Update 5: Bill signed. Procedural vote now scheduled for Nov 2; Looks like no UE vote until next week; COBRA subsidy Extension? Unemployment Extension Update: Reid still wrangling on amendments..

Update: Bill finally signed! see here

Update 4: 11/2 New thread up to follow the UE vote here

Update 3: Reid has put off the vote as expected to next week. Vote to close debate now scheduled for Nov 2nd (CQ Politics):

The extension and expansion of a tax credit for first-time homebuyers has been incorporated into Senate legislation that would extend unemployment benefits.

The Senate will hold a procedural vote on the legislation on Nov. 2. A vote on final passage of the entire package probably will happen by the end of next week.

The underlying bill on unemployment benefits had been held up by disagreements among Senate leaders about how to handle amendments.

…Reid offered a time agreement that would have allowed for consideration of two Republican amendments aimed at funding the unemployment benefit extension using TARP funds and increasing oversight of the bailout. But no amendments will be taken up next week, a spokesman for Reid said Friday….


Update 2 here above the post: Looks as though there will be no vote on the UE Extension until next week now. ProgressIllinois is reporting the GOP has agreed to back off the EVerify and ACORN Amendments, but they want votes on ending TARP (likely brought now because of the GMAC 5B bailout round 3) and they are proposing another amendment to fund the UE extension with unspent stimulus monies.

Almost two days after the H.R. 3548 survived its first cloture vote, there has been no major movement on the bill that would extend unemployment insurance for Americans who have exhausted their benefits. Why? Republicans keep throwing up new procedural barriers.

After reaching a bipartisan agreement to include an amendment extending the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, Senate Republicans agreed today to drop their efforts to weigh down the legislation with controversial amendments regarding ACORN and the E-Verify program. In exchange, they’ve turned to a new form of obstruction: demanding a vote on two new controversial amendments. The first would speed up the expiration date for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (a non-starter for Democrats who point out that a sunset date for the bank bailouts is already written into law). The second is yet another attempt to change to the way the extension is funded, by using “unspent” stimulus money, rather than the federal unemployment surtax, which amounts to 0.2 percent tax on the initial $7,000 of employees’ wages.

All fine ideas but sadly at the expense of what is  thousands of people a day losing eligibility. Again Reid could force this to a vote, but he isn’t.  I suspect he is killing time also, else why not FORCE THE VOTE? Since the Senate and House have taken to taking FRIDAYS OFF, I do not expect a vote tomorrow. Isakson in an interview an hour ago said he expects a vote on the homebuyer tax credit with the UE Bill to take place next week. Pathetic. CALL YOUR CRITTERS.

(…) Isakson said the full Senate will probably vote on the unemployment extension bill, which includes the home buyer credit, next week. If it is approved, it will move to the Assembly, which “could agree to the amendment or disagree and send it to a conference committee.”…

*Hall and Oates courtesy of dutchmazz:

Daryl Hall and John Oates – Rich Girl
The Liberty Concert July 4 1985
Liberty State Park, New Jersey

Just prior to Live Aid, on July 4, 1985, Hall & Oates performed at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey as part of the Liberty Concert, where they played an outdoor benefit concert for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It became a major music event drawing an estimated crowd of over 60,000 people.

Update on COBRA Subsidy extension at end of post. I would find it a lot more sensible if COBRA were considered with the UE Extension as opposed to say a homebuyer tax credit, Pfft!

COBRA update after the break:

WashingtonIndependent has the latest and it seems like Reid is still spittin into the wind:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to hold a midnight vote yesterday to proceed to long-delayed legislation extending unemployment insurance for up to 20 weeks. That vote didn’t happen, but it might not have to. Reid’s office said this morning that party leaders “should be able” to reach agreement to skip that step and move the bill directly to the floor. No timeline was mentioned.

As we described yesterday, proceeding to a bill is not the same thing as passing a bill, and there could be a long way to go even after the legislation reaches the Senate floor..

UPDATE: The COBRA Subsidy in the stimulus is also scheduled to end in December, but the House has a bill to extend it. Anecdotally, I am currently paying $600.00 a month for my COBRA (United PPO for family plus RX coverage plus Delta Dental HMO, I am one of those Cadillac plans and never knew it. That term seems to mean anyone who has what I consider good benefits!) under the UE stimulus COBRA program.

My COBRA carrier says once the subsidy ends that will jump to $1800.00 a month (this includes a yearly premium increase which also occurs in January, nice timing huh?). I am hopeful we will have WORK and will not need the crazy expensive COBRA for long. I know 🙂 hope, it springs eternal wot?!

