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Senate Moves Unemployment Benefits Bill to House

capital buildingThe unemployment benefits extension bill passed through the Senate on Wednesday night after weeks of legislative debate.

The bill passed with a vote of 59-39 and will restore unemployment insurance benefits to 2.5 million people who lost their benefits during a fight over whether to add the $34 billion cost to the federal deficit. It also extends the filing deadline for extended unemployment insurance benefits until Nov. 30, 2010.

“Tonight, the United States Senate finally overcame weeks of parliamentary roadblocks by a partisan minority,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on Wednesday, “and voted to restore desperately needed unemployment insurance assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession.”

“Americans who are working day and night to get back on their feet and support their families in these tough economic times deserve more than obstruction and partisan game-playing that happens too often here in Washington,” Obama said. “I thank the members of the Senate who stood on the side of these working families today, and urge members of the House to pass this extension so I can quickly sign it into law.”

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  1. The endless unemployment extensions are hard to justify when I am scraping by having to do whatever it takes to pay my bills. As a “self-employed” / “freelancer” / “independent consultant” for the same company for 5 years I lost my income when the company went bankrupt. . I’ve cut down everything to the bone and beyond. Sold off personal property. Taken work way below my level, almost entry level. Moved downward in housing. But the “no-work pay” for others keeps getting extended and extended and extended supported by Federal Tax dollars. It leaves a bad taste. Either widen benefits to include the rest of us who did not work on staff or let us all stew in the same thin soup. Maybe more families hung out over the hairy, ragged edge will develop some political will. There is a difference between state and federal unemployment benefits. Federal unemployment benefits extend state unemployment benefits out to 26 weeks. They must be explicitly passed by Congress, which doesn’t happen unless there’s a particularly bad recession. They’re paid for out of our federal tax dollars.

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