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May 22, 2024

Congress To Vote On Unemployment Benefits, Extensions Nearing End

Los Angeles ( – On November 30th, the extension of unemployment benefits is set to expire. Congress is set to resume in a matter of days and they will have to deal with the issue. If another extension is not given, potentially two million Americans will have to live without the benefits from the federal government that they desperately need.

With November 30th just over 2 weeks away, many are unsure if Congress can get the job done in time.

In addition to the unemployment benefits, Congress must also take care of the matter of tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts are also expiring soon and the question is whether or not to extend the cuts and also if everyone would get them. Obama and the Democrats do not want to see those who make $250,000 or more get the tax cuts extended, but Republicans want to see them get the cuts as well.

To extend the tax cuts to those making over the quarter million mark annually would be to add $700 billion to the deficit. Also, to extend the unemployment benefits, which allow American workers to collect benefits for an extra 99 weeks after they pass the first 26 weeks, would cost approximately $65 billion.

Many are alluding to how the situation plays perfectly into the differing views of the two parties. Republicans want to extend tax cuts for the rich and Democrats want to extend benefits for the unemployed. Either extension would add to the deficit, but it would be a bad look on the Republicans to fight to pass extensions for the rich and not for the poor.

According to a poll by the National Employment Law Project, the majority of Americans strongly support the passage of the extension of benefits.

Republicans have already expressed their disapproval for the extension of unemployment benefits in the summer when delaying the passage of a $34 billion extension that was intended for almost three million Americans.

According to the Senate Finance Committee, “Extending these benefits is crucial for the retail and manufacturing sectors of our economy, our economy as a whole, and for the individuals and families who’ve lost jobs through no fault of their own, particularly during the holiday season.”

The extension being sought would go through 2011.

With unemployment still around 9.6%, the extensions are projected to produce or preserve nearly 490,000 jobs and help maintain nearly 725,000 jobs.

On such a critical matter, the Democrats made it clear that bipartisan support is dearly needed now more than ever.

If you need to file for unemployment, we have an unemployment benefits guide here.

35 Comments on Congress To Vote On Unemployment Benefits, Extensions Nearing End

  1. This summer was godawful trying to find a job. JUST as I round the corner and start to feel the faintest glimmerings of hope in what otherwise has been a vapid, tenuous, and very stressful year – I run headfirst into this deadline. For any republicans, democrats, tea party whatevers who decide they have itchy fingers and are looking to make an ‘example’ of our country’s unemployed (including me) I will be watching your vote. I will be watching your vote – and I will REMEMBER your vote.

    You have blown it over, and over, and over again. I have watched the pendulum swinging back and forth and back and forth – while nothing remarkable is ever accomplished. Don’t blow it this time.

    When I go to place applications for a job, I see lines. I see very, very long lines. If you fail to vote in favour of this extension, you are going to hurt an enormous number of people.

  2. If you break it down even further; it comes to 1119 dollars per unemployed persons(who pay income taxes on the money they receive by the way) plus the 700,000 jobs (maintained) + 469,000 (preserved) with an ultimate cost to the government of 25.9 billion. I find that a better option than giving 250k individuals a tax break who already have more than enough money to live; there are unemployed people living on $1667 a month and 99ers with no money at all. Hope we plan on funding the food back with much more money as they are sure going to need it.

  3. The Government would rather give the money to foreign countries, than to people who really need it in our country.
    US foreign aid to Israel will rise by US$225 million in fiscal year 2010. Israel can spend up to 25% of the sum for defense purchases
    US President Barack Obama signed last week the foreign aid budget law for 2010 which includes the granting of US$2.775 billion in security aid to Israel.
    US foreign aid to Israel will rise by US$225 million in fiscal year 2010.
    Annual aid to Israel under the MOU is to rise from $2.55 billion in 2009 to a ceiling of $3.1 billion in 2013, and it will remain at that level for the rest of the period.
    Like in previous years, Israel can spend up to 25% of the sum for defense purchases from Israeli manufacturers, and the remainder must be spent for defense purchases in the US.
    Egypt will receive $1.3 billion in aid in 2010, and Jordan will receive $540 million.
    The budget signed by Obama, for the first time, also grants $500 million to the Palestinian Authority. The aid also includes $100 million to be used by US General Keith Dayton, who is in charge of training the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.

