No Tier 5 and HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Set To Expire: Congress Needs to Act Fast

No Tier 5 and HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Set To Expire: Congress Needs to Act Fast: Congress Needs to Act Fast – The US Congress midterm elections were finished but until now, no Tier 5 has been passed in the Congress. More so, the original unemployment extension entitled HR 4213 signed by President Obama last July is set to expire by the end of November, which is around two weeks from now.

Still, there are plenty of issues being debated for which include concerns over the budget  deficit, political insecurity after the midterms, etc. Unfortunately, the Congress needs to act fast because if they don’t pass another unemployment extension, around two million jobless victims will prematurely stop receiving benefits. That’s really sad especially because of the coming Christmas season. Definitely, this will be one of the saddest Christmas celebration for all the jobless Americans.

Apparently, aside from the issues mentioned above, there is also a debate between extending the current level of unemployment extension benefits and adding additional weeks of benefits. Which is more appropriate? Of course, it would be better if it would be both but again, Republicans will probably halt it in the Senate before it can even reach the House of Representatives.

The issue here is whether to continue to allow people who lose their jobs to get a maximum of 99 or 76 weeks of benefits (depending on the unemployment rate of their state), or to let the original unemployment extension die and only allow unemployed people to get a maximum of 26 weeks. Time is running and the Congress needs to act immediately.

No Tier 5 Unemployment Extension for 99ers in Congress, What’s Left?

No Tier 5 Unemployment Extension for 99ers in Congress, What’s Left? – What happened to the Tier 5 unemployment extension bill of the 99ers? Until now, the Senate is prioritizing a lot of bills over the the much needed bill for the unemployed Americans.

The existing unemployment extension bill called HR 4213 which was signed by Obama last July is set to expire on November 30 but until now no Tier 5 unemployment extension bill was passed in Congress. There were petitions with thousands of signatures calling the Congress to pass such bill. The 99ers even have finished two rallies to voice out their pledges to the Senators but still nothing has happened.

Although Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, proposed the “Americans Want To Work Act” or the S3706, the Republicans keep on blocking it. How many times did we hear Republicans saying that they are stalling the bill because it will just contribute to the burden of the US budget deficit yet we see a lot of funds go to military services in Iraq and other unnecessary expenses? What can you do as a 99er?

It seems that the last resort for now is to exercise your right of suffrage. Barely two weeks from now,  Americans will vote once again for the US Congress position on November 2. Since Republicans are against the Tier 5 unemployment extension bill, the only sane thing left to do is to vote them out. Be sure to vote on November 2. If your voices were not heard in your rallies, at least let your force be felt on November 2.

Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill Ignored: 2nd 99ers Rally Scheduled

Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill Ignored: 2nd 99ers Rally Scheduled –  Two months have passed already since the signing of the recent unemployment extension bill for those unemployed Americans. Named as “HR 4213?, this unemployment extension bill extends the filing deadline for unemployment insurance benefits which expired last June 2 to until November 30, 2010. However, this particular unemployment extension bill did not give consideration for all those 99ers, those unemployed Americans who have exposed all their existing tiers.

Barely two months before the expiration of HR 4213, still no Tier 5 unemployment extension bill was passed in the Congress. Two members of the Congress have already proposed possible Tier 5 unemployment extension bill – Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Americans Want To Work Act and the one from Rep. Shelley Berkley. Among the two, Stabenow’s proposal is mostly favored by the 99ers. However, it’s turning out to be an empty promise or hope since a Tier 5 unemployment extension bill appears not to in the priority of the Congress.

The Senate has already returned from its recess and no Tier 5 unemployment bill has been worked out in any of its sessions. Instead, Senator Reid scheduled for the Dream Act vote that would automatically grant “conditional permanent resident status to any undocumented immigrant who meets all of the criteria set. As we all know, it was repealed by the Republican Filibuster.

The Senate is clearly not choosing to spend its session on those affected by the recession. It is simply ignoring the plea of the millions of 99ers. Recent data said that the recession was already over but how come that 99ers still cannot find jobs? Due to these, a huge rally in Washington DC is being planned to support the American Wants to Work Act which contains the provision for the Tier 5 extension for 99ers.

The rally will be called “One Nation March” and it will be on October 2, 2010 and begins at 12:00 pm and end at 4:00 pm. The event site will open for guests at 6:00 am, and pre-program will kick off at 11 am. The venue will be at the Lincoln Memorial. It is open to the public and there will be no tickets or pre-registration. However all buses traveling to the event are required to register with March organizers.

