Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Think Emergency Unemployment Benefits Is Emergency Funding?

Straight to the point - the howling from the Republican side of the aisle in Congress for using their filibuster to block funds to the unemployed is like a chorus. All in unison, they cry that funding unemployment insurance violates the PAYGO laws recently enacted by Congress. Although this makes an interesting debate - the unemployed who have had their benefits exhaust do not have time for this debate to be argued when the Pay-As-You-Go rule specifically states that PAYGO is not applicable in times of emergency funding.

There is a reason the funds are called Emergency Unemployment Compensation. It truly is an emergency. It should be treated by Congress as if there are a group of individuals who need funding in the wake of a hurricane.

Would the Republican Party scream PAYGO if a hurricane struck through the Gulf of Mexico? Would they hold up funds to people who need emergency funding when the rules of PAYGO specifically exempt emergency situations and emergency funding? Apparently so and that's a grave concern for many Americans - not just the unemployed.

The law is not on the side of Republicans and the facts are not on the side of Republicans. They are essentially being obstructionists when they argue that PAYGO should be used for unemployment extensions. These are some talking points to consider when the Senate is back in session.

You can see more information about the PAYGO rules at: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=591&type=0

Or use your favorite search engine to view PAYGO rules. Emergency funding is excluded. Those are the facts and something everyone should know about the rules of PAYGO.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Senate Adjourns For Two Weeks - KFSN Fresno California Report On "Milking Unemployment"

As everyone may know, on Friday the 26th the Senate adjourned for a two week Easter recess. Leaving a million who will expire their benefits on April 5th in addition to those who have already exhausted or will soon exhaust Tier 4 benefits.

The House of Representatives had already approved a measure that extended the deadline for filing until April 30th but it did not approve a bill that included a Tier 5 unemployment extension.

We have done all that we can do at this point but wait until the Senate returns. According to the Washington Independent, Harry Reid's office stated that when the Senate returns and votes on cloture to pass the 30 day extension for filing that it will be retroactive to the April 5th cutoff.

It may be a rough, uphill battle for the unemployed to get a Tier 5. Sen. John McCain has vowed "no cooperation for the rest of the year" and that seems to be the general consensus from the Republican party. That statement from Senator McCain begs the question, what cooperation did the republican party offer since the election of Barack Obama?

Our country desperately needs a steam-rolling majority of one party or the cooperation of both parties. Hundreds of bills which the US House have already passed are sitting stalled in the Senate. Now is not the time to hear from any Senator, "Sorry, there is no cooperation for the rest of the year".

In addition to the partisan bickering in Washington, the unemployed also are contending with bailout banks influencing policy for the unemployed and reports such as this one from the ABC-affiliate, KFSN in Fresno California:

Source Story
In the video, some unemployed in California are accused of "Milking Unemployment". The president of a staffing agency in Fresno reports that some unemployed are turning down work because they have unemployment insurance.

What do stories like this accomplish, KFSN? The majority of persons collecting unemployment are honest and are victims of this recession. They would not qualify for unemployment insurance if they were not laid off due to no fault of their own. Report more stories on that fact than the childish few who do abuse the system. There's fraud, waste, and abuse in every program from all government programs (state or federal). What's with the need to pick on the unemployed?

With stories like the one at KFSN and the lack of cooperation in the Senate, it is going to be an uphill climb for the honest unemployed who are in desperate need of an extension of benefits. As is true with most things, the greedy few can ruin the entire system. Or a more famous phrasing, "One bad apple can ruin the entire bunch".

In my opinion, I think the bigger fraud is the fact the American taxpayer is paying United States Senators (who have a salary of $147K to 194K per year) to say to the people, "We are just not going to cooperate the rest of the year". Or just flatly saying no and deliberately obstructing critical and time-sensitive legislation that will help millions of jobless Americans. This fact is something to think about when we all go to the polls this November.

We all hope that when the Senate returns from break that they do not deny the needs of the many because there are those who are undermining the system. The long-term unemployed will need to do all they can to debunk the theories of "Milking Unemployment" as these will be the talking points for those who oppose extensions for the unemployed.

Good luck to everyone and thank you for your continued support to call-in campaigns and the many online petitions to Congress. The unemployed will be heard.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Open Letter To Congress And The President From The Long-Term Unemployed

We, the unemployed, are writing to you today very concerned about the availability of jobs in our country. There is an epidemic of poverty in this nation and we, the jobless, are victims in this Great Recession. As you know, each and every jobless American who is eligible to receive unemployment insurance is receiving this benefit because the state’s department of labor has deemed that the individual was laid off due to no fault of their own.

