Sunday, March 2, 2008

S.2544, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008

S.2544 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008 was introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy on January 22, 2008. According to OpenCongress' summary

This bill would provide for 20 more weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to those who exhausted their benefits within the past year and are still unemployed. In states with exceptionally high unemployment, it would provide for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. It would also increased all benefits by $50 per week. If the economy continues towards a recession, it is likely that Congress will attempt to enact this bill.
Republicans put up a bitter fight and kept this unemployment extension out of the stimulus package, H.R.5140 Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008, that became law on February 13, 2008. reports that the bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance. Nothing further has been scheduled. GovTrack notes
This bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced bills go first to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. The majority of bills never make it out of committee. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned.
This bill is newsworthy because it is one of the most viewed bills on OpenCongress. Over 1745 people have looked at it this week alone. That should tell Congress something. It is also newsworthy because of the content and quantity of comments at OpenCongress. A few typical examples are found after the break. I am not sure anyone in Washington knows it yet, but a lot of people are hurting.

Comments from OpenCongress found after the break.

My unemployment runs out in 3 weeks, are there any talks that the unemployment will be extended in the near future, or is it a dead issue now? I live in an area where unemployment is high. Its been hard to find a job. If I loose my unemployment before I find a job, I may be out on the street.

I have been laid off of my job after 29 years of working for a company, and because of my age [57] it will take longer for me to find a job. I really hope that this bill gets passed so that I can have help supporting my family and paying the utility bills. I have been tracking it, and am frustrated that not more has been done with it. It also seems to me that it is taking at least a year for people 57 and older to find quality work. I think these are issues that politicians need to know.

**When you go gray, they want you to go away..... SO help us if that is the case, because we have famalies and children to support. I personally have been paying into the system since I was 15. REach back and extend my unemployment benefits.

This bill was blocked by the republicans with the help of Nancy Pelosi. I was thinking of voting republican if there was a good candidate for President. This has switched my position to straight democrat. I hope that eveyone out there whos benefits will end will find jobs. It's getting harder everyday. Good luck.

My benefits ended last week. Husband's job is tenuous at best. We have no health insurance and my son requires medication daily. I've been unemployed since Oct and am 47 years old without much hope of finding a job in the near future. I'm from Texas and I absolutely think Bush is the most ignorant president we've had in years. It's time this country stepped up and took care of it's own instead of sending billions of dollars to countries that don't appreciate it nor do they really want it. All they want to do is whine and ride out backs for aid. I'd vote for anyone but a republican at this point.

I wonder how president Bush feels when he sits down at the table at night eatting his steak dinner? knowing that theres thousands of people in the streets, hungrey and a lot more that will be joining them if things dont change,,,It just goes to prove, the rich are going to get richer , and the poor are going to get poorer, rember this when you pick what party you vote on in november.....Theres no one in that ___White House___ that gives a ---- about you or me as long as they get there money ,

What makes me sick is the fact that each year our unemployment rate goes up. Businesses are moving out of the country because they can produce cheaper in other countries. Why??? Because the comsumer does not want to pay the high prices. Fact is... If the companies in the United States were forced to purchase from other companies in the United States we wouldn't be in this situation. We need to concentrate more on OUR country and let the rest of the world take care of themselves. If the unemployment extension does not pass, there will be a lot more people left homeless with the economy the way it is.

It makes me sick...all this money for the stimulus package was borrowed from China. Then we have to pay them back with interest to boot and all the products we buy anymore are made in China, so who is making out here!! All our jobs are overseas, we have nothing, our government is deserting us, the rich get richer, we are losing our homes and going hungry. This coming election doesn't leave much to vote for...We need a PATRIOT in the white house to fight for us!