Unemployment Extension Gets Left At The (Dry)wall of China

The end of another week brings jobless Americans closer to losing unemployment benefits, but the Senate has yet to approve its bill extending those benefits.

The Senate spent the week accepting and rejecting a number of amendments to the American Jobs and Closing Loopholes Act, the legislation to extend supplemental income benefits for the nation’s unemployed. That includes a proposal the Senate rejected offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to cut federal spending. Critics argued the Thune amendment would have the effect of shutting down the federal government for the final months of the current federal fiscal year.

Republicans also prevented the bill from moving forward to a final vote.

“Unemployed workers in Nevada and across America cannot afford the games that Senate Republicans are playing with their economic certainty,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says. “I am disappointed that despite high unemployment numbers in Nevada and across the nation, not one Republican voted to provide out-of-work Americans the support they need to make ends meet. Senate Democrats will continue to fight to pass this bill and restore peace of mind to the middle-class families across America who Republicans have repeatedly turned their backs on.”

Nearly 100,000 unemployed Americans in Ohio alone will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of June unless the Senate approves the bill, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) warns. Brown adds that he wants to amend the legislation to include an extension of the COBRA temporary health coverage subsidy for workers laid off after May 31.

“With the country facing high unemployment and a weak economy in the short term and severe budget problems in the long term, you’d think that senators negotiating a jobs bill would be trying to maximize both its short-term economic boost and its long-term budget savings. You’d be wrong,” Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says in a new blog post.

“In fact, senators trying to extract final concessions as the price of supporting the bill are pushing in the opposite direction,” Marr adds. “They are trying to whittle down the measure’s temporary state fiscal assistance and help for unemployed workers, despite abundant evidence that these measures will save jobs, help the jobless, and boost the economy.”

Despite the pressing need to pass the legislation to continue assistance for the nation’s jobless, the Senate is not scheduled to resume consideration of the legislation during its next session on Monday. Instead, senators will consider nominations.

The nation’s unemployment rates sits at a decades-high 9.7 percent, with five or six unemployed Americans in line for every available job opening.

Despite the impending loss of income that many out-of-work Americans rely upon to keep their heads above water, other senators are seeking to amend the American Jobs and Closing Loopholes Act with more provisions entirely unrelated to joblessness.

That includes a measure Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) introduced Tuesday to offer IRS assistance to homeowners who have fallen victim to tainted drywall made in China. A number of home problems have been traced to the contaminated construction material, which emits a foul odor. The drywall reportedly has caused bad odors, serious respiratory problems and mysterious failures of such appliances as dishwashers, air conditioners, and computers.

More than 3,300 cases of Chinese-made drywall trouble have been reported in 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Webb notes in a statement on his proposed amendment, which would require that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issue guidance on the applicability of Chinese drywall victims filing for a casualty loss deduction on their homes and possessions.

The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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4 Responses to Unemployment Extension Gets Left At The (Dry)wall of China

  1. Sara says:

    These are the Senators who voted AGAINST extending unemployment benefits and helping small businesses to create jobs. I don’t know, and I don’t care, if the are Democrats or Republicans, they should be VOTED OUT OF OFFICE:

    Akaka

    Baucus

    Bayh

    Begich

    Bennet

    Bingaman

    Boxer

    Brown (OH)

    Burris

    Byrd

    Cantwell

    Cardin

    Carper

    Casey

    Conrad

    Dodd

    Dorgan

    Durbin

    Feingold

    Feinstein

    Franken

    Gillibrand

    Hagan

    Harkin

    Inouye

    Johnson

    Kaufman

    Kerry

    Kohl

    Landrieu

    Lautenberg

    Leahy

    Levin

    Lieberman

    Lincoln

    McCaskill

    Menendez

    Merkley

    Mikulski

    Murray

    Nelson (FL)

    Pryor

    Reed

    Reid

    Rockefeller

    Sanders

    Schumer

    Shaheen

    Specter

    Stabenow

    Tester

    Udall (CO)

    Udall (NM)

    Warner

    Webb

    Whitehouse

    Wyden

  2. Bill says:

    I lost my job 9 months ago and now I am a victim of this insane timeframe. Mine ran out june 14, so no extension for me, while others I know who have been on it longer still have 3 more months of benefits coming. Now my child and I will be homeless in about 37days if they do not wake up and realize what they are doing. I have worked for 25 years and have never been on unemployemnt till now, but after a trivial amount I am cut off. I am selling off everything I can just to make rent this month, but after that I am screwed. Thank you so much you uncaring politicians. I am never voting for another republican as long as I live, and I will do everything I can to make sure anyone I know does not as well.

  3. joe smith says:

    I agree bill u said it vote’m out.

  4. An AMERICAN says:

    Oh There is a knock at the door, it’s the president ! Oh come in Mr. President let me welcome you and show you my home. This is where i live

    ( 1993 Chevy Truck ) this is my lovely couch ( the front seat ) and here is me and my families bedroom ( the Back seat ) . Wont you come see

    my beautiful back yard ( 4×6 ft truck bed ) . Would you like something to drink ( bottle water refilled at local gas station ) or Maybe a

    meal, ( i have a few ramen noodles left ) ……

    I would like to thank you and the politicians of this great nation Mr. President for allowing the freedom to persue a life of liberty and

    happines,, my family and i could not be happier !

    Hey PRES. WAKE UP !!!! you and your political puppets in congress are killing america and americans by the millions.. The taliban is not the

    threat to this country, politicians are,, your indecisiveness and inaction are killing this country at a record pace,, you are quick to pass

    measures to help other countries live, survive, and fight for freedom and survival ,, yet when your own country is starving, going homeless

    and jobless, you do NOTHING,,,, oh wait you ARE complaining and whining NOW about what gets spent on YOUR country yet STILL passing bills to

    spend money on and for other countries…. All i can say is ,,, Do away with republican and democrat ,, get rid of ALL that trash in the

    political arena and fill it with AMERICANS,, not 60 and 70 year old lifers in congress who are so OUT of touch with the way america on the

    streets really is and put in people who have had to look for work and had to work to provide for their family in the last decade atleast..The

    political arena has lost the grip on reality and what AMERICANS are really facing and dealing with in day to day life…..

    I thank you for your time MR. president,,, Oh and for god sake PLEASE pass the bill on unemploymnet so i can feed my family and fix the

    foundation on my home ( A flat tire )

    Just one AMERICANS opinion !