WSJ Health Blog:

…Under the stimulus bill, the feds …pay 65% of the (often steep) COBRA health insurance premiums for people laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31 of this year. People can get the subsidy for nine months. CBO put the cost to the government at about  $26 billion.

The subsidy seems to be having a big effect. In the months after the stimulus bill was passed, 38% of Americans eligible for COBRA enrolled in the program, up from 19% before the stimulus, according to an analysis from Hewitt Associates….

…A  bill introduced recently in the House of Representatives would allow laid-off workers to get COBRA subsidies for 15 months (rather than the original nine), and it would extend the program to cover workers who are laid off through June 30, 2010. A Democratic congressman who sponsored the bill is pushing it over at The Hill today. And Kaiser Health News has a piece today by a reporter whose own family qualified for the subsidy after he lost his job.

We haven’t seen anything from CBO on the cost of the proposed extension, but CBO said earlier this year that extending the subsidy as originally passed would cost an  extra $7 billion in 2010 and $13 billion in 2011.

October 29, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economy, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics.

18 Comments

  1. Joyce replied:

    Well its December 12th and I just received my letter from my employer that tells me I need to send them 983 for my husband and myself so obviously nothing has been done about extending the Cobra Subsidy. My husband works, but he pays for everything and my unemployment will run out in May and I payed for insurance and meds and food, but it takes 3 checks to pay for insurance, now. I have always been a strong Dem and still am, but I am really disappointed with the lot of them, Republicans really put us in this positionm but the Dems with all the power isn’t doing much and all I hear from those across the isle is alot of hot air and no solutions. I like the 15 month subsidy, but can’t find where it might have passed. Any info?

    Like

    • ginaswo replied:

      Senate has just introduced an Amendment to extend COBRA. Looks like it wont go until after January b/c they are obsessed with the healthcare bill that does NOT affect us all until 2014 (except taxes/fines lol)

      see WSJ here

      I am putting up another post on it too! God Bless, we will all get through this

      Like

  2. Melissa replied:

    I am just an average citizen. My Husband has been laid off for 11 months. I have just filed for bankruptcy. My children have been going without normal “kid” activities. The Cobra subsidy is going to expire in 11 days, and I don’t know if I am going to have health insurance for my family. I can’t afford the $983.00 per month premium…(no kidding)..my husband is on unemployment and I make the average wage for most Americans…do the math. I have a house and a car payment on top of the usual bills. I can’t believe that the government has left us guessing until the last minute. I didn’t want to committ to finding a private policy unless I had to. It is now too late for December. I am either in or out…Pass the bill to extend the cobra subsidy!

    Like

  3. alnoleo replied:

    Its pretty clear to me the republicans are obstructing consderation and passage of these extensions. I too am sitting on pins and needles waiting for this to pass and the republicans are playing games and hurting people. They are so childish and immature, they care far more about their party and politics than they do people. Remember when they were in power things were totally screwed up, and now all they want to do is try to make the democracts look bad and give the media something negative to talk about while the people suffer and our soldiers die and our money gets wasted fighting fabricated wars. The republicans are just evil and shameless. Our political system needs to be overhauled this process isn’t working for us.

    Like

  4. Dennis replied:

    Hall and Oats … I hadn’t thought about them for twenty years until I read your blog 😉

    Like

  5. brittanicus replied:

    As America suspected the House Health Care reform Bill Contains an identification mechanism that increases distress? So despite the inclusion of the Democrat so-called verification system in the latest health care bill, this identification procedure will be almost non-effective to omit illegal immigrants from accessing the taxpayer-funded afford ability credits. My thought is that this was intentional, so that the majority of illegal aliens already holding a fraudulent social security card, of a deceased person, a young child’s number of even one of our soldiers fighting in some obscure country can still get access. E-Verify should be used for just this reason, along with a current government ID to spot unauthorized entrance to any health care program. See compilation of Social Security Laws http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title19/1903.htm. Sen. Sessions a champion amongst anti-illegal immigration proponents, took to the Senate floor fighting for American workers and the protection of American jobs.