The long-term unemployed are those who have been hit hardest by this recession. We did not cause the financial collapse. We did not cause jobs to go overseas. We are not the cause for the current lack of jobs in our communities. Each and every one of us is desperately searching for work and are unable to find work.

We are writing to you today thankful for the unemployment extensions already authorized by Congress and signed by the President. We thank Congress and the President for the recent jobs bill and the recovery act that was passed last year. We realize that had these actions not been taken, the situation with unemployment could have been much worse.

However, we have a short fall that only federal government can solve. The unemployed hate to be so dependent on government. We would all prefer jobs rather than petitioning to Congress and telephoning our representatives and making pleas for another extension of unemployment insurance.

The long-term unemployed truly understand this Great Recession. We depend on funding from EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation).
For many, this is the only lifeline we have for income. It is the only way we can make our rent/mortgage payments, pay for food, clothing, medicines, and utilities and keep our gas tanks full so that we can go to our jobs centers each week and apply for work. We depend on EUC to provide assistance to us so that we can search for work and keep our telephone lines open so a potential employer can contact us.

With unemployment still in double digits in some areas (and underemployment much higher), surely you understand the need for Congress to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation beyond the maximum of 99 weeks.

The jobless Americans are good, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who are in poverty and will lose more than they have already lost if Congress does not act soon.


There have already been over 2,000 unemployed Americans who signed a petition asking for a Tier 5 EUC.

Congress has not acted yet on this issue. We are now asking that the Congress and the President please consider a longer-term extension of benefits for this longer-term problem the nation has.

To be clear, we are asking Congress to add up to eight additional months to EUC. Unemployment is a very long-standing issue that will not be resolved this year. In addition to worrying about how to make ends meet with EUC, the unemployed in America should not have to worry about members of Congress playing politics with their only livelihood and source of income in this horrible economic climate.

The unemployed heard Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky say to them, “Tough Sh__”. The unemployed also heard Tom Delay making the obscene comment that the unemployed are jobless because they choose to be.

Dear Mr. President and Senators of this great nation, the unemployed are not choosing this poor job market. We are not choosing to take massive pay cuts from the pay we did have before we were laid off. We did not choose to have to depend on the federal government to help us in this time of need.

We understand this is not a communist country. The government cannot force employers to hire. We understand that the best we can hope for are opportunities for the private sector to re-grow and the government to offer tax incentives to small business to fuel employment growth.

The unemployed also understand that the states are cash-strapped. We propose using any unused stimulus funds to pay for this extension of benefits. If the President or members of Congress has another idea to pay for the extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, we ask you to please end debate quickly. The unemployed cannot afford for there to be a month long debate on how to pay for this assistance.

We understand that this is an election year and there are those who would prefer to play politics than to help the unemployed. The long-term unemployed who have exhausted their benefits do not have time for these childish games.

We do not have time for obstruction or any other political schemes either. The unemployed ask you today with a heavy heart to please extend the available weeks available to Emergency Unemployment Compensation. We ask that you consider extending the weeks truly through the end of the year and we ask that you consider paying for this extension of benefits using unused TARP or unused Recovery Act funds to eliminate any long debates on this issue. Funding the unemployed is recovery.

The absolute last thing the long-term unemployed want is to be in need of another extension right before the November elections. All states have enacted the “trigger system” for extended benefits. You can use this tool to determine which states are in need of the extensions based on that state’s unemployment rate. If there is a drop in unemployment rates, we understand the need for the assistance to stop.


This extension cannot wait until Congress returns from Easter break. The unemployed cannot afford any more set backs or childish politics from those who are supposed to be leading. We look to our members of Congress and the President for immediate action and leadership.


(Your Name)
An Unemployed American Desperate For Immediate Action From Congress

To Sign This Petition: http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/open_letter_to_congress_and_the_president_from_the_unemployed

Please share this petition with as many as you can. We are all hoping Congress and the President takes action on this issue as soon as possible. Feel free to print this petition and use standard mail to get it to your representative. Also, feel free to edit this message as you see fit to make it more custom to you.

