Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Obama Administration Has Called For Additional Unemployment Insurance Included In Second Stimulus Act (a.k.a. "Mini" Stimulus) - #tier5 #unemployment

Not that members of the Tea Party movement will agree that there is anything "mini" about up to $300 billion dollars of deficit spending, it's being called for by the Obama Administration anyway.  This news should excite each and every reader out there who is seeking additional weeks available for unemployment benefits as this is the strongest signal from the Obama Administration that the unemployed are being heard. 

Today some very encouraging news emerged and since there are more than three sources reporting on it, it is definitely worth bringing to the attention of the unemployed - especially the long term unemployed who have felt abandoned in recent months.

Both Newsweek's article:  Economoist's Agree:  Unemployment Will Stay High Through November and the Financial Times article Obama adviser calls for new mini-stimulus are stating that the second stimulus requested on Monday, May 24, 2010 by the Obama Administration is calling for an extension of unemployment benefits. 

So, if H.R. 4213 is geared to assist the existing tiers through the remainder of the year, what else can this extension referenced be other than additional weeks available to the unemployed?  The second stimulus also being newly known as a "mini-stimulus" is seeming more and more like the vehicle that will be used for a possible Tier V unemployment extension or adding additional weeks to current tiers. 

The testimony given Monday by Lawrence Summers, Barack Obama's Senior Economic Advisor, stated to the United States House of Representatives the following statements: 

“I cannot agree with those who suggest that it somehow threatens the future to provide truly temporary, high-bang-for-the-buck jobs and growth measures,” he said. “Spurring growth, if we can achieve it, is by far the best way to improve our fiscal position.”

“The observation that the economy is again ascending does not mean that we are out of a very deep valley,” said Mr Summers.

As covered by Financial Times, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House stated: 

“We look forward to reviewing the president’s proposal and working together to do what’s right for our nation’s fiscal health and security,”

Newsweek reports that all three major economic groups that have leverage in Congress: 
the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the centrist Brookings Institution, and the conservative Heritage Foundation are all in agreement that the national unemployment rate will hover around 10% through the remainder of this year and definitely through the midterm elections.

The full Newsweek article being referenced is at:

Josh Bivens of EPI, advocates a second stimulus bill on the order of $300 billion that would extend unemployment benefits and food stamps, and subsidies for laid-off workers getting their health insurance through COBRA, plus fiscal relief to states facing recovery-killing budget cuts or tax increases.

According to the Newsweek Article, Bivens stated, "We missed our window", when referring to whether or not this action to provide tax cuts to small business to spur job creation would make an impact before the November midterm elections. 

James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation states that the president should encourage private wealth creation through tax cuts and tort reform to protect corporations against the costs of battling lawsuits. But he admits that this would take a while to boost employment figures.  Mr Sherk stated: "The economy moves at a slow pace."  (This will be the opinion taken by the Republican party and as was noted above, reflects the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation's assertion). 

In these articles it is stated that the second stimulus proposed by the Obama Administration is necessary to avoid a double dip back into the recession and sustain any amount of growth. 

If you have exhausted your benefits, you know this.  You know as well as anyone that without a job available to you and without assistance from unemployment insurance the economy will sink.  This is the bailout Main Street needs and according to Mr. Bivens from EPI, economists missed the mark to make a difference by about four or five months.  Does this sound about right to some of you?  Would it have helped to know four months ago (in early February), that your benefits would not be expiring and you could continue to pay for basic necessities that assistance through unemployment insurance can provide? 

No one should be claiming a victory here.  But this is some of the most encouraging news in recent months that signals to the unemployed how the Obama Administration and Democratic Leadership will address the needs of the long term unemployed who have exhausted benefits or will exhaust benefits very soon. 

As we have learned today, it seems the most likely route is going to be the passage of H.R. 4213 for those who have not used the maximum amount of benefits currently available through the end of this year.  And for those who have exhausted benefits or will exhaust benefits very soon, Stimulus Bill #2 is reported to cover unemployment extensions.  It seems logical that the bill that will cost over $300 billion dollars is the bill that will extend out weeks of benefits. 

We need this bill titled and in the finance committees as soon as possible.
Obviously, the full text of the bill for the "Second Stimulus" needs to be presented and when this happens it will likely then be reported by larger media outlets.  Right now it is just a proposal by the Chief Economic Advisor to the White House, Lawrence Summers. 

This additional glimpse of hope is reason to keep going advocates.  Keep the petitions strong and keep advocating for a Tier 5 unemployment extension so that it is quickly clear the long term unemployed are advocating for extending weeks.  Keep your telephone calls, emails, and faxes going to Congress.  There may very well be a form letter referencing this newly introduced measure very soon in replies.

Those who are advocating for extended weeks of unemployment benefits have came too far to let these efforts die down quite yet.  Not until there is a bill on the floor.  (And still even then to counter any Republican objections).  We must not relent until this legislation is passed.

The Newsreel at the top is ticking both Google queries:  Second Stimulus & H.R. 4213.  Both of these stories should be of interest to the unemployed out there seeking information.  If anyone finds any other links that are reporting a similar story in respect to unemployment benefits being in Stimulus II, please post that in the comments for other unemployed readers to see. 

Thanks everyone for doing what you do and helping to make this a reality.  I am hopeful that there will be a bill number to reference soon.  Remember, this was just introduced on Monday.  The story just broke on this today.  There's much more information to find out before anyone can say they know the full story. 

As more information is learned, this blog depends on contributions from its readers in comments and references from verifiable news sources.  Thanks in advance for your support out there and keep your eye open for any article mentioning a Second Stimulus.

Photo:  Washington Monument photographed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, US Unemployed Blogsite
blog comments powered by Disqus