While there has not been any official Congressional action regarding unemployment legislation this past week, it looks like a battle is looming next week when Congress returns from recess. Although no official action has taken place, there are certainly behind the scenes games being played and one of those games is determining voter sentiment for proposed legislation. The Republicans will feel empowered with the following findings, since it seems to point in their favor of wanting to use pay-go for any unemployment funding. Here’s the article:
Poll results: Majority want the Senate to pay for federal unemployment benefit extension
Hat tip to reader TIER V TO SURVIVE TILL JOBS THRIVE! for mentioning that you can go here and still cast your vote:
Poll: Should an extension of federal unemployment benefits be paid for?
Reader Poll suggested that I remove the earlier quote about the initial poll results, so I removed it and you can go to the site to vote as you see fit. Republicans need to site pools of this nature in order to demand a funded unemployment eligibility extension. What’s more, is that there needs to be a longer term legislative fix for unemployment, so the 30-day extension battle may be just the beginning of a long drawn-out process.
Democrats need at least one Republican to vote on cloture so unemployment legislation can move forward, but according to the following quote, they may have a difficult time securing that one Republican vote:
The Senate is set for a Monday cloture vote on a bill to extend unemployment insurance and COBRA health benefits through May 5, but Democrats are not sure they can pick up at least one Republican to cut off debate.
Sen. Kyl: Unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting.
Ryan Grim of Huffington Post wrote, “Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting “because people are being paid even though they’re not working.” [LINK]
Sen. Coburn: Blocking Benefits Okay Because It Only Affects “A Relatively Small Number of People”
In an interview with The Hill, Sen. Coburn said the Republican obstruction of $9 billion in extended unemployment benefits isn’t a big deal because it only affects “a relatively small group of people.”
It seems that the Republicans are ready for a funding fight, but there’s a disconnect between Senator Coburn’s (R-OK) quote that unemployment benefits affect “a relatively small group of people” and the facts:
As you can see from the NELP table below, nearly over 950,000 unemployed Americans will prematurely lose their unemployment benefits by the end of April if legislation does not pass this month.
In Senator Coburn’s world, 950,000 is “a relatively small group of people.” Congress was able to cut a $700 billion dollar check to a handful of banks in a matter of days, but when it comes to the well-being of 5,000,000 people who are collecting unemployment benefits, it takes weeks of wrangling to determine where $9 billion will come from. It’s no wonder that many have lost faith in a system so skewed to the deep pocket corporations and special interests.
Without continued pressure from the unemployed, Congress will continue to play unemployment benefits extension games.
And a hat tip to readers msanonymous222 and TIER V TO SURVIVE TILL JOBS THRIVE! for pointing out the following Rachel Maddow smackdown of Senator Coburn (R-OK). Watch it, you’ll like it:
Rachel Maddow Runs Down Tom Coburn’s Record of Hypocrisy
For those who would like to sign a petition telling the Republicans to stop their unemployment benefits legislative tactics, take a look at the following option:
Help Fight the GOP Blockade of the Unemployment Extension
Please join in by signing, a petition telling Senate Republicans to end their filibuster and allow the extension of jobless benefits to struggling Americans.
Here’s what Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) has to say about the GOP and their obstructionist tactics, “If nothing else, Republicans have certainly been consistent. They’ve consistently put party before country, politics before people. Here we are in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, yet the GOP refuses to help. Up to 1.2 million Americans stand to lose benefits and just last week almost 60,000 New Yorkers who are managing to stay afloat with only these benefits to buoy them lost benefits. It can mean no longer getting help to put food on the table through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Republicans don’t seem to care, so it’s up to us-you and me-to stand up and do what’s right.
I have often quoted Arthur Delaney of The Huffington Post in my posts, since he has been on top of the unemployment legislation story for the past few months. He has always freely offered me his opinions and insights, which have been valuable resource for me when writing about unemployment issues. In Mr. Delaney’s latest article, Unemployed Friends: Jobless Find Support Online he interviews a few individuals who are attempting to help the unemployed get the latest unemployment news and updates; and give people a place to share their stories and vent their frustrations. Mr. Delaney was kind enough to call me and get my input for his article.
I’d also like to add that I am doing this because the main stream media seems to be doing such a poor job of covering the unemployment story. Besides covering the weekly and monthly unemployment statistics, the media seems almost oblivious to the desperate plight of millions who want and need jobs. The letters I receive are a testament to that fact because there a many talented, hard-working people who just want a chance to get a job. Nothing more than that. Just give them a job, so they can adequately support their families and use their skills to make America a better, more productive country.
Congress, although it failed to act responsibly and timely, is nonetheless aware that unemployment benefits are the only lifeline for many and that they need to act quickly before more damage occurs to families that are in economic peril. Make sure their mailboxes and fax machines are full of your thoughts when they return from their taxpayer funded vacation…………
Don’t forget to sigh the extend unemployment petitions. One is located at:
The 99ers need a Tier V added to Unemployment Benefits
A hat tip to a number of readers for mentioning the upcoming Congressional hearings on unemployment; here’s a few details:
Senate Finance Committee Plans Hearing On Unemployment Issue
Washington, D.C. (Apr 10) – The United States Senate Finance Committee is planning on holding hearings beginning on April 14, 2010 to discuss, “Using Unemployment Insurance to Help Americans Get Back to Work: Creating Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges.”
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will be soliciting testimony from keynote speakers in attempts to come to a resolve of the current unemployment crisis.
This may be the first signs that Congress is about to institute and/or at least investigate serious resolutions to the current crisis facing America’s workforce. Hopefully, unemployment extensions and extended benefits will be a focus along with creating job opportunities all American’s searching gainful employment would benefit from.
Over the past few weeks I have received more questions about Tier eligibility, age discrimination, credit report issues with job applications; and working part-time and then getting less unemployment benefits. I plan to write about each of those subjects, but if there are others that you think I should address, please send them along to [email protected]
I’ll post updates as they are made available here and on Twitter: http://twitter.com/layofflist.