“This is really scary. Without a Tier 5 my wife and I may have to soon move out of our apartment of 12 years and … go where? I don’t know,” says Mike White, an unemployed American in California. White has been out of work since 2008 and despite sending out hundreds of resumes, has not even landed an interview.
White is one of the many of jobless Americans who are responding with shock and anger to the failure of an unemployment extension bill to get passed in the Senate last night. Even after 3 revisions and billions more dollars shaved off the bill, The Los Angeles Times reports that Senate Democrats were still unable to convince Senate Republicans to pass HR 4213.
No extension…no Tier V
Although HR 4213 would have only extended the deadline for qualifying for Emergency Unemployment Compensation Benefits (EUC), many unemployed who had already exhausted all their benefits and all four EUC extensions were hoping that eventually a Tier V EUC extension would be created. But without an extension of the current EUC four tiers, a Tier V is highly unlikely. As I reported in a previous article here on Associated Content, several lawmakers, including Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), had remarked that when all jobless Americans get their full unemployment benefits extensions (in many cases up to 99 weeks), then he would work with his colleagues on a Tier V.
But The Senate can’t even pass a bill to extend the current four tiers of unemployment extension benefits to all jobless Americans.
What can be done now??
According to a June 16th 2010 article on Politio.com. Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) vowed to withhold any war funding until this unemployment extensions bill passed. So far, Representative Obey has yet to comment on yesterday’s vote in the Senate, so only time will tell if he and perhaps others will follow through with this threat.
Then there is President Obama’s take on the jobless bill. According to the Los Angeles Times article, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said “The president has been clear: Americans should not fall victim to Republican obstruction at a time of great economic challenge for our nation’s families.” The article reports that President Obama will continue to push for this jobless bill. Some people like Ed Shultz of MSNBC-TV have publicly asked President Obama to use his power of Executive Order to help the unemployed. Whether or not President Obama can or intends to use this power remains to be seen.
And as for the unemployed, they will ‘remember in November’
“I know one thing: If I am able I will do everything in my power in November to campaign against every single one of these Republican sonsofb****s!” says White.
Websites for the jobless:
Tier V To Survive
Advocacy for The Long Term Unemployed
Budd, Jennifer Will There Be A Fifth Extension of Unemployment Benefits? Maybe, Associated Content, May 4, 2010
Rogers, David Obama letter stalls war funding, Politico.com, June 16, 2010
King, Donalee Ed Schultz asks Obama on air for Executive Order to save American Unemployed, the Examiner June 19, 2010
Hook, Janet and Levey Noam N. Seante GOP Blocks Jobless Aid Bill, Los Angeles Times online, June 25, 2010
Email correspondence with Mike White June 24-25th 2010