This petition is fully editable. In it's current form, it asks Congress and the President for a true full year of extensions through 2010 so long as unemployment remains so high. As stated in the message, the last thing the unemployed want is to be waiting on another extension when the heat of the 2010 elections nears.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bailout Bank (JP Morgan/Chase) Released Report Stating Extended Jobless Benefits Is Reason For High Unemployment - Republicans Agree

Lengthened availability of jobless benefits has raised the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points and has increased the average duration of unemployment spells by over a month, according to a report put out yesterday by JPMorgan Chase Bank.

The report claims that jobless benefits have the potential to increase the unemployment rate by softening the blow of losing a job and encourage people who would otherwise drop out of the labor force to be counted as job seekers and therefore in the labor force.

Analyst Rick Ellis explains the math behind the report's findings:
If the current national rate was 10 percent, half of that (or 5 percent) is what you would typically expect to see in a healthy economy. Of the remaining 5 percent, 1.5 points is attributable to the extension of unemployment benefits past the recent historical threshold of 26 weeks.

Republican pundits were already repeating that 1.5 point number late Wednesday, using it as a talking point in favor of letting the extended benefits expire.

Ellis disagrees with the premise behind the JP Morgan Chase theory:
The national unemployment rate peaked in late 2009, and at that point, only 20 of the 47 weeks of extended coverage had been enacted. ... The addition of another 27 weeks of coverage should have sent the national unemployment rate back up sharply. Instead, the number remained at pretty much a steady level.

However, the analysts at JPMorgan Chase aren't the only ones claiming that extended federal unemployment benefits are adding to the country's jobless problem.

Gary Wolfram of the Business & Media Institute writes: "It ought to be clear that if we reduce the cost of becoming or remaining unemployed, then we will have greater unemployment ... One reason we have had such a “jobless recovery” is due to the reduction in the cost of remaining unemployed due to the expansion of unemployment benefits."

You can expect to hear more of these arguments in the weeks ahead when the U.S. House of Representatives takes up the Senate jobs bill that would extend the deadlines for filing for federal extended unemployment benefits through the end of the year.

Source Story

Note from the blogger: This article was found today from MLive.com. Remember that the American taxpayer bailed out the goons at JP Morgan/Chase. Michael Feroli, Chase Bank, is the person we all have to thank for this recent study from Chase bank.

I bet our tax dollars helped pay Mr. Feroli for this study. His email is michael.e.feroli@jpmorgan.com in case you had something to say to him.

If stories like this infuriate you as much as they do me, let me know in comments. It would seem to me the reason for our high unemployment is the simple lack of jobs. But what do I know - I'm just an average tax paying, law-abiding citizen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do We Have A New Reason For Hope - Is Congress Hearing Us?

When I came across this article, I was cautiously optimistic. Nasdaq.com is reporting that the House Ways & Means Committee may be trying to figure out a way to pay for an unemployment extension and COBRA subsidies. It seems at this time, there are still no definite bills yet in Congress but at least the unemployed now have two sources stating that Congress is working on an extension.

Please be cautiously optimistic about this story. Please continue to contact your representatives until Congress adds weeks to Tier 4 and/or creates a Tier 5 for the longer-term unemployed.

Here is the story posted by newsok.com

Published March 17, 2010 | Andrew Taylor | AP

A bipartisan bill that would provide tax cuts for businesses that hire unemployed workers was headed for likely Senate passage Wednesday.

A positive vote would send the legislation to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.

It would be the first of several election-year jobs bills promised by Democrats to be enacted into law, though there's plenty of skepticism that the measure will do much to boost hiring.

The bill contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. It would exempt businesses that hire the unemployed from paying the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give employers an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. Taxpayers would reimburse Social Security for the lost revenue.

It would also extend highway and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump in $20 billion in time for the spring construction season. That money would make up for lower-than-expected gasoline tax revenues.

The measure is modest compared with last year's $862 billion economic stimulus bill and the bulk of the hiring tax breaks would probably go to companies that were likely to hire new workers anyway.

Obama has promised to sign the measure into law.

In addition to the hiring tax incentives and highway funding, the bill would extend a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment and modestly expand an initiative that helps state and local governments finance infrastructure projects.

A far larger measure that would extend health insurance subsidies and jobless checks for the unemployed is in the works but hitting slow going. That measure has passed both House and Senate but is hung up as the rival chambers wrangle over how to partially finance the legislation, which also would extend a variety of tax breaks for individuals and businesses.

As a result, it may require a third temporary extension of unemployment benefits, which would otherwise expire at the end of this month.

