I’m not even a 99er yet, but if the current plan gets extended, I will be in April or May. Three years ago I was living in a house that I built from the ground up. Now, not only can I not afford the crappy apartment I moved to when I abandoned my house, but I can’t even get into a subsidized apartment because my credit is destroyed. I’m applying this week for public housing….

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    99Rsoonhomeless 08/02/2011 5:35pm

    njvixen you can thank the Reagan revolution for fundamentally changing the way unemployment rates are calculated. In addition to no longer counting those actively collecting….cuz lets face it, they don’t count any longer, why would we? ….another nifty item was to include the military as part of the employed that had not previously been counted. So the next time you hear the argument about how employment got so much better during those glorious years in the 80’s….keep that in mind. Feel free to read for those of you who do not know your unemployment tracing history but have some venomous retort to this position called facts.

  • jduong08 12/10/2010 8:54am

    Godless you SHEILA Jackson-LEE!!! We want to work but there are not jobs. I tried so hard over a year. I called all contract agencies every day.

  • cookrsm 12/10/2010 9:26am

    Thank you Sheila Jackson-Lee.

  • Ktula7 12/10/2010 9:38am

    Sheila Jackson-Lee…thank you for not leaving us behind. For giving us a voice when we have felt for so long that no one has heard us. For there will be many more of us come the New Year with nowhere to turn. I just want to hug you! Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!

  • tmc732 12/10/2010 10:10am

    she is just one person…need to get some more people on our side!!

  • Lookup 12/10/2010 10:14am

    Not all received 99 weeks. I live in a state with unemployment rate over 10%. I worked 7 days a week for minimum wage at my last job for 5 years. I received 61 weeks and 16 weeks on SEB. These number of weeks you are eligible is not only based on your state unemployment rate but also on your wages. I cannot get a job bagging groceries! I have tryed! Please no one tell me to get a job at a fast food place- they are going under and cannot give their workers more than 25 hours a week here. I have 2 degrees, a solid work history, I cannot find a job! Congress! We want to work!

  • badams82 12/10/2010 10:19am

    THANK YOU!!! Not many have given us a voice. Thank you for remembering that we still exist. Today, I was wondering whether or not I would be able to afford everything I will need to buy for our Christmas dinner. Wondering, if I can afford to buy dinner for my kids should, not be something I should be worried about during Christmas. When, I saw the article indicating that at least someone was fighting for us I felt some type of hope. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

  • Iamamerican33 12/10/2010 10:24am

    My unemployment tiers ran out the first week in November, around the same time I finished a 14mth Business class. I am a 51 year old female and have worked since I was 11. Yes, 11! I love to work and feel productive. We all do. I am still unemployed from the layoff from my last job that downsized because the economy went down. My job before that moved to S Korea. (All Bush years) I raised two children alone and taught them independence. I will not now be dependent upon them. This situation is very degrading and depressing. I have worked many 70 hr weeks and never turned down overtime, ever. While the economy is still volatile and jobs so scarce, we need an extention in order to get us through the winter months. Any extention of UI received gets spent immediately and helps us to survive, while it circulates throughout businesses that NEED US as customers. This in turn stimulates the economy. We want to work but until jobs come available, we ask that you not forget us… the 99res.

  • Iamamerican33 12/10/2010 10:29am

    And Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT…. God Bless you and your stamina and your concern for others. A fighter you are.

  • Iamamerican33 12/10/2010 12:26pm

    Just caught the end of Sheila Jackson-Lee, (D)TX on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show”. It will run again later tonight… for those interested in hearing more of her view.

  • BenjaWiz 12/10/2010 1:01pm


  • BenjaWiz 12/10/2010 1:04pm


  • rocky2007 12/10/2010 1:49pm

    The other night I hear one of the congressmen say that if they are not extending unemployment benefits, that the government should offer low or no interest lows, until people could find work. Anyone have an opinion on this?

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    PROFITGHANDII 12/11/2010 7:44am


  • Abaratarrr 12/10/2010 2:35pm

    another thought. how about a campaign to call the Washington 800# nonstop.