For more details on this historic march in support of the Tier 5 Extension Bill and American Wants to Work Act please visit One Nation Working Together (ONWT).

Unemployment Extension Bill HR 4213 Became a Law: What About the 99ers?

Unemployment Extension Bill HR 4213 Became a Law: What About the 99ers? – A lot of unemployed Americans cheered Thursday afternoon when the much awaited Unemployment Extension Bill finally became a law as Obama signed it as soon as the House passed.

The bill underwent three days of  rigorous debate in the Congress. The first was from the Senate last Tuesday when the Republican filibuster was finally countered through the appointment of Senator Carte Goodwin who replaced the late Robert Byrd from West Virginia. Democrats won the first unemployment extension vote at 60-40.

The next day, another debate was held in the Senate for amendments made in the bill. Before the day ended, the bill moved closer to its passage after a 59-39 vote. Then the last approving authority, the House of Representatives finally approved it the day after that pushing the bill to Obama’s desk for his signature to become a law.

While some of the unemployed Americans would now be receiving their unemployment benefits, the 99ers, those unemployed people that have received 99 weeks of unemployment benefits would still be in their previous situation as this bill won’t provide any unemployment benefits for them. It could have been better if this bill is a Tier 5 unemployment extension but it’s not.

In addition, the key for those eligible unemployed Americans who are still in their Tier 1 to Tier 4 of unemployment benefits is to determine the current unemployment rates of their states. For those living in high unemployment rate states, meaning above 8.5%, 99 weeks would be maximum amount of time an unemployed individual could receive unemployment benefits. However, for those ones living in low unemployment rate states which is below the 8.5% threshold, 86 weeks would be the maximum amount of time.

Moreover, two additional unemployment benefits available previously were cut off in this bill –  the Federal Additional Compensation Program providing an extra of $25 per week of unemployment benefits payments and COBRA.

Since this unemployment extension bill is not a Tier 5 and would just extend the filing deadline for unemployment insurance benefits which expired last June 2 to until November 30, all unemployed Americans would become 99ers come the end of November. By that time, the Congress would debate again for another unemployment extension bill that would provide unemployment benefits to millions of unemployed Americans.

Do you think that come November, America has enough jobs for all unemployed individuals? Will the unemployment rates decrease by that time? I think the Congress would need to make another bill by that time. Since the Senate elections are scheduled to be held on November 2, 2010 for 37 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate, our politicians, especially the Republicans, should do their best to address this growing concern of the unemployed voters.

It’s already Labor Day 2010! Where is the Tier 5 Extension?

Today is Labor Day and the whole nation commemorates Labor Day 2010 but where is the Tier 5 extension for 99ers? Most of these Americans have worked for so long and then all of a sudden because of economic recession they lost their job and now their present life and future is in peril.

I know, most will celebrate Labor Day 2010 enjoying the Labor Day Sales at Wallmart, Sears, Macy’s, Targets and more but what about those who do not even have money to feed their family right? As most of us spend money on sales about 1.4 million Americans or even more are in the narrow line of the choice of staying to look for a job or probably do something else.

I am not saying that shopping is bad for it is everyone’s right but what I am saying is to consider helping our fellow Americans, the 99ers from getting the Tier 5 Extension Bill and the American Wants to Work Act passed in Congress and in the US Senate. If the US government can afford to spend billions overseas in War, why would it not spend for its own people?

The moment I was invited to write for the World Correspondents, the first I noticed is the tons of people commenting on articles about Tier 5 Extension Bill. In every comment you can see frustration and the lose of hope for most of them. I am still glad to see some of the comments which talks about never surrendering and fighting for what Americans rightfully deserves, the Tier 5 Extension Bill.

I join the 99ers and many Americans who are unemployed in calling on the government and elected officials to see the light on this issue. I am also calling on companies to help alleviate the unemployment problem that is affecting almost 10% of Americans.

My Labor Day 2010 wish is to see that finally the Tier 5 Extension will be signed as a bill.

Labor Day Weekend 2010: The Tier 5 Extension Update and Call

Labor Day Weekend 2010: The Tier 5 Extension Update and Call – It had been a month since President Barack Obama signed the Unemployment Extension Bill to help unemployed Americans but there is one piece of provision that was removed and left unattended. The Tier 5 extension provision for 99ers was left hanging and no one wants to support it. Republicans says that it is because the Democrats refuse to use stimulus money and some Dems says that it is too costly.