    Obama administration is pumping money in to deepen the U.S.-Indonesian partnership, including $165 million for a major education effort, $136 million for climate change programs and $15 million for civil society programs.

    The Zimbabwe program, begun in May 2009, has carried out 12,000 circumcisions. The U.S. spent $6.6 million on it in the first year and more money is promised as the program scales up.The U.S. is Zimbabwe’s biggest aid donor — more than $1 billion since 2002 — and the biggest contributor to nationwide modern AIDS clinics that have tested and counseled 2 million people. This month it pledged another $50 million to its wider AIDS programs that include supplies of AIDS drugs.

  4. Call Congress! Tell your Senators to continue the expanded federal unemployment benefits program through 2011, and not extend tax giveaways to millionaires.

  5. Jeff, Thank you for the facts and figures on government aid to foreign countries. I just finished a book last night, “Trillion Dollar Conspiracy” by Jim Marrs. The American people deserve better, simply put. I want the federal extensions kept in place not for holiday shopping or lavish entertaining, I need them for food, house payments, water, utilities, car insurance, health insurance, college expenses for 2 kids. I plead with my government representatives to vote “yes” for these extensions for me and all unemployed Americans this holiday season. I am trying hard to keep my faith in American government policy, I went without benefits over 2 months this summer, my family desperately needs these extensions at this time. Thank you, Cydney in Indiana.

  6. I am barely surviving on the little benefits I receive now. I’ve been trying to save every little penny to give my children a Christmas present or two. I’ve been putting things on lay away just so they can have a couple things under the tree to open on Christmas morning. And thank God I have already done some shopping for them with the little I have been able to save after paying rent, ever-higher utility bills, nessities like diapers, food, milk, gas for the car…the list goes on and on. I have a BA from Loyola Chicago, top-of-my-class, an MA from DePaul Chicago, honors. I got laid off, permanently due to downsizing. I have been searching for a job since May. I’m not looking for a hand out. I just want my children to have a happy memory of the holidays. At this point if benefits end NOV 30, there may not even be a room over their heads. Shame on our elected REPRESENTATIVES (?).

  7. Cage, I voted democrat, we still have nothing….

    Single Mom in Iowa, what an impressive resume, something will come through for you. I wish you and your family health and happiness for the coming holidays…Cydney in Indiana…

  8. Forgive me folks. Im just so angry when i see people still worrying about the rich and sending contibutions in the form of gifts for children OVERSEAS, when the children here are suffering. I cried today when the news showed a nearby town with 300 empty homes where the people lost them..leaving behind their clothes and even their kids pictures. Remember these days should we survive them. God bless you all and Cydney, especially God bless you! Have a wonderful holiday season! If Its possible.

  9. I have been on unemployment since October 2009 and I have looked and looked and interviewed over and over again. There are no jobs and if you happen to get an interview you’re competing with hundreds of applicants who have more education and more experience than you. Just this week I went on four interviews and called back and I get the same thing I’m sorry we hired someone else. I have a 10 month old daughter and can’t afford to lose my unemployment. Without my unemployment I have nothing. If the extension doesn’t pass where does the government expect to do with all the millions of homeless people!!!

  10. Hey id rather be working for sure, Im going stir crazy, the last interview asked ” are you collecting unemployment?” yeah I would also like some tea lady, i mad to much money on my last job , I wouldnt want to work if I still have unemployment good luck Lady is that why you left a phone number to preach, to your potential applicants, few leave a phone number or name of the company, this was reality I didnt need, Ive got a Lot of people gloating, im gloating too! Please read between the lines on that one

  11. Cage, thank you for the nice blessings; kind, encouraging words are few and far between these days. I am going to do the call-in to congress today, I hope many others will do the same. The extension tier I am on expires just days after Dec.4th, I hate being in this situation, especially this time of year. I laughed at the statement, contributions in the form of gifts for children overseas! This country was built on hard working, contributing Americans who deserve so much better, most of these banks are showing no mercy. I’ve read the republicans want job creation instead of benefit extensions, then stop sending jobs overseas! Whirlpool Corp. here in my city, bugged out to Mexico in June, leaving over 2 thousand without jobs. I worked for a company owned by AIG, 2 months after AIG received the bailout money, I was laid off, along with 500 others company wide. Give me a shout Cage,, have a good day!

