The Unemployment Extension vote can only be described as good news for jobless Americans who have lost benefits in the past month and a half. The only hiccup appears to be that the Unemployment Extensions vote still needs to pass a simple majority vote in the Senate once again and then be passed back to the House for approval. Then, and only then, can it be sent to President Barack Obama where he will sign the Unemployment Extension back into law. That means approximately 2.5 million people will begin receiving benefits extensions in the near future as they continue to search for work.
The Unemployment Extension vote passed today by a 60-40 tally, or as some reported 60-39. The lower number is irrelevant in the passage of the nill. The Unemployment Extension, which is part of H.R. 4213, needed 60 of the 100 votes in the United States Senate to stop a Republican filibuster. So what happened today during the Unemployment Extension vote was that it finally advances past the Republican filibuster. Now that the Unemployment Extension vote only needs a simple majority in the Senate, it seems destined to be officially law within the week. Some have reported that President Barack Obama could sign the bill into law by Wednesday, July 21, 2010. If that happens, many jobless Americans will look back at this Unemployment Extensions vote as the day they could finally breathe after a month and a half stalemate in the hands of our United States Senators.
Nearly 2.5 million Americans have lost benefits since they first lapsed on June 2, 2010. Now those Americans will receive retroactive pay in most likely lump sum payments from each individual state. The Unemployment Extensions vote does not take into consideration those who have already reached 99 weeks of unemployment or Tier 5 citizens. That issue of Tier 5 or 99’ers has yet to be addressed on the floor of the Senate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Tier 5 or 99’ers will be addressed any time soon.
The Unemployment Extension vote today will still give many jobless Americans a fighting chance to survive as they continue to look for employment. The aid coming to those who had exhausted benefits and reached a particular Tier will only help further stimulate the economy. It should be a win-win for all those involved. It’s unfortunate the Senate took so long to finally pass the Unemployment Extension. There had been four previous attempts at the Unemployment Extension vote that were thwarted by Republican filibusters. So the hurdle today was key for many reasons. The Unemployment Extensions should inevitably pass and become law within the week. That is huge news for many unemployed citizens who will once again start to receive benefits up to 99 weeks and retroactive pay dating back to June 2, 2010. The Unemployment Extension vote did eliminate the $25 weekly stimulus that jobless Americans were previously utilizing. Overall, it’s still a great win for those who desperately need a source of income as they struggle to find jobs in an awful job climate.