Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reality Check: Get the Jobs Bill Passed Yesterday

Washington Independent:

As Congress weighs its plans for tackling the nation’s enduring jobs crisis, the National Employment Law Project today laid out the stakes of inaction: Nearly 1.2 million Americans would lose their unemployment benefits next month unless Congress steps in to extend the filing deadline. By July, that number jumps to almost 5 million.

Under current law, unemployed folks have access to 26 weeks of state-sponsored insurance benefits before four separate tiers of emergency federal benefits kicks in. Confusing the arrangement, recipients must exhaust their current benefits before filing for the next tier. Trouble is, the filing deadline for all tiers is at the end of February.

The result? Roughly 380,000 workers currently receiving state benefits will miss the chance to apply for federal help, NELP estimates, while another 814,000 currently getting federal help wouldn’t be able to enter the next tier.

“Congress must swiftly act to maintain the lifeline for millions of jobless Americans caught in the undertow of record long-term unemployment in this ongoing downturn,” Christine Owens, NELP’s executive director, said in a statement.

There’s every indication that lawmakers will do just that. In December, the House passed a $154 billion jobs bill, including $41 billion to extend the UI filing window by six months. More recently, President Obama unveiled a budget proposal that includes $49 billion (roughly a seven-month extension) for the same purpose. “The Administration will propose legislation for later transmittal to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs,” the budget states.

Not doing something and letting Republicans get away with a filibuster would be asinine. This really isn't something to push off till next Tuesday. It is always easy to say things will get better and that rushing is a "bad thing" when you are already gainfully employed. Oh and you have gubbament health care. When you are unemployed that logic doesn't sit well and Dems need to make it a point, ( a very fuggin big point if you ask me) that the Republicans are willfully denying unemployment relief to Americans.

Here in Illinois 65,000 would be S.O.L. Wonder what Rep. Mark Kirk would say to them?

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

1 comment:

sterno said...

My take is that they should to the following:

1) Entitle the jobs bill "The Assistance for Small Business Act"

2) Write a very progressive bill with funding for infrastructure projects, hiring incentives for employers, and assistance for small businesses

Then take it to the Republicans and beg them to filibuster it. Do another one of those all night cloture vote sessions and talk about how Republicans don't really care about small business and don't want to create jobs.

That's what they should do. What they will do is spend a month or two in committee trying to plead with Republicans to please support the bill. The result will suck, nobody will ultimately like it, and we'll all be doomed.