The 2010 Unemployment Extension Bill is just one item on a large agenda that Congress is facing as they return from their extended July 4th holiday today. Hopefully the debates will bring bring a turn around and the extension gets passed instead of leaving the unemployed worker stranded without benefits again.
The impossible obstacles that were placed in the way of passing the unemployment extension have hopefully been taken out of the equation, such as the “drug testing proposal”. The Senate will need to finally put their differences aside and pass this bill before more and more people become destitute.
According to the Connecticut Mirror, “nearly every member of Connecticut’s delegation put the unemployment measure at the top of their priority list for the coming weeks. The Senate has very little time to spend on this bill with the agenda piled high with items such as the reform of Wall Street, climate change, and health care. Hopefully the Senators will see the 2010 unemployment extension as urgent. This is not something that can wait, families are depending on the senate to pass this bill to help keep them with a roof over their heads and food on their tables.
Something as simple as passing the unemployment extension has now been made into a complicated task. The House passed the bill before the senate left for their vacation on July 1st, the bill has hit a stalemate in Congress.
And estimated 2 million people have had their unemployment checks cut off due to this lack of urgency in the Senate to pass the unemployment extension.
The senate has its plate full for the little time they have left before they leave Washington again for their August recess. A debate over the climate bill is expected to absorb up to two weeks in the senates limited time. Hopefully the Unemployment Extension Bill for 2010 will be one of the first items on the agenda.
November is not far away and the Senators need to keep in mind that passing the unemployment extension may be the very thing that would keep them in their seats come the election. 2 million people are cut off from the unemployment benefits because of the stalling in the Senate. It is not just those 2 million votes they need to worry about.
People who are gainfully employed are invested in seeing the extension passed, because if it can happen to one American, it can happen to another. These 2 million people that have been left monetarily stranded by Washington have friends, families, and neighbors who have empathy for the unemployed. We are not talking big business here, who had their bailouts instantly. We are talking about individuals who have worked hard all their lives and through no fault of their own are unemployed.
If the government can spend billions bailing out banks and businesses, many of whom had executives that were given bonuses worth millions with that money, then why is it so hard to help the average citizen? President Obama has made a few soft sentences regarding this stalemated bill, which were no where as loud as the statements that he made for the car companies, banks and insurance companies in a bind. It feels as if all of the politicians have put the unemployment extension on the back burner.
One of the most ridiculous solutions to date was Senator Hatch’s proposal to drug test the unemployed before giving them their checks. This degrading and costly “fix” to save money made no sense at all. The cost for operating the drug testing would overwhelming outweigh the cost of giving the unemployed their extensions.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Senate is full of elected officials who are so out of touch with the reality of what the average American needs to do to survive in today’s economy. Senator Hatch appears to think that the unemployment compensation will be used for people to buy drugs. We put these lawmakers in the Senate and can just as easily vote them out. November is around the corner and if they are not hearing the message from the nation’s unemployed workers today, they will hear a different message loud and clear from their voters in the fall.