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Senate Bill To Extended Unemployment Benefits

Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 5:09 am

Washington, D.C. – With unemployment benefits set to expire for many Minnesotans, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that after working closely with Senate leaders and the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate unemployment benefits bill, will include extensions for unemployed Minnesotans.  In recent weeks, Klobuchar has fought to include Minnesotans in an extension.  She, along with 17 of her colleagues, called on the Senate Finance Committee and Senate leaders to include all states in the extension of unemployment benefits.

A related bill passed by the House of Representatives would extend more unemployment benefits to only those states with unemployment levels of 8.5 percent or above.  Currently, Minnesota would not be covered at all because it has an unemployment rate of approximately 8 percent.

“I fought to make sure that Minnesota was included in the extension of unemployment benefits,” said Klobuchar.  “Many Minnesotans are trying desperately to find a job and it is important that those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits continue to receive relief.”

“Senator Klobuchar has been working hard to make sure that Minnesotans who have lost their jobs will receive the help they need to regain their footing in this troubled economy. She has been a leader on this issue, fighting to make sure Minnesota gets the benefits it needs,” said Christine L. Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project.

The Senate bill, which was introduced today, would give all 50 states an additional 14 weeks for jobless workers who have exhausted their benefits. Additionally, in states with unemployment rates at 8.5% or above, workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits would receive an additional 6 weeks.

Full text of the letter Senator Klobuchar sent to the Senate Finance Committee and Senate leaders on September 30, 2009 is below.

September 30, 2009

The Honorable Harry Reid                                         The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader                                                          Republican Leader

Capitol Building, S-221                                              Capitol Building, S-230

Washington, DC 20510                                              Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Max Baucus                                       The Honorable Charles Grassley

Chairman                                                                     Ranking Member

Committee on Finance                                                Committee on Finance

219 Dirksen Senate Office Building                          219 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510                                              Washington, DC 20510

Majority Leader Reid, Republic Leader McConnell, Chairman Baucus, and Ranking Member Grassley,

Hundreds of thousands of workers will run out of unemployment benefits by the end of September.  On September 22nd, to address this pending crisis, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3548, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009, which will extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks.

However, H.R. 3548 limits this extension of benefits to only those workers in states where the unemployment rate is a three‐month average of 8.5 percent, or a 13‐week insured unemployment rate above 6 percent.  These criteria exclude hundreds of thousands of jobless workers in 23 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

The challenges faced by unemployed workers in these excluded states are equally severe and we strongly urge the Senate Finance Committee to craft legislation that extends unemployment benefits equitably, to all workers, regardless of their state.

Sincerely,

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Pat Leahy

Senator Daniel Akaka

Senator Daniel Inouye

Senator Chris Dodd

Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Al Franken

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Mark Udall

Senator Ted Kaufman

Senator Byron Dorgan

Senator Michael Bennet

Senator Mark Begich

Senator Joe Lieberman

Senator Barbara Mikulski

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Ben Cardin

17 Comments

  1. Mike Flynn 10/9/09 at 4:42pm

    We all know that the House passed H R 3548 and the Senate is dragging it’s feet as of 10/9/2009. But there is some hope. Yesterday 10/8/2009 an ammendment was intoduced. S. Amdt. 2668, but no action is expected until after the Columbus day holiday next week. Let us (those of us that consider this issue of extreme importance)hope that they will act and get this expedited.

  2. Leslie Allen 10/10/09 at 4:54pm

    I just want these people to hurry and get this pasted…. Its easy for them to hold the extensions up because they all have jobs, food, bills paid and a house to live. If this isn’t passed by the 19th of October, I am going to be homeless!!! There are people out there who have already lost there extended benefits who are going to end up on the street, because are government won’t do whats necessary!!!!!!!! I am already stuggling in the state of arizona to even put food in my mouth, because the amount paid here (the highest amount) is below the poverty level. And I can’t get state assistance, such as food stamps or medical insurance, because they say I make to much money!!! How do they figure!!!!!!!

    Make it fast people. We are in dire need of assistance!!!!!

  3. Mark Pacillo 10/11/09 at 10:51pm

    Leslie you need to keep calling your senator (Kyl) because right now his is the bigest problem.

  4. David Snyder 10/13/09 at 6:56am

    For no fault of my own I have been unemployed for over a year. I have sent out well over 100 resumes and haven’t even gotten a call. Bills are stacking up and I’m about to file for bankruptcy. All. All. people still unemployed and looking everyday for work need help. Do something now or our economy will continue to suffer and people will go under and then have no option other then to go on welfare (you’ll play then).

  5. JMB 10/13/09 at 12:01pm

    10/13/09

    What Republican can we call today to get an update? They have had a three day weekend, when will action be taken to resolve this issue.

    JMB

  6. mark arana 10/13/09 at 2:57pm

    I agree mark p , make sure you dont vote for kyle leslie he is the reason the bill is held he stopped it because the rep. need to study it whats to study people are starving in your state retard pass the bill we are in this delima not of our own accord but because the u.s. goverment has failed us and not supplied jobs for us divide 1 of those 860 billion to the people who filed taxes last year instead of giving to banks that make money off of our money then go broke

  7. craig entwistle 10/15/09 at 6:27am

    been laid off over 1yr have not paid mortage for 8 months ,had to get bank to refinance car, ice box
    bare i mean bare single no kids so cannot get nothing
    sent resume hundreds when will they pass this please let us know asap have only begining of nov than no more

  8. DONN 10/16/09 at 2:38pm

    SENATOR KYLE AND REP LESLIE NEED TO GET THEIR PRIORITIES IN ORDER, QUIT DRAGGING THEIR FEET, AND PUSH THIS EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT BILL THROUGH TO GET THE AMERICAN LAID OFF WORKERS THE HELP THEY NEED IN THESE TOUGH TIMES!! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THESE DELAYS!! MANY PEOPLE ARE IN DESPARATION MODE!! NO JOBS AND NO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS MAKES FOR A VERY BAD SITUATION!