    When the Senate debated the bill to extend federal unemployment benefits for 14 weeks, Senator Sessions filed an amendment to permanently extend the E-Verify program. Outrageously, the Sessions amendment was stripped from the final version of the bill by the House-Senate committee members that included Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi. In the Democratic majority Homeland Security Appropriations bill, they in conclusion authorized E-Verify for just three years. Unfortunately this leaves the enforcement program pregnable to the–AMNESTY ZEALOTS? These opponents can monopolize any long-term or permanent reauthorization of E-Verify as collateral in leverage for the course of mass amnesty for the 20 to 30 million illegal immigrants squatting in this nation You guessed it?–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a motion to cut off debate–invoking cloture–on the unemployment compensation extension bill without initially giving the Senate time to vote on the Sessions amendment.

    WE SHOULD INDELIBLY REMEMBER THIS ANTI-AMERICAN WORKER LEGISLATOR, AND THROW HIM FROM OFFICE IN 2010 AS HE PROVED WITHOUT ANY DOUBT FOREIGN LABOR IS MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM THAN HIS OWN COUNTRYMEN Along with House Speaker Pelosi and all Democratic leadership, they have used their influence to collude with corporate lobbyists subversive open border organizations to starve Immigration enforcement of full funding and a voice in Washington since coming to power. Yet this doesn’t mean that either Bush’s or prior administrations are without fault in securing the border or stopping the hordes of illegal aliens from breaking our laws. Recently Fifty-four Representatives sent the president a letter expressing their support for 287 G – the government training program that allows agents from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputize state and county law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    Like

  6. Olivia'sMom In Wisconsin replied:

    I have been unemployed since April and, like many others, have been unable to find new employment. I cannot understand why our congressmen and senators are so fixated on their political agendas that they don’t see that their procastinating on getting the unemployment extension bill and the COBRA subsidy extension bill passed is devasting to so many of their constituants. Get a grip, ladies and gentlemen, we need help and your gameplaying is not going to get you re-elected! You need to pass both the unemployment extension and the COBRA subsidy extention bills NOW — before you all go home for your Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! I hope you all enjoy them, because there are many of us who won’t be!! Help us now!

    Like

  7. sleepless in michigan replied:

    We need to get out in the streets, in masses, to protest! What’s wrong with everyone? Why do we spend time indoors on a computer when nothing is being accomplished and no one is talking about it in the media?

    Go in front of your City Hall, County building…and be seen!!!!

    Like

  8. bryan greer replied:

    Im at a loss for words to describe the hardship the economy has put on my family”s life.Please president obama hear us and help us your attention on this matter today and this week.Iwill lose my home and three people will be homeless without your help.

    Like

  9. long island,ny replied:

    What’s the matter with our President? He claims he will sign the bill immediately. What bill? He puts his 2 cents in everything else, where is he helping all of us? According to the news we are flurishing with jobs and building the economy. Does anyone in Washington read and listen to all the companys that are planning to lay off more people. The only jobs available are in the teaching profession, healthcare and some road jobs, which by the way if you pass road work there are a handful of men working at a snails pace. Retail is horrible, so now newspapers and magazines are cutting their staff. Hours have been cut, but oh yes…the Senate has Fridays off and will take up the issues next week. While watching Reid one day he stated they would work til night and if need be on Saturday, but I guess we aren’t important enough to continue the Senate discussion and pass what is rightfully ours. They are the ones that put us in this position to start out with. If they did their jobs we could do ours. Be greatful if we get anything by Thanksgiving, and they will have more time off that we pay for.

    Like

  10. Top Posts « WordPress.com replied:

    […] Update 3: Procedural vote now scheduled for Nov 2; Looks like no UE vote until next week; COBRA sub… Update 3: Reid has put off the vote as expected to next week. Vote to close debate now scheduled for Nov 2nd (CQ […] […]

    Like

  11. Sue905 replied:

    I agree with remarks from tr6969 – walk a mile in our shoes, Senator Reid! I wish no ill will on anyone but invite him to come here to KY to live almost in terror every day when no jobs become available & our mortgage, medical RX’s, and even Food are now in danger; who pays his salary?

    Like

  12. tr6969 replied:

    I think if Senator Reid wants to play games with our lives we should all send him our unpaid bills. Make him pay for the lives he is destroying.