The Senate vote also comes as a House panel is to vote on a new bill designed to help small businesses. That bill would exempt long-term investments in certain small businesses from capital gains taxes and would expand a program that subsidizes interest costs paid by local governments when they borrow for construction projects.

Source: http://www.newsok.com/senate-poised-to-clear-jobs-bill-for-obama/article/feed/142353

This story is an Associated Press news article that was just recently published. It cannot be confirmed if this could be a possible way to extend the weeks available. Please comment and let me know what you think. Also, please share any stories that you may have about what a member of Congress may have said to you this week in regards to a Tier 5 extension.

US Unemployed Blogsite is continuing the involvement of telephone and online petitioning campaigns. We will be here until the finish. We encourage our readers to please stay involved in contacting Congress and help ensure the jobs bills which are still in Congress can include a Tier 5.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TAKE ACTION! Please Join The Call Campaigns This Week To Congress.

This blog, unemployed-friends.com, tier5.webs.com, and the 99ers strongly encourage you to please pick up the phone and demand action from Congress. We all agree that the more voices to Congress the better. We all share the same unified message which is, "GIVE US ADDITIONAL WEEKS OR GIVE US JOBS". This will be our focus all week until we get the attention of Congress and get a bill passed.

We demand a Tier 5 or at least an extension to Tier 4 unemployment.

It is time to get involved. Join all these organizations below and please get involved. If you are already a member of these forums or if you know another campaign out there, please let us know. We want to band together in this time of need.

An extension to Tier 4 and/or the creation of a Tier 5 may not happen without your help. Please, ask your friends and family to help in this also. Anyone willing to add a voice is welcome.


The original intent of this blog was to report the news and provide resources to the unemployed. This is the best resource I can do for those who have exhausted benefits or who will in a couple of weeks. Think of the thousands in poverty right now as I type this message and I plea to my readers to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  Those without access to a computer or may be under the impression that the last extension included an additional tier.

They are counting on you to stand up and fight for this extension. Continue to call, email, or write your members of Congress or your representative in D.C.

For a list of contact information and a sample script to call by telephone,

Check out:

I put this list way out in an area of Craigslist so that it should not bother anyone. It should be fairly printer-friendly. Print it out, please make some calls.

Please join these forums if you are not already a member - they will help you stay up to date and allow you to connect and share stories and vital information.

Please click the unemployed-friends.com logo and participate in "Unemployed Will Be Heard" Telephone Campaign. 

More information can be found at

An additional calling campaign is being hosted by

Please take a look at this campaign and join the website. The cause is good. 

Online Petition: 


If you haven't already, please take a moment to sign this petition to Congress asking for a Tier 5 extension.

This was an initiative from the 99ers (Those who exhausted or will exhaust 99 weeks of benefits).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Grass Roots Effort To Extend Federal Unemployment Benefit Weeks Gains National Attention

Looking through the stories regarding any news that may pertain to extending the weeks available for the longer-term unemployed who were left out of the latest extension, a very encouraging article surfaced that demands national attention.

Unemployed-friends.com has championed a grass roots Congressional contact campaign called, "Unemployed Will Be Heard".

Armed with the power of simply spreading the word to it's forum members to contact their elected representatives, this action has earned national attention today as it appears in Google News results posted by mlive.com. A respected news organization from the state of Michigan.

Please take a moment to join unemployed-friends.com. Registration is quick and easy and the cause is good. It is the reporting of grass-roots movements such as this that will get Congress involved in assisting those who have exhausted or are near exhausting benefits. Great reporting by MLive.com and hopefully this and other grassroots movement gain more attention from the press and from our members of Congress soon.

usunemployed.blogspot.com gives Kudos to unemployed-friends for leading this campaign and we plan to join and support this campaign. The more voices the better. Unemployed-friends.com is right.

The Unemployed Will Be Heard
The complete URL to join "Unemployed Will Be Heard" is here: http://unemployed-friends.forumotion.com/campaign-and-support-legislation-f79/call-in-campaign-unemployed-will-be-heard-extend-weeks-add-tier-v-t3244-105.htm

Update: There seems to be a problem with registering as a new member on the weekend. When registering for this campaign, the error, "Administrators have forbidden any new members." If you are new and wanting to register, try to register Monday through Friday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Have A Tier 4 That Is Only 6 Weeks?

If logic were to enter the equation, the question must be asked why Congress would create a Tier of unemployment benefits with only six weeks. This is by design and most economists expect Congress to add weeks to Tier 4 and/or create a Tier 5.

