Unemployment Benefits Extension Stalls in Senate

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Update Oct. 18: The Senate has come to the decision to modify the House bill to include all states, not just ones with unemployment rates greater than 8.5%. The change will come in the form of S. Amndt. 2668 to the House Bill, H.R. 3548 according to Open Congress blogger Donny Shaw.

In normal times, unemployment benefits last twenty-six weeks after someone loses their job. In normal times, it takes newly unemployed people less than 26 weeks to find a job… until today. But we aren’t in normal times. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the first time since 1948, when they started collecting this information, that the average time it takes to find a job is longer than the 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits.

The House of Representatives passed a bill last month (H.R. 3548) that would extend unemployment benefits in high-unemployment states by 13 weeks. The Senate is debating similar bills (S. 1699 was referred to committee) and the fight is over who gets benefits and how much.

S. 1699 would give an extra 13 weeks to states with unemployment rates higher than 8.5% funded by extending unemployment tax on employers.

These last few months emphasize how important it is to have an emergency fund. Standard unemployment benefits offer six months of income, if everyone had a six month emergency fund then it would matter less if the average time to find a job was longer than 26 weeks. People would still have money saved to pay for things.

Should we be taxing employers and giving the money to people without jobs? I’m not against helping people who are in trouble, we all should try to look out for each other, but this may be the wrong way to go about it. I think that companies they need to pay extra for the people they already hire, they probably will be hiring less. Fewer new jobs means longer employment periods and higher rates. Is this the right direction anyway?

{ 90 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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90 Responses to “Unemployment Benefits Extension Stalls in Senate”

  1. Terri says:

    How long we have to wait!!!!!?????????

  2. shajon says:

    The dragging of the feet to passing the unemployment extension is ridiculous.if you don’t have a job,how can you pay for healthcare but this is the only concern that is priority now.So. Ow are bills being paid,how do you eat,where are jobs and still seeing huge layoffs.Does the unemployed go to Social Services for temp help and how do you work for that little check when there’s no jobs in the first place.Come on Obama and staff either take care of more than one problem or make room for some guests to come sleep,eat,play,be happy and you foot the bill.

  3. Roy Richards says:

    government dosen’t care they have a pay check i can’t find work and its getting tired of trying to find anything because of so many not working

  4. mark says:

    Well it’s Halloween and Economic outlook just came out yesterday and the stock market dropped 2.5 %.Wich is the effect of a PRESIDENT and GOVERNMENT who lies to the people and the pres or makes them lie for them.I live in Elkhart In ground zero it’s so bad here the president said on the newas and the news paper every displaced R>V> worker would get a $1000.00 check wich was another lie.
    Easy for you who has never been laid off to play GOD while my home Ive had for 13 years is in forecloser no why would i or anybody else need an extension of unemployment.
    BEWARE IT COME TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. sO GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND OPEN YOUR EYES. 7000 people are losing there benefits daily if something isn’t done soon this country will be ruined.

  5. Terri says:

    Everyone, please call Senator Durbin or Senator Burris’s office and ask them.

  6. Cool Terri. Let us know what they write back with 🙂

  7. stephanie says:

    I would love to know, anything I am so tired of being in the dark . My case workers answer is always “oh, any day now please just be patient” . Easy for you to say you have a darn job and money coming in ! Christmas is coming I pray to god to pass this so my babies will have presents “and a home” for the holidays !

  8. Michelle says:

    I have been unemployed for 18 months now. I worked for free this summer just to be able to work. I helped launch the successful MEDCottage. I worked 60 and 80 hours a week and received only the satisfaction that I was doing something productive with my time. I’ve worked for over 22 years and I’ve never had to ask for help. I try every day to get a job. I have received so many rejection letters I can’t even count them – literally hundreds. They still hurt. I have a great reputation, I’ve been extremely successful and I’m exceptionally hard working. The competition for what few jobs are in our area is fierce. I’m even willing to relocate my family. I’m 49 and either over qualified or under qualified. It feels like I’ll never get a job and that everyone has given up on me. For the first time in my life, I feel like a loser. Please help.


    Michelle Elegy

  9. jane says:

    Our jobs were SOLD (outsourced) Thank You Congress, What are you gonna do to get jobs back here so WE can work? Haven’t you sold us out enough. this situation is not gonna get better, how about getting us back to being self sufficient. Thats all a parent wants for their children, thats all it takes to keep a country going STRONG. We as Americans WANT to be self sufficient, that gives a person PRIDE. There is some serious problem going on, why are you selling us out? In the mean time savings are GONE, retirement, dosen’t look like it will happen. Why have you done this to us, or is this what you want? Get the jobs back, we are not afraid of working, I think Congress is.

  10. CHUCK HENRY says:

    I was fired on my job on the 12th of april due to no fault of my own still waiting on unemployment benefits to pay as I am losing everything if their is a pending issue why not resolve and move on. I have no food, money and soon to lose the things I have. Why does it take so long

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