    Like

  13. Glenn1980 replied:

    As I perceive it the hardest place to install E-Verify, 287 G, or even directing ICE to raid employers is Sanctuary Cities and even States? CALIFORNIA seems to be the epitome of Sanctuary States, but it is estimated to be 127 cities and towns that ignore the US government. San Francisco and Los Angeles stands out as being Sanctuary cities where it’s mayors Galvin Newsom and Antonio R. Villaraigosa, along with an compliment of police departments who have cultivated over the years a refuge for the impoverished illegal immigrants, illegal criminal of other countries. Very few businesses have enforced E-Verify, because at this time there is no mandatory law, except for federal contractors/subcontractors. Sen. Sessions has at this time been the fortress against illegal immigration through the Bush and now President Obama administrations. He is determined to adjoin E-Verify as a permanent amendment to the Senate Unemployment benefit extension bill H.R.3548 for 14 weeks. In the same amendment Sen. Sessions would require new applicants for unemployment compensation to have their citizenship status verified using E-Verify. The computer software program E-Verify could also be used for identifying applicants for drivers licenses, automotive insurance, all health care benefits, real estate purchases and mortgage and of course ineligible workers. Even the Public option if enacted in health care could be used to verify all positive recipients and over time become a very sophisticated matrix of data bases to reject ineligible applicants for government benefits.

    Senate leaders are currently negotiating which amendments will be considered for the bill, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to prevent a vote on the amendment altogether. E-Verify is becoming a significant potent weapon against illegal immigration in the ongoing battle. It has come under constant legal bombardment by a long list of open border organizations, including the US chamber of Commerce. E-Verify however remains intact, although other enforcement tools such as 287 G, has been weakened by Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano. Without millions of dollars being appropriated, E-Verify on a continuous basis can eradicate illegal labor for pennies. No need for mass deportation as E-Verify will streamline removal of foreign nationals, owing to parasite businesses will be in incessant fear of being fined or sentenced to a prison term if apprehended by ICE for using illegal workers. As with 2010 census? Those who entered without–THE PEOPLE’S–permission, have violated our laws, and should not, must not be allowed to be enumerated in the decennial census? Is Washington so sure that they will pass this 2nd Amnesty, when Ted Kennedy previous comprehensive immigration reform turned into fraudulent travesty?

    Ordinary American workers have become watchdogs for suspicious activity in the working environment. My blogs, comments and articles are limited in information, but keep this issue under public scrutiny. For more details of malevolent politicians who need to be constantly reminded who they work for? For immigration enforcement grading NUMBERSUSA. To light a fire under nonchalant politicians who are selling American workers futures to highest bidder contact WASHINGTON at 202-224-3121 As easily as you voted for these people, you can vote them OUT? Demand NO–MORE–AMNESTIES. Rebuild a two-tier Southern border fence as originally intended. TELL THEM YOU WANT PERMANENT E-VERIFY FOR EVERY WORKER, WHO’S ON A PAYROLL. STAND WITH SEN. SESSIONS. Study the corruption in every level of government at JUDICIAL WATCH. Read about unstoppable OVERPOPULATION GROWTH at CAPSWEB. Read lists of legislators are trying to push through another path to citizenship–alias AMNESTY at http://tinyurl.com/CIR-letter-to-POTUS. THESE CONGRESSMAN/ WOMEN WANT TO STEAL YOUR JOB AND GIVE IT TO ILLEGAL ALIENS? KEEP THEM EMBOSSED IN YOUR MEMORY AND UNSEAT THEM WHEN THEY COME FORWARD FOR RE-ELECTION.

    Like

  14. long island,ny replied:

    Reid is no bargain either. They are playing with our lives. At a time like this those so called people that represent us find it necessary to take a Friday off! How dare they when we can’t pay rent and wonder if we are going to survive the next phone call about a bill. Shame on you! We put you in your position and I bet you get paid for your days off. Enjoy yourselves knowing everyday we sit up and beg like dogs for you to help us. Demeaning us and controlling us like a puppet..Shame Shame on you but shame on us if when election time comes we allow you to stay in office.

    Like

    • ginaswo replied:

      hello LI!! my mom is in Hampton Bays. I am from Flushing/Forest Hills/Kew Gardens, now AZ.

      Totally agree. Even when I was a happy Dem I thought Reid was completely ineffectual as Majority Leader

      these folks just DO NOT GET IT

      I dont care dem gop whatever about this issue, the economy is CRIPPLED no matter WHAT the numbers say, and peole are hurting

      these people on the Hill are really completely insulated from reality IMO and they do not get how bad it is on Main St

      Like

  15. blue replied:

    I am waiting desperaly to get this exstention, I have no home of my own I lost very thing last year when i lost my job and my car and still can not find a job no one is hiring at this time. I get this when i do out and put a application in i have the same problem as any one, i stay with relitives and no room it is over crowed household I need this exstention today or to put it better back in Sept when my ran out all americans need this who are like me and have no money at all to move forward with any thing
    Thank You
    blue

    Like

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