Unemployed and forgotten? Senate (finally) extends unemployment 14-20 weeks

by Rich DeMatteo on November 5, 2009 · 7 comments

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In unison, millions of unemployed Americans let out a huge sigh of relief yesterday as Senate extended jobless benefits 14-20 weeks.  Many americans, however, share a feeling of frustration, believing that their country’s decision makers were worried more about devouring ‘lobster and steak’, than the well being of jobless workers.  Have millions of unemployed Americans been forgotten?

How many were forgotten?

  • 600,000 Americans exhausted their benefits in September and October
  • 1.3 million Americans are expected to exhaust their benefits by the end of 2009

Explaining their frustration…

It was nearly a month ago when Senate introduced this legislation.  Weeks of delay sent millions of unemployed workers into a state of anger and frustration.  Specifically, a number of Republicans were found unfavorable for an additional extension.  With 600,000 Americans exhausting benefits in September and October, it’s not hard to understand their anguish.  Last week I covered an update on this legislation, and opened it up for discussion.  Here are a few frsutrated comments from my Corn Heads:

“I know we have been forgotten. The politicians only care about themselves. As long as their bills are paid and they can sit down to their steak or lobster every night, they couldn’t care less. I guess they think the 100’s of thousands of unemployed persons will never vote again. “

“Watching our government debate whether or not to add amendments to the unemployment benefit extension is ludicrous. Has anyone else been following this? I mean come on..people are literally losing homes because of this ridiculous politicking.”

“Why just keep on extending the benefits for a few weeks when all the experts say it will be at least a year before there starts to be any real jobs. It feels like the same stress as a person a death row that keeps getting a last minute reprieve. Just pass it for at least 52 weeks and give us a chance to breathe and find something. This is mental and emotionally abuse of the very people that for generations paid the taxes that line their pockets.”

Explaining this extension…

On November 4th, Senate voted 98-0 for a 14-20 week extension.  Here are critical points surrounding the legislation:

  • Close, but not over.  Senate’s vote pushes this legislation to the House, who should quickly approve the extension.  It’s expected to be finalized this week, or at least 1.3 million people hope so.
  • Each state will receive 14 weeks of jobless benefits.  States that have unemployment rates exceeding 8.5% will receive an additional 6 weeks of benefits.  
  • Extension will not be retroactive, meaning anyone that has exhausted their benefits will not receive a lump sum payment for unpaid weeks.  Instead, they should expect their benefits to begin immediately.

Is it America’s duty to catch the fallen?  What are your thoughts?

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