Update: House passes bill: Unemployment: House to consider McDermott UE Extension Bill this week…

Update: 10/5: Schumer says Senate will extend UE this week see here for update

Update: 9/22/09 7:43 pm EST: The bill, HR 3548 passes the House:

Jobless workers in imminent danger of losing their unemployment benefits would get a 13-week reprieve under legislation approved by the House on Tuesday.

The House bill, which applies to 27 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent or higher, would add to the already-record levels of benefits that have been available to the jobless as the country struggles to recover from its prolonged economic malaise.

It would not, however, give any extra benefits to the longtime unemployed in states that have lower levels of joblessness, including Nebraska, North Dakota and Utah.

The bill passed easily, 331-83, although the two parties cast the measure in different lights. Democrats said the relief was still needed despite positive signs that their policies were reviving the economy. Republicans said the high jobless rate proved that the Obama administration’s economic strategies weren’t working.

Now the Senate has to pass ITS bill:  ‘Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.’

Our previous post on the bill here

A scaled down McDermott (D-WA) sponsored UE extension bill to be considered by the House this week.


The measure sponsored by Rep. Jim McDermott , D-Wash., would allow 13 extra weeks of benefits for workers in states where the unemployment rate has surpassed 8.5 percent. That would come on top of the emergency extensions approved in last year’s supplemental spending bill and this year’s stimulus.

What it covers: (continues after the break):

Currently, unemployed workers in all states are eligible to collect up to 46 weeks of benefit checks, and those in states where the jobless rate is at least 6 percent can collect up to 59 weeks’ worth. Jobless workers in 47 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, currently qualify for longer period of benefits; Nebraska and North and South Dakota are the only states to have maintained an unemployment rate under 6 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workers in 26 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, would qualify for an extra 13 weeks of benefits under McDermott’s bill. The cost of the additional weeks will be entirely assumed by the federal government, which is also reimbursing states for the full cost of the existing emergency benefits still being paid out.


Some 5 million people, about one-third of those on the unemployment list, have been without a job for six months or more, a record since data started being recorded in 1948, according to the research and advocacy group National Employment Law Project.

The jobless rate currently stands at 9.7 percent and is likely to hover above 10 percent for much of 2010. Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said at the Finance Committee hearing that, according to Labor Department figures, 51 percent of unemployment insurance claimants exhausted their regular benefits in July, the highest rate ever. “It is likely the exhaustion rate will continue to increase in coming months” as the unemployment rate continues to rise, he said. Stettner predicted that Congress will likely have to continue extending jobless benefits through 2011.

How this bill differs from what McDermott originally proposed:

McDermott in July introduced a more ambitious bill that would have extended through 2010 the compensation programs included in the stimulus act. Those benefits are now scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

But with a price tag of up to $70 billion, that bill would have been far more difficult to pass. McDermott instead decided to offer the scaled-down 13-week extension to meet the urgent needs of those seeing their benefits disappear this year.McDermott said his bill would not add to the deficit because it would extend for a year a federal unemployment tax of $14 per employee per year that employers have been paying for more than 30 years. It would also require better reporting on newly hired employees to reduce unemployment insurance overpayments.

Everyone got that? They cannot pass a UE extension/expansion bill b/c they say IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE! But they can keep trying to ram health care down our throats? Unreal.

Three-fourths of the 400,000 workers projected to exhaust their benefits this month live in high unemployment states that would qualify for the additional 13 weeks of benefits under his bill, McDermott said.

They include:

Alabama, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia….

What about the other states?

Other states could qualify for more benefits if their unemployment rates are approaching the 8.5 percent threshold

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , . Economy, Labor Department, Popular Culture, Unemployment Statistics.


  1. kandi replied:

    I have a question: Would this latest extention cover those people who benefits ran in July? But have kept filing each week.


  2. Weste replied:

    The other thing that this article doesn’t tell you is that if your UE runs out by the end of 2009 you are not entitled to the extenions.

    I live in southern NJ in a county where the Unemployment Rate is 12.5%! Being over age 50, having gone back yet once again to school for additional education, distributing hundreds of resumes both onine and actual handout copies attached to applications, I have had maybe 5 interviews in the past year. Sadly, while my resume has been complimented during those interviews, yet no job has come through.

