Those seeking an unemployment benefits extension now have a short term answer. It isn’t the answer they were hoping for but it appears there is promise an unemployment benefits extension could happen next week at some point.
The Senate has pushed the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension until next week when they are expected to vote and finally make a decision on the bill. Democrats are hopeful they will have the 60 votes needed to pass the Tax Extenders Bill which includes the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension. The extension would add benefits until December.
How many people are being hurt by the current Senate unemployment benefits delay? It appears that over 300,000 people are going to go without benefits for at least this week according to this article in the Huffington Post. That number is expected to increase to 900,000 next week while the Senate waits to push the bill through.
Why is it taking the Senate so long to push a bill through that would help so many people? When there needs to be a sense of urgency, there apparently is none. The Senate is dragging their feet in Washington when well over a quarter of a million people need the unemployment extension desperately to make ends meet. We are talking about people who have been living off unemployment benefits which, in the majority of cases, probably doesn’t cover every single bill to begin with. These are mostly unemployed workers who are living pay check to pay check at best. Now they are faced with the prospects of not receiving benefits for several weeks while the Senate waits to vote on the issue. It seems so cold and lacks empathy for those who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
Here is the problem with the Senate delay on the 2010 unemployment extension vote. What if the unemployment benefits extension bill does not pass next week? What do the numbers total up to be in terms of unemployed workers not receiving benefits then? It will be astronomical. The amount of people who will be punished for just falling on the deadline is unthinkable. The Senate taking it’s sweet time to get the 2010 unemployment benefits extension passed is also unthinkable. Yet, it is still happening. Nearly 1 million people collectively losing unemployment within two weeks is hard to even digest. Maybe the Senate believes all of these people will receive retro pay for those weeks but what are they supposed to do in the meantime? The unemployed could be missing house payments, car payments and be late on credit cards. We all know what happens when a credit card payment is late. Will the government pay my credit card late fee or overlimit fee because they decided to drop the ball and wait a few extra weeks? I can only imagine that many overextended families who are already hurting are in the same position.
To boot, the mainstream media has not been covering the issue it seems. Unless I have missed it, it seems not many in the media seem to care about the near 1 million people who will not be receiving benefits next week. That means some 300,000 will have gone 2 weeks without benefits with a third on the horizon. Maybe it’s business as usual for the media and it’s the same old story they have aired before. I find it very insulting that this many people could be hurt and yet the story seems to appear relatively no where. I have written several stories about the unemployment bill already and I’ve had nearly 20,000 hits per day on those combined. That means many people are searching for an answer and wondering when the Senate will finally come to a consensus and push this thing through.
Why is the Senate pushing a vote back until next week? It seems likely that it will pass but there are no guarantees. It almost seems like the Senate is using scare tactics to try to force people to take any job available. The horrible news is that there are still nearly 6 applicants for every 1 job. So that wouldn’t be a very realistic approach if that’s what some on Capitol Hill are thinking. I am sure the Senate will finally pass the unemployment bill but the delay is in the meantime hurting those who need it most.
This unemployment benefits extension nightmare will rage on for at least one more week. It may be the middle of June before people anticipating the 2010 unemployment benefits extension now have an answer. It’s a very frightening proposition for those involved. By next week, those involved will reach nearly 1 million jobless workers. How the Senate can seemingly ignore those numbers by delaying a decision for a week is beyond me.