Update: GOP proposes amendments for housing tax credit and Dems Johanns and Nelson propose amendment banning ACORN from any federal funding; Unemployment Update: Extension still stalled in the Senate…

10/23 See Update https://moderateinthemiddle.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/unemployment-update-senate-cloture-vote-on-unemployment-extension-next-tuesday/

Update: The Hill:

(…)Since early October, Senate Democrats have been looking to quickly push through a bill that would extend jobless benefits by at least 14 weeks. But Republicans have blocked the immediate consideration of the bill on the Senate floor, objecting because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to score it and because a voice vote would preclude GOP amendments….

…Republicans said that a quick vote on the bill would have precluded Isakson’s amendment and others that have bipartisan support. Nebraska Sens. Mike Johanns (R) and Ben Nelson (D) are pushing for an amendment banning all federal funding for ACORN.

Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) dismissed Democratic suggestions that Republicans are the “party of no” for holding back support on the bill.

“I think when all is said and done, you’ll see a lot of support for unemployment extension. That’s not the issue,” Kyl told reporters. “The question is how you pay for it. The question is what is the score for it, and whether some other amendments will be allowed.”

Democrats plan to find the extra revenue by extending by 18 months the federal employment surtax, paid by employers and set to expire at the end of the year. The CBO expects the extension of jobless benefits to cost approximately $2.4 billion, according to a Democratic aide.

GOP senators, hoping to avoid a tax extension, are planning amendments that would pay for the prolonged jobless benefits by using bailout or stimulus money, according to a Senate Republican aide.

The Indpendent reports an E Verify amendment is also coming to the floor:

(…)The stalling of legislation to expand unemployment insurance (UI) has little to do with the benefit itself. First, there’s a push to attach an extended homebuyer tax credit to the bill — something the Obama administration is wary of.

But also there’s this: Republicans are hoping to attach a number of amendments related to ACORN and immigration — provisions that have delayed floor action on the UI bill indefinitely, according to the offices of both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The agreement ends after that.

The Republican amendments include at least two provisions related to ACORN; one related to the E-Verify program; one to pay for the UI benefits with unspent stimulus money; and one providing tax relief….


Update: Courtesy of James McConnell at the Chicago Economic Policy Examiner:

Democratic politicians will hold a press conference Tuesday to blast Republican politicians for holding up legislation to extend unemployment benefits another 14 weeks for the nation’s out of work citizens. Elected representatives in both houses of Congress have agreed on the details of a bill and apparently have the votes to pass it, but Republicans blocked passage by unanimous consent, and continue to offer what Democrats characterize as unrelated amendments…

What do the Dems do when the WH won’t cooperate on extending the home buyers tax credit and the GOP won’t push through more spending? Get a panel of economists to back up their Keynesian wish list of course (despite these brilliant economists being oh so wrong on their forecasts of UE and the first stimulus). What an utter waste of time and money. This is not rocket science. Just extend the bens one more time, use the ginormous pile of slush fund cash called ‘the stimulus one’ to fund it, and then STOP SPENDING and STOP TAXING and STOP REGULATING EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES…and that includes US and our carbon dioxide!!!

Democratic leaders have scheduled a forum Wednesday to discuss further measures which might be enacted to put Americans back to work. Princeton University economist Alan Blinder, economist Mark Zandi, former adviser to both Obama and McCain, and Heather Boushey, former senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee are expected to attend….

The concerns raised by the GOP are valid. Can’t the Dems just agree to use stimulus funds?:

…Senate Budget Committee ranking Republican Judd Gregg said he believes the procedural differences over unemployment benefit extension will be resolved soon. Gregg wants to avoid the benefit extension measure adding to the national deficit. “This deficit is driven by us,” Gregg said. “The systemic risk today is the Congress of the United States. We’re creating massive debts which we’re passing on to our children.”…

About that homebuyers tax credit, which is ALSO holding up the UE extension bill:

(…)Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, and Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson want Congress to extend the credit through next June.

Isakson told the panel that failure to extend the popular tax credit would lead to “a dramatic and awful situation in the United States of America.”

Uhm,  America to Isakson,  America to Isakson, we have like 15% plus real UE and record foreclosures now! That is pretty frakkin dramatic and awful, stop paying off your RE buddies and let the extension go through sans housing credit…the tax credit is IMO driving a lot of sales, but it is simply cannibalizing future sales as clunkers did nothing more. This is demographics and demand and with falling prices and UE so high why the hell would anyone buy now? Rents just fell 1%. Recall Isakson used to be a real estate agent….here in Phoenix we feel the burn of housing collapse fer real but we do not have the money for these incentives, cut taxes!! That will create some jobs and THEN people will buy damn houses!!!!! UGH THE STOOPID OF THESE PEOPLE IT BURNS!

Under questioning, Donovan said the administration would make a decision the coming weeks after it sees more government data on just how much the tax credit would cost. But he was much less dire in his predictions for the housing market if the tax credit is not extended. “I do not believe that a catastrophic decline (in the housing market) would be the result of the end of the credit,” Donovan said.