The thing is would the government just let more than 1.4 million Americans who belong to the 99ers group become victims of a recession which is not their own doing? Should they be and their family be left to the mercy of charitable organizations and meal stubs just to survive daily?

Latest information from the US Senate said that Senator Harry Reid refuses to put the Tier 5 Extension Bill on the agenda for September 13. The reason for such a refusal is because the majority of Republican Senators and a few Democrat stalwarts are opposed to the bill.

It is a welcome development that President Barack Obama in his Iraq speech last August 31 announced the end of combat hostilities in Iraq and the focus of the government now shifting to domestic problems especially the growing unemployment in the United States. The average unemployment rate across the United States is now above 9% and technically every State qualifies for unemployment benefits.

For 99ers the only hope now is on the American Wants to Work Act endorse by Sen. Stabenow of Michigan. It would be a fitting gift to 99ers and the unemployed during the Labor Day Weekend 2010. This act provides for three essential provisions which will not only give Tier 5 extension to 99ers but also help to other unemployed. These provisions are:

  1. Creating an additional tier of benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment insurance.
  2. Extending the successful HIRE Act payroll tax exemption through the end of 2011.
  3. Doubling the general business tax credit to encourage businesses to hire the hardest hit Americans.

Surely, these provisions will entail cost but the expense for fellow Americans is more important and necessary than the expenses being spent abroad like in the useless Iraq and Afghanistan War. Billions of dollars were spent in those wars which caused deaths to American soldiers. Why should we starve fellow Americans and prevent the help they need? Should we want them to result to committing crimes and even suffering death in their own homeland?

Some says that there is no difference between Bush and Obama and that Obama is backed by the same New World Order. NWO is a group which had been concocted by conspiracy theorists and is now being used to destroy President Barack Obama. Surely, change is hard to accept and for some they will do anything to discredit Obama and his administration.

Who is preventing the Tier 5 Extension Bill approval? Is it Obama or is it the Bush and McCain rara boys? How long should unemployed Americans and 99ers wait before their cry is answered?

The importance and necessity of the passage of the American Wants to Work Act and the Tier 5 Extension Bill is paramount if the government wants to really show its compassion and dedication to its people. Now for the 99ers and unemployed, this events is a call for everyone to double their efforts at job hunting. And, for those companies who refuse to hire people on the account of their unemployment status and age and not based on qualifications they should be ashamed of themselves and they should be given penalties.

What about you? Do you think it is right to pass the Tier 5 Extension Bill? What can you advise other 99ers to do in order to help in the campaign to pass the American Wants to Work Act bill? Is Obama really a problem and not a solution? Tell us what you think.

Thanks for reading and a hopeful Labor Day Weekend 2010 to all.

Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill Petition Rises: 99ers Want Unemployment Benefits Too

Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill Petition Rises: 99ers Want Unemployment Benefits – The clamor for the passage of a Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill in the Congress continues. The recent HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Bill does not involve unemployment benefits for those 99ers or those that have received 99 weeks of their unemployment benefits. What will happen to these unemployed individuals now?

Without a Tier 5, these unemployed Americans will have to rely on federal TANF or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program which offers just over $500 each month. However, before you can avail this benefit, you must first prove that you’re capable of paying your rent. Apart from it, the only benefit available to those 99ers are food stamps.

Aside from the usual argument of the Republicans that the costs associated with the passage of a Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill will just add to the current huge deficit of the government, it is also being said that it creates a disincentive for a job seeking behavior. That means, if an unemployed individual is expecting to get unemployment benefits, then they will be less likely to get motivated to find a job. While some maybe in this kind of attitude, the majority are actually looking for jobs but there are just no work available in the market. In effect, they are continuously losing their homes, their resources, their food, and their dignity.

Several groups and organizations have set up various petition sites for 99ers. Change.org has this “The 99ers need a Tier 5 added to Unemployment Benefits“; The Petition Site has this “We need a Tier 5 Federal Unemployment Extension“; and Saver 99ers has this “Petittion to Save the 99ers

Our politicians, especially the Republicans, need not to wait for crime rates to increase before they can address this issue immediately. Participate in any of these petitions for 99ers and let your voices be heard. Keep sending letters, emails, and phone calls to your senators. You can also contact the White House directly here and send your concerns to President Obama. America needs to take care of America.