  9. nick samules 10/17/09 at 11:09am

    need this extension NOW will be homeless in a week. what the hell is going on
    ? they break for vacation??? the balloon kid gets more time than people that need help & this unemployment promblem, that family is wacked & needs help they are all liars kids to! just like jon & kate with 8 there are a couple of morons. the fat cats on wall street get richer every day while main st. is shut off. this country is in a big hurt and going to the bottom very quickly. BOB has tried but not doing a good job he does spend a lot of our money with very few results so far.

  10. Linda Peters 10/18/09 at 7:13am

    Amazing that all the discussions on capitol hill have been about the health care reform bill (much needed) but without an income no one will be able to afford anything. I find it amazing the the Congress and the federal employees, may still get a COLA increase as of January 2010, but social security receipients are not going to get an increase because inflation is down. How does that work. Some of us are paying more for everything and others are not/ Seems odd to me.

  11. Unemployed 10/18/09 at 3:10pm

    Please stop dragging out the decision and pass this bill, without the extension I will be forced to sell all things dear to me, jobs are scarce.

  12. DEB 10/19/09 at 2:40am

    Unemployment Benefits
    Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 5:09 am
    Washington, D.C. – With unemployment benefits set to expire for many Minnesotans, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that after working closely with Senate leaders and the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate unemployment benefits bill, will include extensions for unemployed Minnesotans. In recent weeks, Klobuchar has fought to include Minnesotans in an extension. She, along with 17 of her colleagues, called on the Senate Finance Committee and Senate leaders to include all states in the extension of unemployment benefits.

    OK – SO, WHAT THE HECK – IS EVERYONE ON VACATION OR WHAT?? WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG??????????
    I HAVE RUN OUT OF MY UNEMPLOYMENT AND OCT.20TH 2009 THEY WILL SHUT OUT MY ELECTRICITY, SOON THE HEAT AS THEY WANT SOME MONEY TOO, BUT I DO NOT HAVE IT!!! DO NOT QUALIFY FOR DIDDLY SQUAT AS NO KIDS AT HOME AS GROWN UP, SPOUSE WORKS AND WAS ALSO CUT BACK HRS AT HIS PLACE, WAITING NOW FOR THE HOUSE PHONE TO BE SHUT OFF ALSO AND THE INTERNET PROVIDER IS ALSO MY PHONE COMPANY…
    CANT PAY CAR PYMT,MORTGAGE,CHECKED EVERYWHERE FOR HELP IN HENNEPIN COUNTY BUT WAS TOLD TO GET DIVORCED SO CAN QUALIFY FOR SOMETHING….NO MONEY FOR FOOD, EAT BREAD, SOUP,POPCORN, AND WHEN DO EAT IT IS ONLY ONCE A DAY AND ONLY A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK AS OLD MOTHER HUBBARD WENT TO THE CUPBOARD — BARE……………. DUNNO WHERE TO GO..NO WONDER SO MANY PEOPLE COMMITG SUICIDE…..HOW SAD – AND TO THINK OF ALL THE PEOPLE WE HEAR OF THAT GOT HUGE BONUS’S,MORE MONEY,PERKS,ETC..AND I GUARANTEE IT THAT NOBODY KNOWS THE WHOLE ORDEAL PERTAINING TO MONEY,ETC PEOPLE GET,GOVERNMENT,ETC..
    CANT GET MEDICAL EITHER,=== SO AS THE “SO CALLED PRESIDENT” SAYS – IT’S CHEAPER TO JUST DIE….. HOW PATHETIC!!!
    WELL PRESIDENT – YOUR PRIORITY IS TO HAVE YOUR BEER DRINKING PARTIES WITH YOUR hmmm WHAT SHOULD WE CALL THEM????

  13. citzen-I 10/20/09 at 12:34am

    these 2 senators must clearly know what is going on with the hard working people of america who need this unemployment extension.if not i say we need some “psyche evaluation” on these ignorant creatures.life is exacting in what it teaches us.these 2 senators need to know that the heartbreak and tears of the- half a million people who have lost their benefits as of october 19th is in their hands.heed this advise and pass the damn bill already.we are talking about survival and sustenance here.

  14. Thyra Furman 10/20/09 at 10:10am

    Iam glad that this has finally passed. I don’t see why it took so long. I,like others need the help. I don’t know of a senator nor representative that is having trouble paying for their rent.
    But, I live in Kentucky that was on a list of states that was to receive the money. Now I don’t see my state on the list for 14 weeks. Are we do have another 6 weeks? Please tell me that Kentucky is still on the list!!

  15. Don 10/21/09 at 5:12pm

    Put the pressure on Republican Senators, especially Kyl (Az) and Isakson (Ga.). Strength in numbers. This is an important time while bill is being held up by a few.

  16. Larry 10/26/09 at 10:24pm

    IUt appears that a fuilibuster has slowed it down , but I read that a vote is supposed com tomorrow Tuesday. I sure as hell hope so. I wrote both Senators from CA and I got no reply from either of the lazy woman.

  17. UnHappy American 07/1/10 at 12:49pm

    All the unemployed folks should do what their founding fathers did and take one state and start their own country. Start over with the Dream the United States started with. We could all help each other out. WE might get money from the USA if we were not part of the USA.

    I am not happy to be an American. Charity Starts @ Home……… Not in America.

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