The Congressional delay on the passage of the unemployment benefits extension bill has provided nothing but fear and uncertainty for those jobless workers who have already exhausted their benefits. Those jobless workers who had reached one of the four tiers of unemployment levels did not receive an unemployment check this week in June, 2010.
The lack of urgency on the part of Congress to push this unemployment benefits extension bill has seemed horrible. Jobless Americans are already hurting due to the tough economy and horrible job market. Now they have to face the prospects of living without a check while they continue to search for work.
Why did the Senate take this long to finally discuss the unemployment benefits extension issue? It’s true that Congress took a 10 day holiday break before returning and finally sitting down at the table yesterday in Washington. The ironic part is the unemployment benefits extension bill apparently didn’t come up until Tuesday in full discussion. The lack of urgency has seemed to lack sympathy for many unemployed workers who are living with the uncertainty of whether or not they will receive those benefits at all.
At issue is how the funds will be provided for such an unemployment benefits extension bill. Shouldn’t this have been addressed 2 weeks ago by Congress? The House has already passed the bill and now it will take 60 of the 100 Senators to agree to push forward on the unemployment extensions. Every second of uncertainty is adding undue stress on those jobless workers who are living without a paycheck for now.
I have written several articles on Associated Content expressing my discontent about the lack of urgency by Congress to get this done in a quick manner to avoid such uncertainty. What I have found is that those who have commented are extremely emotional-as they should be. There is a small Army of unemployed workers who are being penalized for just reaching a Tier at the inappropriate time. Workers in the past several months have been allowed to reach 99 total weeks of unemployment benefits. Now some workers who have reached a tier that would have previously allowed benefits are now exhausted and waiting on word from Congress. There shouldn’t be any debate concerning the people on the first few tiers. It’s complete lunacy some were allowed 99 weeks because they lost their job in a different time frame than others.
It’s a huge double standard that some unemployed workers received as much as 99 weeks while others are cut off at less than 30. I just happen to be in the 50 week range as I continue to search for employment. It’s been a very stressful weekend not knowing what will happen to my benefits. I can’t imagine what the people who are supporting a Tier 5 initiative(the so-called 99’ers) are feeling right now.
Until the job market improves, it should be imperative that such an unemployment bill is passed regardless of how it is funded. I believe that should also include a Tier 5 policy for those people who are hurting. If not, I believe new policies should be put in place.
Perhaps workers who have exhausted their 99 weeks can be off unemployment for 1-2 months before being able to re-apply for benefits. The sad thing about that is that some would take advantage and technically not actually ever apply for real jobs. That probably hurts the unemployment situation as much as the current delay being orchestrated by Congress.