11/6- Obama signs bill; House passes UE extension 403-12**UE Final vote passes Senate 98-0**:Unemployment Update H.R. 3548: revenge of cloture vote passes Senate 97-1

Update:  11/6 Pres.Obama announced he signed the bill this morning. We will do a post updating state UE EU status next week.

Update: Obama to sign bill tomorrow (Friday)

The White House says President Barack Obama on Friday morning will sign a bill that expands a popular homebuyers tax credit and extends unemployment benefits.

Update: House passes UE extension 403-12:

The House of Representatives just passed the unemployment extension bill HR 3548 by a vote of 403-12. Coming so quickly on the heels of yesterday’s passage of the bill in the Senate, this is very welcome news to the thousands of unemployed Americans whose benefits have already run out or are close to it and desperately need this support from the federal government….

11/5- Update: 11:30am EST:  House vote in a few hours per Marketwatch:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office says a vote will be around 2 or 3 p.m. Eastern.


Breaking Update: 700pm AZ time: DowJones NewsWire:

The U.S. Senate Wednesday unanimously approved legislation extending federal jobless benefits for up to 20 weeks, continuing a home buyers’ tax credit, and a measure allowing businesses to write off some of their losses incurred over the last two years.The centerpiece of the legislation is a move to continue federal jobless benefits for 14 weeks for unemployed Americans in all 50 states, and for 20 weeks in states with jobless rates higher than a three-month average of 8.5%.

The national unemployment rate reached a 26-year high of 9.8% in September, and economists expect it to climb further when the Department of Labor reports October figures Friday.

Lawmakers in the House have to take up the legislation before it makes its way to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. Leaders there have pledged to do so, possibly as soon as the end of the week. The White House has said it supports the legislation.

Despite the final Senate vote, passing the bill wasn’t easy. A month-long dispute between Democrats and Republicans held up progress of the measure before the legislation was approved by lawmakers Wednesday evening.

And here is the prize for understatement of the week, but hey at least SOMEONE noticed people were suffering while a bunch of loons had a pixxing match on amendments:

At times, the arguments in the Senate appeared arcane when compared to the daily reports of thousands of people across the U.S. exhausting their unemployment benefits. Over the more than four-week hold up, lawmakers argued about several measures, few of them directly related to the legislation before them….

Update 2: House whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) indicates they UNDERSTAND THE SENSE OF URGENCY!


…The Senate unanimously cleared the bill late Wednesday, after weeks of delay. Rather than argue over changes, the House could bring up the measure as early as Thursday under procedures allowing limited debate and no amendments.

“We want to get it done as quickly as Harry (Reid) sends it,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) told POLITICO. But this speed is not without some price since the Senate, urged on by Republicans, used its leverage to add a set of tax breaks for the real estate and business lobbies.

The end result is a remarkable political amalgam given the pain associated with the long-term unemployed; the benefits constitute only about 10% of what’s become a nearly $24 billion package.

Yes! Given the pain the UE are experiencing it IS frakkin amazing they held it up to make this monster bill!!!!!

A costly homebuyer credit, plagued by allegations of fraud, would be extended through April 30 next year and expanded to include more upper middle income families. Houses sold for as much as $800,000 would qualify, and businesses of all sizes stand to benefit from a second tax break first afforded this year to just those with gross receipts of $15 million or less.

Politically the biggest emotional driver remains the prospect of hundreds of thousands of workers exhausting their benefits before Thanksgiving and Christmas without some extension.  The bill seeks to fill this gap by promising an additional 14 weeks for all workers and another six weeks for those who live in states with an average unemployment rate of 8.5% or higher over the prior three months.

This is not a small universe, accounting for more than half the states already. And more than 35% of the unemployed today already have been out of work for more than 27 weeks—the highest level since the Labor Department began collecting this statistic in 1948….

Caution NYT linky:

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to offer up to 20 more weeks of unemployment benefits to those who have been out of work a long time, after weeks of delay in which hundreds of thousands of Americans exhausted their government aid.

The measure will increase to 99 weeks, or nearly two years, the maximum length of time that a jobless worker can get benefits in some states.

As early as Thursday, the House is expected to approve the Senate version, which differs from the measure it passed six weeks ago, so the legislation can be signed into law by President Obama….

After all that dithering what amendments were added to the UE extension:

…The Senate added two unrelated provisions to extend and liberalize tax breaks that were in this year’s $787 billion economic stimulus package.

One would continue for five months a popular $8,000 credit for many first-time home buyers, which was to expire Nov. 30, and create a $6,500 credit for some homeowners who want to buy a new residence. The other would allow businesses to deduct losses from their income in five profitable years instead of two; the stimulus law had limited the break to small businesses….

Update: 3:28pm AZ time: Jumpin Jehosephat, the Senate has managed to nail the debate closed on the UE Bill, passing the third? fourth?! cloture vote 97-1!! Tomorrow they say the final final vote, then House, then to Obama to sign..do these folks on the Hill understand reality?