The problem is - no one knows when. The media is barely covering the lack of an extension of weeks in the latest extension. It was a small battle just to get the dates extended out for the existing tiers of unemployment and there is no current legislation seeking the extension of weeks or adding tiers.

There is, an increasing number of buzz...

It could be partially true, in Sen. Jon Kyl's words, that no one would ever seek employment if the program continued to be extended over and over. (Although it is very juvenile for him to think that the unemployed collect unemployment insurance by choice). It is more the truth in the words of Sen. Debbie Stabenow that for every dollar spent on unemployment, amounts to a $1.50+ of direct stimulus to the economy.

The abuse of the few have undermined the needs of the many. In an honor system, we would all just extend out unemployment to everyone until they got a job. "No need to show proof, Mr. Smith. You are a well-known, respected citizen." Those days left a very long time ago. Those days did not exist during the Kennedy Administration.

In this age of disinformation and persons deliberately abusing the system it creates the need for a system of checks and balances. It creates a need for someone to constantly inspect fraud, waste, and abuse. In some cases, it encourages someone who may have gave up looking for work a new lease on trying. In some cases, it will cause a family to default on their mortgage. I agree, the system is not fair. It does seem to be the American way.

Critics of unemployment insurance would argue it is creating an addition to welfare or socialism. There's nothing socialist about people losing their homes or being unable to provide food and basic necessities. It is a very real and serious threat many families are facing in this recession.

Ultimately, another extension (of weeks) will prevail. The advice of the economist will win the debate over the Republican who cannot fathom giving another cent to the unemployed. (As if the funds came directly from his pocket). Some of these conservatives could better suit their politics if they spent more time and resources helping to create jobs in their districts rather than criticizing every action from their opposition.

Politics will rein this year as midterm elections near. Regardless what Congress does this year - be it health care reform or creating jobs or omnibus bills that have a little of everything for everyone. Soon, everything will be on hold until after the mid-term elections.

No one knows when Congress will take up an extension of weeks of benefits. If they plan to pass the bill based on the trigger system and unemployment rates, yesterday would have been great.

Email, call, and write your representatives daily. US Unemployed is awaiting a response from Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich). She has been a champion for unemployment assistance and she may be able to shed some light on when Congress may take this up. There are no official updates. Only strong speculation and a lot of growing buzz around the issue.

We will keep you up to date.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No New Tiers Coming From Congress This Week

It seems there is some confusion about the latest rounds of extensions this week coming from Congress. What Congress is doing this week only extends the filing dates available for those seeking the existing Tiers and EB program. This is great news for someone laid off in 2009 or this year, but for the worker laid off in 2008 or earlier on their last tier - this is very upsetting.

To restate this. 99 weeks is still the maximum benefit amount.

Will this change? If we ask Congress specifically for it, perhaps.

There is a void out there of information. Major news outlets are reporting this as an extension (which it is) - but it is more a change of enrollment dates for persons who lost their jobs within the past year.

Even unemployedworkers.org is not being clear to the public about what this action this week in Congress means for the unemployed.

Other blogs and comment sections are posting opinions and what a senator may have said off the record by telephone. But the fact remains that Congress will soon take a break in April. If extensions for the long-term unemployed are not granted before this break, it could be up to two months before the Senate even presents a bill that helps the long-term unemployed.

US Unemployed is gathering more information to see if a bill to add a tier has even been introduced. If anyone out there has any information, please post it in comments.

Keep contacting your representative and ask specifically for an additional tier of unemployment benefits.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Unemployment Extension Passes Test Vote - Action This Week Is Expected - All Eyes On Congress

Your calls to your representatives are being heard. Thank you, readers, for your involvement and please stay involved. We must not relent our calls and emails and letters to Congress until assistance is achieved. Several sources are now projecting a bill to clear the Senate and be signed into law by the end of the week. (Possibly, early next week).

Below is breaking news from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A final vote is now expected tomorrow in the Senate, on a measure that would give additional months of unemployment benefits to people who've been out of work for more than half a year.

It cleared a key hurdle today in the Senate, with enough Republican support to guarantee that it can pass the Senate. Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to defeat a GOP filibuster.

The sweeping measure also would prevent doctors from absorbing a crippling cut in Medicare payments. It also extends health insurance subsidies for the unemployed through December.

And it includes the annual extension of $26 billion worth of tax breaks for businesses and individuals that are popular with senators of both parties.