Isakson is seeking to attach a bill to extend the credit, and expand it to cover repeat homebuyers, to separate legislation pending in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits. The Senate could vote on that as early as this week.

Donovan also told the panel that the Federal Housing Administration would not need to ask Congress for additional funds to increase its capital levels.

Everyone remember what Donovan said there about FHA not needing a bailout, we have discussed this here before and it seems impossible that they will be able to fund with the losses they have, which are only growing…

Original post: MiM was absent yesterday as I am looking hi and lo for a job and finally started pounding the pavement at retailers to see if I can cashier or stock like I did as a teen. Here’s hoping Barnes n Noble gives me a call, I could sure as hexx use a discount and minimum wage seriously impairs my reading addiction….It has gotten so I can hear the Silhouettes  ‘Get a Job’ in my head as I fill in applications…

TWO WEEKS and Reid cannot get UE extended?! And these people want to run our health care? Gawd help us.


Two weeks ago, it looked like Congress was moving quickly to pass an emergency extension of unemployment benefits to help people who had exhausted or soon would exhaust all their payments.

But since then, the measure has been stalled in the Senate as lawmakers battle over which states should be included and how many extra weeks of benefits should be granted.

In the second week of October, senators looked like they supported a plan to give Florida and other states with jobless rates exceeding 8.5 percent 20 extra weeks of benefits. States with lower unemployment would get 14 weeks….

Advocates for the unemployed say Republicans have indicated they have eight amendments they want added onto the bill. As of late Friday, they’d filed language for six of them. Once all the amendments are filed, Senate leaders will have to work out a deal to get the bill moving. …..

Unlike earlier extensions, there are no plans at this point to make the benefits retroactive. So every week that passes without a new extension is a week of lost payments to folks who are exhausting their benefits.

AZ Public News Service:

Arizona AFL-CIO executive director Rebekah Friend says checks are running out for 7,000 more jobless workers every day.

“These are just middle-class families who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. There’s no place to go to get work. I have calls in here from people who have college degrees that can’t find work. I had one from a woman who had a master’s degree.”

Senate Republicans object to renewing an employer surtax to pay for the benefits extension. They want an amendment to use unspent stimulus money instead. Friend says jobless benefits would be an appropriate use for stimulus funds…

…The nation’s official jobless rate is now 9.8 percent, but when underemployed and discouraged workers are added in, Friend says, the rate jumps to 17 percent, or 26 million workers out of work.

Without an extension, according to the labor leader, by year’s end nearly two million unemployed will have exhausted benefits, including 23,000 in Arizona. The Senate bill would extend benefits another 14 weeks, plus an additional six weeks for states like Arizona with the highest jobless rates.

And the really great news is this high UE looks to be a ‘new normal’ as PIMCO has been saying forevah, but now that the spendulus has failed miserably the AP is carrying the UE water now for TOTUS:

Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years.That could add up to a “new normal” of higher joblessness and lower standards of living for many Americans, some economists are suggesting.

The words “it’s different this time” are always suspect. But economists and policy makers say the job-creating dynamics of previous recoveries can’t be counted on now…

Then the AP lists all the reasons why this JOBLESS situation is not Nobel prize winning TOTUS’ fault. Pathetic. 1 TRILLION DOLLARS AND NO JOBS! EPIC EPIC FAIL.

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics.


  1. neece replied:

    i hv been monitoring and tracking the bill and yet can not understand why rep continue to play the games about passing the bill. it is obvious, each of you are getting a kick out of this. see u all have your cushion and paycheck security. while millions of americans are waiting for the passing of this bill. it amazes me that each of you can go home and rest. i continue to pray for each of you that u never hv to been in the position myself and millions of americans are in. daily looking for work that is not there. weekly waiting for a limited check to make it to the next one but now realizing that one check is and going to be the last because of GOP. Whatever the several amendments are, they can be discussed at a later time and pass the bill. But again, this seems that all are getting a kick out of realizing that millions of americans will not have a dime to their name by the end of 2009. Again i pray for you all and always remember who is really in charge and he doesn’t like ugly. Pass the bill and stop the petty games with this and that. I agree ACORN and Immigration are a major issue but handle that on another agenda


  2. bryan replied:

    even as i sit rationalizing all the senates effort…i decide whether to buy food or gas for the car.pretty soon it won’t matter, money for neither.


  3. sunglo replied:

    NO EXTENSION, NO THANKSGIVING, NO CHRISTMAS…… remember all this when it comes time to vote….


  4. Carol replied:

    Get rid of these senile old Senators who minds are so cloudy they can’t think to make a simple decision. And lets get some people up there who can make swift intelligent decisions for a change. While these old gaffers are plodding around the Congressional halls deciding which way to finance this benefit extension, thousands of people across this nation are deciding what bridge to crawl under after they lose their homes.


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