Posts Tagged ‘unemployment extension’

Unemployment Extension Passed Both Houses and Signed by President

The millions of Americans who are depending upon their unemployment checks to pay their bills and put food on the table can rest easier today. A 60 day extension to the time to file for extended benefits in any of the four tiers of benefits available has passed in Congress and has been signed into law by President Obama.

While no additional weeks have been added, this extension would allow anyone who has exhausted a particular tier to move on to the next tier of benefits. The deadline to file is now June 2, and it applies retroactively to April 5th, so any missed benefits will be paid.

Senate Passes 30 Day Unemployment Benefit Extension

With the help of Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio, the Senate today passed an amendment that would extend  the EUC program for another thirty days.

Because days were added to the original extension that had already passed by the House,  it now needs to go back to the House for approval there.  Had days not been added, the current extension would be effective for only two weeks.

In the meantime, more and more unemployed Americans are losing their benefits. A longer extension, through the end of the year, is under consideration. Both houses of Congress have passed bills containing an unemployment benefit extension through the end of this year, but have not yet reconciled the two versions of the bills.

A Rebuttal To “Jobless pay is a privilege, not a right”

In this post entitled “Jobless pay is a privilege, not a right,” Ruben Navarrette argues against extending unemployment benefits, essentially saying that paying people for “doing nothing” is counterproductive.

Far from being counterproductive, unemployment benefits are a critical safety net that prevent people from becoming homeless and unable to feed themselves and their families in times of economic distress.  If you’ve lost your job through no fault of your own, then yes, jobless pay is your right as an American and a human being.

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200,000 Americans May Lose Unemployment Benefits This Week

Since the Senate failed to pass even a one month extension on Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) before adjourning for the Spring recess, over 200,000 people could run out of the unemployment benefits they’re relying on to make ends meet until they find work.

What is sad is that it doesn’t appear that either side, Democrat, or Republican, is against extending the EUC program. The argument is about how it should be paid for. Republicans want it paid by drawing on previously committed stimulus funds. They say that not doing so will grow the deficit and that this is unacceptable.  Democrats argue that doing so would negate the stimulating effect, since it would take away money from another part of the stimulus package.

To be fair to the Democrats, the Republicans did not care much about the deficit when they unanimously voted to pass President Bush’s tax cuts, which were not paid for at all, nor were they concerned about the deficit when they voted to continue funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were also not paid for.  Why they should be so concerned about the deficit now, and over a $9 billion dollar expenditure, which is a drop in the bucket compared to those other things, is baffling.

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