Well, here we are, another weekend without the federal extension of unemployment being passed.
Will the Senate try again before the Fourth of July Holiday break?
As reported by the Huffington Post, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi fears the U.S. Economy could slip back into another recession, one which, for many workers, has never gone away.
The bill, commonly known as the "tax extenders bill" failed for the third time in the Senate on Thursday, June 24th.
The Huffington Post quotes California Senator Diane Feinstein, who is in favor of the bill as saying
"We have 99 weeks of unemployment insurance now. The question comes, how long do you continue that before people just don't go back to work at all?" she said. "Unemployment insurance has never carried the heavy weight that it does right now, the cost that it does right now, so people are concerned. And there isn't a lot of documentation on this. Last night for the first time I had somebody from a company tell me they've offered jobs to individuals and they said well, 'I want to not come back to work until my unemployment insurance runs out.' So we need to start looking at these things. And, we need to start paying for it."
According to the National Employment Law Project, since 1959, the U.S. Government has extended unemployment benefits when the unemployment rate is above 7.2%.
It seems that some Senators feel the lure of $380 a week in unemployment benefits (the national average) keep the unemployed living large and living lazy.
As suggested by one reader, I have forwarded a few of your comments to Rick Sanchez, a reporter on CNN in the hopes of getting more news coverage about unemployed Americans and the importance of passing this bill.
From your recent comments, I know many of you are at the end of your rope.
Following are some websites which may provide some answers, and do provide a way to advocate for the extension of federal unemployment benefits and for a tier five unemployment extension.
The National Law Project, or NELP, also has a site for unemployed workers, which includes information about getting involved, an explanation of the different tiers of the federal unemployment extensions, health insurance premium assistance, and more.
if you are in need of more help or need to vent, check out the Unemployment Lifeline. This site includes a search function for local resources which provide help with various needs such as child care, utilities, general emergencies, food, housing and family services.
There's also the "Break Room", where you can post questions, comments and gather information from other unemployed Americans.
Keep calling your Senators and Representatives. If you don't live in Massachusetts, you can find contact information here.
Take care, thanks for reading, thank you for your comments and try to keep your chin up.
Oh, and remember to "live large" :) on that huge unemployment check.
P.S. Please remember, the current bill in the Senate only extends the time an unemployed individual may apply for tiers 1-4. It does not create a tier 5.