Democrats are also hoping this week to separately finish work on a far smaller job-creation measure that includes additional highway spending as well as new tax breaks for companies that hire the unemployed.

The Senate Is Taking Up Extending Unemployment Insurance Deadlines

Legislation extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless faces a key test vote in the Senate, its momentum helped by about 60 popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses that expired at the end of last year.

The measure also prevents doctors from absorbing a crippling cut in Medicare payments, extends health insurance subsidies for the unemployed and gives cash-starved states help with Medicaid, the federal-state program providing health care to the poor and disabled.

The unemployment insurance alone — to provide weekly unemployment checks averaging above $300 to people whose core 26-week benefit package has run out — will cost $66 billion through December. In some states people are eligible to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks.

The bill, and the test vote Tuesday, demonstrate the difficulty Democrats face as they focus on jobs. It doesn't include new ideas for boosting jobs, but instead reprises elements of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus bill, which is earning mixed reviews from voters. Simply extending those provisions has produced a far more expensive measure than a separate so-called jobs bill that Democrats hope to soon send to President Barack Obama. That measure would boost highway spending and give tax breaks to companies that hire the unemployed and could clear the Senate for Obama's desk this week.

At a gross cost of about $148 billion, Tuesday's measure illustrates the extraordinary cost of the unemployment safety net as the economy inches out of the recession. Democrats say the unemployment benefits inject demand into the economy and say renewing the tax cuts helps preserve existing jobs.

The measure closes $29 billion of tax loopholes to help defray its cost, including one enjoyed by paper companies that get a credit from burning "black liquor," a pulp-making byproduct, as if it were an alternative fuel.

All told, the measure would add $107 billion to the deficit over the coming decade. Democrats have labeled most of the bill an emergency measure, exempting it from stricter budget rules enacted just last month.

Democrats need to muster at least one Republican vote Tuesday to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to limit debate and guarantee an up-or-down vote. But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, provided crucial help last week to keep the measure out of another procedural tangle, and Democrats sound confident they will prevail.

The bill includes about 60 popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses that expired at the end of 2009. The bill would extend the tax breaks through 2010, at a cost of about $26 billion.

Congress routinely extends the tax breaks each year with large bipartisan majorities. Businesses and tax planners would prefer a more permanent solution, but lawmakers can't agree on how to pay for a longer extension.

The tax breaks include a property tax deduction for people who don't itemize, lucrative credits that help businesses finance research and development and a sales tax deduction that mainly helps people in the nine states without income taxes: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming.

There is a deduction for college tuition for couples making less than $160,000 a year, and one for teachers who use their own money to buy school supplies. There is a tax credit for community development agencies that invest in low-income neighborhoods, as well as a tax break for restaurant owners and retailers who remodel their stores.

#healthcare, health care reform, #hcr, #m9, #p2


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Contact Your Representative

NELP and other organizations are useful allies to the unemployed. They often provide links to quickly contact your Congressperson. In email correspondence, they generally provide a very well scripted automated message to your representatives in Washington. This is a great service they provide and US Unemployed Blogsite strongly encourages each and every individual to use these resources.

However, we also realize how important it is that members of Congress hear exactly what we have to say. It is important to continuously remind them and their staff that the unemployed and those who advocate for them seek their attention. Partisan bickering in Washington between multi millionaires at the expense of the unemployed worker in Ohio who can barely meet his mortgage and provide food for his family must stop.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an issue of morals and decency to show compassion to those hit hardest in this recession and provide as they seek work each and every day.

This is the section in the Constitution which states
"...We shall promote the general welfare."

On the eve before Congress reconvenes and has their Tuesday session. Please take a moment to write your representative(s). Let him or her know how important this extension is to you. Ask them to set aside political titles and think about the millions of Americans who have became unemployed due to no fault of their own.

Please share this post. Please contact your representative. Now included on this blog is a widget that will locate the contact information for your United States Senators and allow you to send them an email with your personal story.

Friday, March 05, 2010

McConnell: Unemployment Benefits Extension Likely To Pass


Kentucky's senior Senator said another extension of unemployment insurance benefits will likely be passed by the U.S. Congress next week.

WLKY's Andy Alcock had a chance to ask Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell some questions.

McConnell is in Louisville this weekend. The University of Louisville alumnus will be at the Cardinals' final Freedom Hall basketball game Saturday.