  12. Regarding Unemployment extensions – it’s bread crumbs.


    Free Traders! I’m afraid there is nothing free about free trade. Party alignment means nothing. Corporate Democrats, GOP, they’re all in bed together. If anyone remembers the words of H. Ross Perot, who said “that huge sucking sound” of the jobs that will be shipped oversees if NAFTA passes. How true.
    Washington Lobbyists! Approximately 85% of all lobbyists are former senators and congressmen that know the system are hired by out multi-national corporations to vote their interests – namely providing tax incentives to ship our jobs oversees, to maximize shareholder profits. So now that NAFTA has taken a major chunck out of non returning jobs, CAFTA was signed backed by a GOP majority during the GW Bush administration.

    Again the lobbyists voting the will of our corporations..

    NOTE: Einstein once said idiocy is repeating the same thing more than once and expecting different results.
    I personally don’t see either party with the vision or guts to eliminate washington lobbyists and provide tax incentives to keep jobs in the US.

    I have an MBA and over 20 years experience in High Technology companies, but since the globalization and migration of jobs to India, Mexico, China,etc. it has been one continuous struggle to remain employed. And for the people that are lucky enough to hold on to their jobs, they are working scared because the axe may drop at any time to them as well.

    Folks no matter what party you are affiliated with….this is not a sustainable business model at the local, state or federal level.

    Corporations should be provided oncentives to create and maintain US jobs. For “multi-national” companies that got their fame and fortune on the sweat of American workers and have greatly outsourced jobs, simply don’t buy their products. If they don’t need us, then, we don’t need them.

    Sure it will take some effort to buy American, but if the practice continues, it will erode corporate profits and they will be forced to transition manufacturing back to this country.

    Even a dumb politician should figure that if jobs keep going away so does the income tax base, erosing of real estate and other taxes until eventually there is no money left to run state or federal agencies to provide needed services.

    Pardon my rant but stupidity on such a large scale is staggering. I guess it’s just the mentality of the haves vs. the have nots – “Hey I’ve got mine”

  13. Never thought that I would thank God for allowing me to reach 69 years old. I have so many younger friends that have been downsized as I was, but who would have thought that after being born in the United States of American, that speaking the language of the American people (which most people would said is English)they would not be able to get a job only because they are not bi-lingual. I am so curious to know how many jobs would open up (and how quickly)for unemployed Americans if all work places that sit on American soil had a policy saying that this is an English speaking workplace only instead of saying this is a bi-lingual place only. Just curious. Excuse the spelling and excuse the grammar but I’m sure you get the message.

  14. There is this perception that only unemployed workers that have used 99 weeks of unemployment benefits are going to be the only ones to loose their weekly unemployment benefits if the extension is not passed. Thats misinformation, I have not even used half of the 99 weeks that some unemployed workers have received to date but I was notified by the state of Ohio that my weekly benefits would be cut off at the end of November if the extention was not passed. I have worked a full time job for over 34 years and never before have I had to apply or did I receive any type of assistance from the government. I had 20 years of service at my last job before my position was phased out on 12/31/09, a day I will never forget. My employer notified me by mail about the bad news and I never received a penny of compensation for the 20 years of dedicated service that I gave them. I am tired of being told that I am over qualified for the employment positions that I have applied for or worst yet, we will contact you in the future because we have other interviews to do. If I loose my weekly benefits at this time I will lose my home and all of the other things that I have worked so hard for. I do not want to be a burden on my fellow tax payers, I want a job so I can end this nightmare. I just need a little more help to get over the hump.

  15. I lost my job in May 2010 and have only had 1 extension so far. My husband is deployed to the Middle East right now (fighting for this country) and the military transferred us here to a small town in Texas. There are simply no jobs here, I am over qualified, or my level of education intimidates employers to even call me because they “think” I will want a high salary. I think that it is unfair that some people have been able to collect it for a year or longer with several extensions while I may be cut off if they don’t extend this and I have only received unemployment for 6 months. My husband will return from deployment in February 2011. I’m scared… I don’t know if I should even take a risk buying Christmas presents for my kid because what if they DONT extend it? I think my car payment, car insurance, and food is a more important than holidays at this point. I can just see the domino effect that no extensions would cause the economy if they did not approve this. Retail stores, grocery stores, credit card companies, mortgage companies, and much more will be loosing money because people cant pay their bills! Crime may even get worse from those who are desperate to eat. Over 2 million people unemployed and people loosing jobs daily is a big concern….so if they extend this again what will happen after the next one runs out? Does this just keep going? Where is the solution for more jobs? I want to work….i have an education being wasted right now. My self-esteem has been affected and so has my bank account.