    What do I have to look foward to -Twelve and one-half percent unemployment, over age 50, and no extension. Maybe the feds should put a clause in that says if you hire an older more experienced person on the UE rolls, there is a tax incentive for you. I know that sounds discriminatory but for those of you living on the fringe, DISCRIMINATION still exists for older folks 😦


  3. Pete Murphy replied:

    Unemployment, both in the U.S. and the world as a whole, marches ever higher because the field of economics doesn’t account for the relationship between population density and per capita consumption.

    Following the beating the field of economics took over the seeming failure of Malthus’ theory, economists adamantly refuse to ever again consider the effects of population growth. If they did, they might come to understand that once an optimum population density is breached, further over-crowding begins to erode per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment.

    And these effects of an excessive population density are actually imported when a nation like the U.S. attempts to trade freely with other nations much more densely populated – nations like China, Japan, Germany, Korea and a host of others. The result is an automatic trade deficit and loss of jobs – tantamount to economic suicide.

    Using 2006 data, an in-depth analysis reveals that, of our top twenty per capita trade deficits in manufactured goods (the trade deficit divided by the population of the country in question), eighteen are with nations much more densely populated than our own. Even more revealing, if the nations of the world are divided equally around the median population density, the U.S. had a trade surplus in manufactured goods of $17 billion with the half of nations below the median population density. With the half above the median, we had a $480 billion deficit!

    If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit either of my web sites at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com or PeteMurphy.wordpress.com where you can read the preface, join in the blog discussion and, of course, buy the book if you like. (It’s also available at Amazon.com.)

    Pete Murphy
    Author, “Five Short Blasts”


  4. Faith replied:

    I live in Indiana and both my husband and I lost our jobs in 2008 and have had a horrific time looking for new jobs that just don’t seem to exist. I exhaust my benefits in one more week. My husband will exhaust his in 3 weeks but with the prices of everything we need both of our benefits to make it barely. They need to pass this and quick!


  5. rambodog replied:

    thanks to all the senators and congressmen and former presidents, who took in millions of dollars in their own investments and didn’t share the info on the economy with the so called conned out of their money stituants, We should have them investigated as to what their net worth was before this mess and after the markets went down, everyone was struggling and sold their stocks, and low and behold now we must be strong and start buying the same old baloney buy buy bye $$$$


  6. Jonathan Roberts replied:

    I hope it’s passed I’m only 26 in college and in debt up to my eyelids


    • ginaswo replied:

      My eldest is in the same boat. The bill passed the House tonight, now the Senate needs to address it.


  7. Unemployment Update: House to consider McDermott UE Extension Bill … · entertainment lift replied:

    […] View original here: Unemployment Update: House to consider McDermott UE Extension Bill … […]


  8. missdisplaced replied:

    I think they will HAVE to pass some kind of extension or else be faced with yet another round of massive foreclosures as people exhaust their unemployment benefits and simply give up even trying to pay the bills.

    Many of us are just barely hanging on now, and that unemployment check is the only thing saving the house or keeping us off the streets.

    If jobless rates continue to rise, without any relief for the laid off, millions more will just walk away from their debt obligations. The ripple effect could send the country into a downward spiral like the Great Depression in the 30’s.


    • ginaswo replied:

      agree, they are SOL b/c they have to pass it as joblessness is so so bad and soo extended in the face of their crappy nongrowth economic policies, BUT as they keep extending it the numbers are more obvious as to how many of us are unemployed and for how long

      when people fall off the rolls that data gets little attention, but the contonuing claims number gets headlines

      TOTUS plans to tell G20 this weke he wants to remake the global economy according to Drudge.

      My thought is he plans to boost exports to appease his labor base. The problem there is American labor earns WAAAAY too much to `compete with Communist labor, period. So to accomplish his goal he will hae to let the US Dollar tank, meaning inflation, helloo Carter Redux, ack! I am buying GOLD whenever I can scrape up the dough and it falls below 900 an oz…


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