For several days, Kentucky's junior Senator, Jim Bunning, one of McConnell's fellow Republicans, kept a measure extending unemployment insurance benefits for March for hundreds of thousands of Americans from coming to the floor for a vote. He expressed concerns about the federal deficit. The move drew national attention.

The move drew national attention.

"I'm embarrassed that a senator from Kentucky has put us as a government in that position," Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat, said on Monday.

"That's behind us and we're looking forward," McConnell said.

Tuesday, Bunning stopped his blockade of the unemployment extension.

When the measure came to a vote on the Senate floor, he voted no. McConnell also voted no.

"Well, I thought he had a point. We ought to pay for it," McConnell said.

"We know we face longterm deficit situations, but we also know that there's a balance to be struck. When you have people hurting, someone's going to have to help feed their families," Yarmuth said.

The Senate is working on another, longer extension of unemployment insurance benefits.

"We're dealing with a bill now, a much larger bill, that I hope will also ultimately be paid for," McConnell said.

Last week, McConnell also took part in a health care summit with President Barack Obama.

As part of the summit, the president promised to include some Republican ideas in the bill being considered in the House.

"That isn't going to get our members on board. We think this bill needs to be put on the shelf and we need to start over and go step by step to work on the cost issue," McConnell said.

McConnell also accused the Democrats of arrogance for trying to push through a bill he said the American people don't want.

"The only history that will be made if they vote for it is their own history, they'll be history," McConnell said.

Yarmuth said on Monday he expects House Democrats will approve the health care bill with a rarely used tactic called reconciliation.

McConnell pointed out Democrats used that same tactic in 1993 and lost control of the Congress in 1994. He noted Republicans did it in 2005 and also lost control of Congress in the next year's election.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

19 Republicans To Unemployed - "Drop Dead"

EUC = Emergency Unemployment Compensation

We begin this story speaking about the 19 Republicans in the Senate who oppose assistance to the jobless. These Senators knowingly and willfully participated in delay tactics, obstruction, and denying assistance to the unemployed in a nation with a battered economy with millions of Americans desperate for assistance.

There is a reason the funds are called "Emergency Unemployment Compensation".

Would these same Senators deny funding if the country were under attack by terrorist(s)? Would they deny funding if an area was declared a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005? In their defense, they claim that this legislation is not covered under PAYGO.

This is where the hypocrisy begins. None of these Senators voted in favor of PAYGO. None of them. Why are they so persistent in a time of economic emergency to enforce PAYGO if they did not vote for that Senate rule?

Simple, partisan politics. They want the advantage in coming elections to tell the people they opposed government spending. However, their timing on their opposition is calculated and is conflicting.

Persons who receive unemployment compensation under any circumstance receive that assistance because they were laid off from their job due to no fault of their own. The funds they receive are taxable. Even the unemployed pay taxes if they are receiving this lifeline.

The irony - nearly all of the states which these Senators represent have double-digit unemployment numbers. If the unemployed in their states do not need these emergency funds - perhaps these Senators should tell the people why Wall Street and large banks needed a bailout.

These Senators will claim our deficit is too high yet they handed the current Administration an $11 Trillion debt. They will claim that unemployment funds are low and the states are cash-strapped and this is true. However, states were cash strapped all throughout the Great Recession. They will claim that small business cannot sustain the tax burdens; however, look at the business in their states.

Over 95% of the business which provided employment to their states are large-scale, multi-billion dollar industries which are more than capable of paying $100 per employee per year.

The bottom line is their objections are contradictory on all counts. Even if their objections are sincere - why do this to the unemployed? Of all of the legislation in Congress they want to delay or deny - objecting to emergency funds for the people who need the money the most is not only inexcusable but it is morally wrong. These Senators are penalizing the victims in this recession rather than the culprits. That fact should not rest well with the average American.

Each day, these Senators prove to be more in the interest of big money corporations and less and less in the interests of the people. These Senators represent the states with the highest levels of poverty, lowest levels of education, and highest levels of unemployment. This is something for their constituents to think about when they are up for re-election. These senators are not acting in the interests of their state(s) nor the country.

Here are the Senators who voted "Nay". They would be ashamed of themselves if they did not have to admit they were trying to get short-term political gain at the expense of Americans hit hardest by this recession.

Here are the names of those who essentially told the unemployed to drop dead.

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Coburn (R-OK)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Johanns (R-NE)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sessions (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)

Voting NO on each and every issue is not leadership. These senators were elected by their constituents to lead. Americans need to memorize these names. These senators all proved on Tuesday they would prefer to side with big business.