This afternoon the Senate clobbered the cloture vote to proceed on the unemployment benefits extension vote by a whopping 97-1. It’s very likely that the bill will now finally, after innumerable procedural votes and an interminable legislative process, reach the Senate floor for a final vote Thursday.After passage in the Senate, the new bill has to be approved by the House before President Obama can sign it into law…

Is anyone else starting to feel like Atreyu in The Neverending Story? Senate needs ONE final vote today, then to House then to Obama to sign.


Moments ago (Tuesday afternoon around 4), the Senate voted by an overwhelming majority for cloture on H.R. 3548, a federal unemployment benefit extension. While 85 lawmakers supported the procedural motion, only two Republicans — Missouri Sen. Kit Bond and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint — voted against it. (again!)

After weeks of wrangling over amendments (some legitimate and others not so legitimate), debate has now been brought to a close. In 30 hours, the Senate can officially hold a roll call vote on the final version of the bill….


Senate Democrats and Republicans traded blows today (Tuesday) over who is responsible for the slow pace of voting to extend unemployment benefits, leaving in doubt a final vote before Wednesday at the earliest on the high-stakes issue to tens of thousands of Michiganians.

…Today, the Senate has been grinding its way through a 30-hour period of debate that ends shortly before midnight.

Senate Democrats and Republicans haven’t been able to work out a deal to proceed more quickly to a vote because Republicans are upset the majority party won’t let them offer more amendments….

*Neverending Story montage courtesy of vali103

November 4, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Art, Economy, graphic art, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics.


  1. 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.. « Moderate in the Middle replied:

    […] 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 […]


  2. Home Buyer Tax Credit Expansion Heads to Obama : Eye Opener News replied:

    […] Henry Unger. When Democrats and Republicans want to work together, they certainly know how. … 11/5- House passes UE extension 403-12**UE Final vote passes … Wake up Robert, we were political pawns and your party was just as guilty as mine. November 5, 2009 […]


  3. Hare Supports Extension of Unemployment, First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit : Eye Opener News replied:

    […] Henry Unger. When Democrats and Republicans want to work together, they certainly know how. … 11/5- House passes UE extension 403-12**UE Final vote passes … Wake up Robert, we were political pawns and your party was just as guilty as mine. November 5, 2009 […]


  4. Hare Supports Extension of Unemployment, First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit : Eye Opener News replied:

    […] Henry Unger. When Democrats and Republicans want to work together, they certainly know how. … 11/5- House passes UE extension 403-12**UE Final vote passes … November 4, 2009 at 10:44 am. Permalink. K replied: How the voters in Virginia or Long Island could […]


  5. Allen replied:

    David Lee speaks a dead on truth, and Robert? Well he’s a diehard in the same boat as the rest of us but comes off with the devotion of a suicide bomber. That mindset and rhetoric is not far from the mark. What you don’t get is that your loyalty is to your country. You do not face the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Republican Party!!! To the USA idiot!! A country for the people and by the people, and any party that purposely stands in the way of relief for millions of suffering Americans for political reasons is working against the American Way. And if they loved you so much Robert I am sure that you would be working now. What I am trying to say that instead of injecting political animousity into our already miserable conditions we should stand together and show the WhiteHouse that the American people are the greatest and first lobby in this country that should be heard. Whether you are Republican or Democrat you still have to live, and neither party has the right to play with our lives. And was all they did. Playing political games while you and I suffered. Wake up Robert, we were political pawns and your party was just as guilty as mine.


  6. wondering replied:

    Is this new extension tier 3


  7. Allen replied:

    It’s a pity that because of the hatred the Republicans have for the current administration millions of Americans with families are going hungry, overwhelmed with bills, have no prospects of employment, cannot afford a doctor, and are facing the dismal reality of a joyless holiday season. The Republicans have drained Americans of a much needed asset in these hard times: Hope. So how American is that? It is more like an act of treason. Anything they can do to stand in the way of the present administration and its attempt to ease the suffering of so many they have done, even at the risk of children. These are unusual times therefore bickering, nit picking politics should take the back burner instead of doing business as usual. May the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future haunt them for the rest of their lives.


  8. Shayna replied:

    I disagree, Robert, this being about Republican Senator’s not knowing where the funding was coming from. They knew the bulk was coming from an 18 month extention of the umemployment surtax. Senator Kyl wanted to “explore” other option for the funding, meanwhile 7,000 American’s were losing their benefits daily. Where was the urgency in protecting the very citizens these politicians are supposed to serve? I”m sure they slept soundly while the people who lost their benfits tossed and turned wondering how to put food on their table or pay their bills. I’m amazed when I read ignorant comments about those that have been unemployed for a long period of time just want to be lazy and collect free money like they’re on vaction. What the heck kind of vacation is just scraping by, a onstant worry over money and the loss of peace of mind. Doesn’t sound like paradise to me! There seems to be such disdain for people who are on welfare or receive unemployment yet we seem to have no problem accepting while collar crime. Executives seem to have free reign over mismanaging a company, pilfering money and then holding out their hands to be rescued. Or how about sending American jobs overseas so that the company can be more profitable so in turn the execs receive more compenstaion. Unreal! It seems that our morals have become so skewed that we have trouble deciphering right from wrong.