  16. I have received benefits for only 19 weeks. Because I missed the November deadline, I will not get extended benefits. I have a 4 year old and a 5 month old that will be doing without Christmas this year because I am unable to find a job. How is it that some people can get unemployment for such a long time, but I only got 19 weeks? How nice it would be if the government would just treat everyone fairly.

  17. Employment prospects for recent college tech grads and older tech workers would be better if businesses didn’t have access to disposible workers consituting the H1B pool. Congress must end all guest worker programs and revoke visas issued thereof. There may be an initial shock as nearly a million jobs or so turn over, but the move will benefit the American worker. And, said change will be likely have a multipier effect for non-technical support workers as well.

  18. I am 53 and had never written my congress men for help but have recieved no responce.I have been unemployed for 1yr and 1/2. I have made it to 4 4th interviews which usually takes 4 months to get that far 3 3rd interviews and several hundred 1st interviews..Usually that I am over qualified and even though I agree to start at the low wage offered… they hirer someone younger. I have a child in collage and a single Mom. If people think they can pay all of their bills on $1200 dollars a month they are crazy. I have never been unemployed in my life. I have always worked 3 jobs until about three years ago when I decided at 50 I could just work one job and now I have no job. The people that think the unemployed are milking them dry I say I have paid over and over again for the money I am using now on unemployment. Its not like the old days where you went into a company and asked them for a job you are amongest thousands that have applied on the internet. You are not a face your are a resume then you are a phone call, then you are a second phone call then you are an apointment then you are a second appointment and you finally make it to the top 5 for the job and one lucky person gets the job. Then when you don’t get the job you go home and cry for two days wondering why. I live on 15 dollars of groceries a week. When the rest of the country has recieved a 4th tier and now voting on a 5th tier why did Iowa abandon us? We have only recieved three tiers. I understand says the person I talked to at my representives office….no you do not you have a job.
    Please help us.

  19. Here I am, 69 years old, a teacher for 42 years, laid off in June of 2009…I miss the students so much. My years of experience put me at the top of salary scales, meaning schools can (and do) hire two new teachers for what I would cost them. Because teachers are unionized, I am unable offer to work for less, although I certainly am willing to do. My retirement funds are small because I spent quite a few years overseas, and I am a long way from wanting to stop working. Without the unemployment funds, I will really lose hope – not to mention my little rented apartment, leased car…actually, that is all I have anyway. I have applied for 395 jobs here in California after I was laid off and had 12 interviews. I am still very strong, full of energy, love learning and love teaching…now what?? Thanks for listening!

  20. I am also a statistic from the state of Ohio. Worked steady for over thirty five years with no down time. Now my job is gone and I am am now viewed as a burden to the selfish Republican Party who only look out for their rich friends. I never realized how cold the Republicans really are until I watched them on C-Span. If you fall out of the boat, they would rather watch you drown than throw you a life ring. Thank God for Sherrod Brown, Voice for the unfortunate in the state of Ohio.

  21. I am a 99er with my benefits being exhausted in July. When I lost my job in August of 2008 I decided to go back to school at 47 years old. Since I lost my unemployment I have been going to school full time for my RN and working 2 part time jobs (because I need to have the hours free to finish school which is 5 months and no full time employer will work with my school schedule) One of my part time employers left me go and now I’m living on $250 which doesn’t even cover my mortgage. I am afraid I may have to quit school and get a full time job to support myself. If I can just finish school with a few more months of unemployment I will be once again be contributing to the unemployment fund. I am hoping for a Christmas miracle.

  22. Someone stated that 99 should go to fast food. Well not all fast foods places wants to hirer us. Also, I don’t think its enought fast-food places to employe us all. Some towns only have a few places. If we can’t get a job then the rich will just take care of us threw public assistant programs.

  23. A brief “welcome conversation” at New York’s Airport.

    (as he asks US citizen who just became 99er)
    Finally! America! What can I expect from this wonderful Country of yours?