Actions do speak louder than words. Their actions yell (in Mr. Bunning's words), "TOUGH SH__" to the unemployed.

Congress Passes Legislation To Assist Jobless, Despite Some Republican Opposition

The U.S. Senate passed and sent to President Barack Obama a bill to reinstate unemployment benefits for thousands after Republican Senator Jim Bunning ended his effort to block the measure because it added to the deficit.

The chamber voted 78 to 19 last night to approve the bill, which the House passed last week. All 19 Senate votes against the measure were cast by Republicans.

The bill will become law with Obama’s signature.

It would extend benefits for the jobless one month, including subsidies to help the unemployed buy health insurance, as well as postpone cuts in Medicare reimbursements in doctors. It would also release highway money, the delay of which forced the Transportation Department to furlough 2,000 employees.

The bill is designed to buy lawmakers time while they debate longer-term extensions of the programs.

Bunning relented in blocking the measure after coming under a drumbeat of criticism from Democrats as well as some Republicans who believed his efforts had become a political liability for their party.

Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said yesterday extension of the jobless benefits was “so important to senators on both sides of the aisle,” and that “numerous members of the Republican caucus” opposed Bunning’s stalling tactics.

“Today we have a clear-cut example to show the American people just what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.,” Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, said yesterday in pressing her party’s case against Bunning’s actions.

Obama ‘Grateful’

Obama, in a statement after last night’s vote, said he was “grateful to the members of the Senate on both sides of the aisle who worked to end this roadblock to relief for America’s working families.”

Bunning, who decided against seeking re-election this year, had been holding up a vote since Feb. 25 because the bill’s $10 billion cost would be added to the government’s $1.6 trillion deficit. Unemployment benefits for many expired Feb. 28 and the Labor Department said 400,000 could see aid cut within two weeks if Congress didn’t act. Bunning accused Democrats of ignoring their recently enacted anti-deficit budget rules known as pay-go.

“We must get our debt problem under control and there is no better time than now,” Bunning said on the Senate floor before last night’s vote. “That is why I have been down here demanding that this bill be paid for.”

Bunning agreed to allow the vote so long as he was promised separate consideration of his amendment to offset the cost of the legislation by closing a tax break for paper companies. His amendment was defeated on a procedural vote amid complaints by Democrats that its passage would force the House to again approve the legislation, which would further delay the extension of unemployment benefits and the other provisions.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bunning Tries To Explain Why He Chooses Unemployment Extensions To Hold Up And Then Rants On How He Now Supports PAYGO?

Official C-Span Video, Republican Sen Jim Bunning, Kentucky, on the Senate floor with a sudden flip-flop support of PAYGO and choosing the unemployed as his divine opportunity to protest government spending.

Do not watch this video unless you can stomach the hypocrisy of this Senator whose actions are holding up extensions. He speaks of a "revolution" in this video. Apparently there is a "revolution" under-way to deny assistance to the jobless.

Mr. Bunning, retire now.

Harry Reid sets the record straight toward the end of the video and tries again to muster unanimous consent to move forward. Sen Reid also lays out his plan to get this assistance to the jobless as soon as possible. The procedure of cloture, once again, will be necessary to move forward.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sen. Jon Kyl Says Congress Will Pass Extended Jobless Benefits

Congress will pass legislation aimed at keeping certain jobless benefits, highway and transit money and other government programs funded, Sen. Jon Kyl, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said Sunday.

But the approval was highly unlikely to come before this morning. Several programs were to expire at midnight Sunday, and Congress has failed to extend them because of an objection by Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky. Bunning wants the $10 billion price offset by budget reductions.

The Senate is not expected to act until Tuesday at the earliest, which means as of this morning, certain extended jobless benefits will not be available. Neither will some highway or transit funds, small-business loans or help for newly laid-off workers for their insurance premiums.

Kyl, though, told Fox News Sunday flatly, "It will pass."

The Arizona senator also sympathized with Bunning. Recently, Congress adopted "pay as you go" rules requiring that, in many cases, new programs must be paid for. So why, Bunning asked, if these extensions are so popular, can't Congress find the money to fund them?

Democrats continued to express anger.

"Because of one senator's irresponsible actions, over 61,000 Michigan workers will begin losing their unemployment benefits on Monday," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Most people already getting extra jobless benefits are unlikely to be affected. Those who will feel the impact could include people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state benefits and qualify for more aid under federal guidelines.

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