    They have to pay a dew cents every time you dial the number, if you call from a pay phone they have to pay $.50 every time you call.

    Heck you could cost them $100 an hour just calling them from a payphone over and over, maybe we could make it clear to them that it will be cheaper for them to just give us an extension then have each one of us costing them $100 an hour every time we get near a pay phone, or should we pick a day for a campaign like that. Or what about giving a few individual senators or congress men some $100,000 phone bill ball calling their home state office, they make around $180,000 a year a $100,000 phone bill would get their attention. Any ideas for a target?

    These are the washington 800 numbers they can transfer you to anyone. we could call the numbers 24 hours a day.


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    Abaratarrr 12/10/2010 2:36pm

    here is one for harry reid 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343) but it only work for calls coming from Nevada, if we could get 1000 of nevada’s unemployed to call 200 times each from a payphone it would cost him $100,000, 2000 Nevadans calling from payphones would cost him more then a years salary, that might give him an idea of what we are going through, I by no means want to restrict these calls to just one party they are all guilty.

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  • DeborahJBrown 12/11/2010 6:39am

    Thank you US Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee for recognizing that the “deal” isn’t really a “deal” at all unless it includes the REAL long-term unemployed, those who lost their jobs first and ran out of benefits at the height of hiring freezes, those who are now stigmatized and those who have done without for months, and some nearly a year. These are the people who need the most help on all fronts – including getting jobs with employers who say “do not hire”. Many of these people are aged workers, 50 years and older, who are in this strange place of being unemployed for the first time in their life, many have updated their skills but aren’t cast aside because of age. The needs of these people are a stark contrast to the desires of billionaires via tax cuts, estate tax breaks, etc… It’s shameful that the President I have defended over and over has intentionally turned his back on the hardest hit people in the recession. I voted for him, I have defended him, I have lost faith in him.

  • PROFITGHANDII 12/11/2010 7:49am

    Funny how this “emergency” wasn’t an emergency when it didn’t involve filthy failure elite getting a continuance on the sweetheart tax deal that broke this economy under the Republicants last attempt at leadership.
    Ten years of extreme profits generated for the elite few while driving the average wage slave wage American into poverty, and now these failure filthy elite want to dangle short term chump change and no tier 6 to get years of huge tax deferment and the ability to create an aristocracy with their piitance of inheritance tax, we became a country to rid ourselcves of the elite aristocracy and we should fight to the death any attempt to change the ability to create an new aristrocraCy of feeder failure filthy elite Wall Street scum!!

  • Abaratarrr 12/11/2010 10:41pm

    As many may re-call, Senator Stabenow made a great show of introducing the bill S.3706, the “Americans Want to Work Act”, back in August 4 on MSNBC’s ‘The Ed Schultz Show’. This bill was meant to address the concerns of the 99er’s by extending unemployment benefits beyond the current maximum of 99 weeks. Little was heard of the bill after its fanfare introduction.

  • lramirez1963 12/12/2010 1:45pm

    Sheila is the first sign of Sanity, and concern for her constituents. I voted for Capps, Fienstein, and Boxer, sent them letters, and can even get a response after congress made it impossible for me to get medical care unless I get $15,000 loan approved while homeless and a 99er, and eliminated my job. Yet, I am an Honor Student in Masters program in industrial psychology, and haven been paying taxes starting when I was six by working 2160 hours{13 months-40 hour week} in four months while an A student in school who missed a month of school.

    She has the spirit of Democracy in America (de Toqeville, 1840)concept of being a servant of the people, and if we get the 5th tier she is getting a box of chocolates.

    The angry American planning to immigrate to Germany to search for a better life based upon Merit! My father came to America in 1918 as a political refugee, and the first generation is denied the same opportunities he was given.Lorenzo Ramirez at

  • Rationalview 12/13/2010 3:18am

    Thank you US Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee – if this goes through you will have answered my prayers – the only thing better would be if I found a job but this will help me to keep my head above water for a few more months while I keep plugging away at my job search.

  • CANDY2011 02/18/2011 3:54pm

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