    US citizen:
    Oh, the usual! Billions and billions of dollars voluntarily ejected to help the people, which hate us, and fight us, and want to see us dead!
    But when it comes to hundreds of dollars per week for its own unfortunate workers, is like: NO FREAKING WAY, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MILK US LIKE THAT!

    I guess American politicians love to milk themselves, donating their milk only by the barrels?

    US citizen:
    Oh yeah! But God forbid you crawl to them on your knees to gently suckle a little bit to survive…

    It also sounds like financial masturbation, by the politicians, doesn’t it? They pleasure themselves looking at the flag of another Country, while turning their asses to their own shape and color?

    US citizen:
    I know, amigo, my Government hates natural relationship with their own people! And yes again, they would rather satisfy themselves pleasuring anyone they are not related to.

    Wow! Sound like financial adultery! Lord Jesus, why did you bring me to this financially perverted Country?

  24. Here is a good one for you,I stopped down the unemployment office to see if I had any benefits left.Which I dont, Our unemployment rate is 7.9,But I was told by unemployment office In Reality our our rate is 18 percent. So how many other states are using bad politics?And hiding the truth from Congress. Merry Christmas

  25. How can members of Congress claim that 99 weeks has not been enough time for our government to work with the business community to restore jobs but also say that 99 weeks is enough time for unemployed workers to find jobs that have not yet been restored? Seriously, these are supposed to be educated people running our country and yet they fail to comprehend basic cause and effect and elementary math?

  26. These people still working have been jealous of those that lost our jobs……most companies have made them work harder while we got unemployment….but there isnt any jobs out there….we can move to other areas and that will kill these communities……everyone around me is moving every week….going to Texas and Alaska and the east coast…look at the chart of unemployment percentages the worst is Ca #3 Nevada #2 and Michigan #1……..I can move also and dump my house….that should really help the real estate that is now lower than ever…a house sold in 2006 for 250k was repoed by bank and offered at 40k….it sold for 31k……

  27. I lost my job in Jan 2009 due to permanent downsizing. I’m 53 with a health issues trying to compete with thousands of healthy 20, 30, and 40 something’s in a job market that just isn’t there. My unemployment runs out next month which means I’ll probably lose my home. I would LOVE to be working again…it’s just not out there! Stop sending BILLIONS to foreign countries and start taking care of your own!!!

  28. I am officially a 99er. I think people forget that some of us are older Americans. I am over fifty. For me, it seems that life has been nothing but a very long struggle. I grew up in poverty so living in poverty is nothing new but I used to have the drive to climb out of poverty and I at least thought I managed somewhat to do so. Now, I’m right back where I started from. Fifty years of struggling. I took a job (part-time washing dishes) that gives me something that will at least give me hope and then I heard the song God Bless America. Whether my college education will provide me with anything in the future; I don’t know.

  29. Are you kidding me, all the money they are giving to foreign nations and they did not even include the millions of Americans that will be out of 99 weeks! they spend alkl their time listening to their voice and pridind themselves on how well they speak in front of their collies at the senate while 99ers are loosing their homes, a bunch of weak men who do neary know what it means to stretch a dollar out of 50cent. Help the 99ers NOW!!!!

  30. I’m 40 years old and have lway been able to get a job, trust me those who oppose the 99ers, judge not because you could easily be one of us. I know they print this money off a machine it’s nothing to them, we shouldn’t even have a debt, if we had a president who was God fearing and surrounded by Mighty Angels he could create are own monetary system and do away with the federal reserve, these guys are controlling the country. I had to move my family of 5 to a smaller apartment and cut back on everything and still we need ONE MORE EXTENTION for the 99ers.

  31. I agree with Derrick. The 99ers need one more entension. I lost my unemployment in Nov. and it has been real hard to survive. We didn’t have much of a Christmas. Our bills have piled up. Our water was shut off and I had to pawn my car to get it turned back on. My car was over 10 yrs old so they had to keep it. I have no ideal how I am going to get it back. Our rent, insurance,and electric is all past due and I look for them to come shut the electric off any time. It sure would help to have one more extension. I have looked for work but had no luck. There are no jobs.

  32. Fantastic article . I Appreciate the facts – Does someone know if I might get access to a sample IRS 4868 copy to use ?

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