Senate Restores Emergency Jobless Benefits for Unemployed

The Senate, beating back partisan objections from Republicans, has approved legislation that restores emergency jobless benefits to millions of people  who have ben unemployed for more than six months.  The Republican senators who contniue to push for tax cuits for the wealthiest Americans delayed action to help the unemployed for weeks.

The measure moves into the House of Representatives for approval and hopefully to the White House so the President could sign into law as soon as this week.  Once approved, unemployment benefits for more than 2.5 million people who have seen their checks cut off since the emergency program expired June 2 would be restored and the law would provide up to 99 weeks of income support to a broader universe of jobless workers through the end of November.

The Washington Post reports that jobless rates in 39 states have declined, but there is continued pessimism in job creation for the immediate future.  According to the Post, ”

The unemployment rate across 39 states and the District fell in June, but this is far from good news. Instead, it reflects renewed pessimism about the economy as employers put the brakes on hiring and people stopped looking for work.

While 41 states saw net job gains in May, only 21 saw an increase in June, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Businesses are holding off on hiring new workers, with private employers adding a mere 83,000 jobs last month.

The numbers reflected a temporary phenomenon: the layoff of thousands of temporary workers for the U.S. Census Bureau. But in a month when home construction and retail sales numbers missed expectations and corporate earnings reports were lackluster, they sent stocks tumbling early Tuesday before they erased most of their losses in the afternoon.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June from 9.7 percent in May.”

To break the impasse, two Republicans voted with a Democratic caucus newly fortified by the appointment of Sen. Carte Goodwin, who replaced the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), voted no.

The measure now goes to the House, where leaders hope to approve it and send it on to the White House on Wednesday. If approved, the measure would restore benefits to more than 2.5 million people who have seen their checks cut off since the emergency program expired June 2. It would also provide up to 99 weeks of income support to a broader universe of jobless workers through the end of November.

  3 comments for “Senate Restores Emergency Jobless Benefits for Unemployed

  1. July 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    It would benefit the people and keep the economy afloat in hard times

  2. July 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Congress Could Save BIG on Unemployment Payment Extensions by Passing SAVE Act to Move Illegals Out of Jobs.

    Our economy (without a Glass-Steagall reform) has no chance for an economic recovery. There will be another call for an extension of unemployment benefits 6 months from now.

  3. August 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Why not pass a law that gives a bit of federal money directly to people who start a one or two person business. To qualify, these folks would have to either be laid-off, or recently discharged from the military with an honorable discharge.

    Also Waive any federal income taxes for the first two or three years for each business. I would encourage States to follow the same policy.

    It usually takes a while for a new small business to become self-supporting. A small amount of cash up front, and a tax break, would ensure that a significantly greater percentage of these small business starts survive. In the end, these small businesses would return far more to the economy than it will cost to help them get started. More jobs are created by small business in this country anyway.

    I also encourage a larger federal bonus for sustainable and green business starts. I think a policy like this would help us become more sustainable even more quickly.

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