  9. Mike Doyle replied:

    Now we have to wait for each state to get it’s act together and send checks. How long is that going to take??? Maybe before Christmas.


  10. Robert replied:

    You people crack me up…. Our shady democrats tried to cram another “No Read Bill” in the form of the unemployment extension, and in light of them attempting doing the same thing with the healthcare bill and every other piece of legislature that they are inclined to radically move through unread.

    How do you expect anybody else in office to respond? Senator Kyl put a stop to the “No Read Nonsense”…. Did you ever think that the runaway libs used this piece of legislation as a political ploy to make the other party look heartless or unconcerned? They simply wanted to know the mechanics of the bill…. Where does the funding come from…

    Thats OK… by the looks of it the lennonist and marxist are on THEIR way out…. The people are sick of their arrogant spending sprees… and I have been unemployed for over two years… I am frustrated too!


  11. David Lee replied:

    Matters not which party is playing politics as they both do this. Politics is more important than service to our country. Some day we as a people will get smart and make our political leaders work again for us. There can be no doubt, when all of our jobs are gone to other countries so a select few can reap the benefits of cheap labor markets. In my home state of NY many people will not qualify for all the unemployment extensions. I see neighbor who is not even looking for a job as he is useing the system to live untill he can draw retirement. Lazy scum has just begged for every dollar he can get while lieing in the sun and playing golf. Thats wrong. Most of us folks need the money to remain afloat while looking for a damn job while this clown thinks its early retirement. Many people have said all the stimulis money was wasted to pay off the UAW and AIG, along with other friends of Obama. If this is true than those people should be made to pay it back. Not lay generations of debt on the people. We did not ask for this mess..just want to work our jobs and succeed. Rant off…


  12. Denise Woodard replied:

    Just sign the dam bill already? It’s been in the hands of two republicsns for over 7 weeks now. When is it expected to be signed? I lose my benefits after my check comes next Wednesday. Not only can I not afford medical coverage, but my husband is now out of work. Let’s move on this. If this money was going to a foreign country, you can bet your sweet “A_ _ ” it would have been approved right away. Help the american people for once!


  13. DAnna replied:

    I have never been SO disappointed and ashame of the (R) party. Many Republican taxpayers are loosing homes as we speak and there is no support from you own party. Makes one think twice about where “their interest” lies and it’s ashame that a handful of Republican’s (MidWest) held out the whole process for the their own agenda versus the rights of the millions of hurting *former hard working American’s (tax payers)!! Heaven help us and help them see the light.


  14. topcat replied:



  15. K replied:

    How the voters in Virginia or Long Island could put Republicans back in office is baffling. These (GOP) are the folks that are holding up the passage of the unemployment extension. Believe you me, voters are not going to forget it!!! The Republicans are thinking that just because they won the races in Virginia and Long Island that they have a chance to come back like gang busters in 2012, well my view to them is…think again!! The unemployed constituency in all of the 50 states that are enduring unemployment and are struggling right now will not forget, that while the Dems were doing their level best to beat the deadline and to make the unemployment extention go full speed ahead before the year ended in 2009, that the GOP was pulling out all the stops to put it to a screeching halt. Voters won’t forget the callousness of the GOP in hard times toward the unemployed, and the poor. Just because they have nice warm big houses, nice cars, hefty bank accts, good health care and food on their tables..that does not mean that every one else has what they have…and most people are hanging on by a mere thread. Voters need to stop giving the GOP their yes votes when they clearly don’t give a flying fig about the American people, but are more concerned about the Insurance companies, and other big business that clearly have the GOP in their back pockets. They exploit “family values” either to get into office or to keep their Senate seats. I am a Christian as well, but from what I have seen of those in public office, they use religion as a means to an end..and appear more mean spirited and judgmental than empathetic or sympathetic with the plight of the poor, and those in need. How can you block legislation that would help people to keep a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food on the table? That says more about one’s character than anything….how do you treat those that are poor…those that are struggling, those in need?


  16. Xelaam replied:

    The Republicans are just not realistic. This is a fight they can’t win. Why don’t they just wait for another fight. Now, they have annoyed everybody who are waiting for the benefits. Why are they so stupid?


  17. Hadenough replied:

    Because republicans aren’t americans. They’re funded by lobbiests/big business and are out of touch with reality. They do things thinking what is good for big business, what will keep the rich in the green. And not what normal and a overall percentage of americans want or need.

    I sent Mr. DeMint and Mr. Bond nice emails yesterday. I lost my benefits almost 2 months ago, can’t get any job I apply for, have a growing stack of bills, I was officially dead broke a month ago. And am ( ) close from shooting the next goverment offical that trys to screw me. I’ve had enough. I and the rest of the people who have lost benefits weeks ago with no hope of landing a job will only get more and more desperate.


  18. faith foley replied:

    I JUST FIGURED IT OUT THE REPLUCLICANS (like spoiled children) cant get even with the democrats any other way then to try and stop the extention so they play for time the hell with all the americans starving


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