If you are currently unemployed, you can complete this simple survey and see if you qualify for a $500 visa gift card.

HR 4213 Bill Passed Senate Vote, House of Representatives’ Vote to Follow

Unemployment Extension July 22, 2010 Update: HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Bill Passed Senate Vote, House of Representatives’ Vote to Follow – This is the latest unemployment extension news. Things are moving slowly but surely for those unemployed Americans. Yesterday, we saw that the first Senate vote to counter the Republican filibuster happened. With the help of Senator Carte Goodwin who replaced the late Robert Byrd from West Virginia, Democrats ruled the Senate vote closing at 60-40 vote for the much awaited passage of unemployment extension bill.

Last night, we witnessed the final Senate vote as shortly after 7 p.m., the “motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill with Reid Amendment No. 4425” passed the Senate gathering the needed “yes” votes of 51 on a vote of 59 to 39 sending it one step closer to U.S. President Barack Obama’s desk.

During the Senate session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that: “Nevada families struggling to make ends meet have endured more than their share: after losing their jobs through no fault of their own, they were forced to wait weeks for an important safety net that was supposed to be there.”

Now, the next and final step for this Unemployment Extension Bill is the vote from the House of Representatives which will happen tomorrow. The amendments made in the Senate need to be approved by the House. After this final vote, the bill will now be send over to Obama for his signature to finally and officially become a law. Once the bill becomes a law, it is expected that state labor departments will immediately begin implementing it and sending out unemployment benefits to help the millions of unemployed Americans. It is expected that this bill will go into effect as early as Thursday or the latest before the week ends.

For the record, this unemployment benefits extension bill is particularly known as H.R. 4213. Initially named as the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act”, the bill has now been renamed to as the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act” to reflect the extension of unemployment benefits for Americans who have been out of work for 6 months or longer. Originally a $141 billion, 426-page government stimulus package for the unemployed Americans, the bill is now down to $34 billion and 36 pages after amendments.

As previously mentioned, it is important to reiterate that this is not the Tier 5 that most unemployed Americans are clamoring as it would not create additional weeks of unemployment benefits. 99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time an unemployed American could receive unemployment benefits for states with 8.5% and above unemployment rates and 86 weeks would still be the maximum time for those who are located in states with below 8.5% unemployment rates.

This bill would also extend the filing deadline for unemployment insurance benefits which expired last June 2 to until November 30, 2010 allowing unemployed individuals to file and move into their next tier of unemployment benefits. However, the Federal Additional Compensation Program providing an extra of $25 per week of unemployment benefits payments would not be extended under this bill. In addition, COBRA will not be extended in this bill.

UPDATE: Obama Signed Unemployment Extension Bill into Law

Unemployment Extension July 21 2010 Update: Senate Passed HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Bill

Unemployment Extension July 21 2010 Update: Senate Passed HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Bill – Millions of unemployed Americans cheered as the Senate voted “yes” to pass the much awaited Unemployment Extension Bill. As previously mentioned, Carte Goodwin, the Senator who replaced the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia sworn in at 2:15 and voted “yes” at 2:30 adding to the total of 60-40 votes to counter the previous Republican filibuster.

Of all the Republicans who voted “no” and Democrats who voted “yes” for the Unemployment Extension Bill, one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska voted with Republicans against the motion, and two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe, both from Maine crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats. Meanwhile, two Independents, Senators Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut and Bernie Sander from Vermont voted in favor of the Democrats to pass the bill. I guess these names would be remembered come elections this coming November.

Under Senate rules, a vote on passage of the unemployment bill itself must now occur within 30 hours. This is the “motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill with Reid Amendment No. 4425” of which unlike the original 60 votes needed, a simple majority of 51 “yes” votes is needed to pass. Since the Democrats have just shown that they have more than 51 votes for the bill in the first Senate vote, the Republicans probably may just agree to letting the final vote happen before the 30-hour clock has completely run out.

After this final Senate vote, this unemployment bill can now be send over to the House of Representatives for the final vote and finally lined up for Obama’s signature to become an official law. Once the bill becomes a law, it is expected that state labor departments will immediately begin implementing it and sending out unemployment benefits to help the millions of unemployed Americans. If our politicians would move as quickly as they can, this much awaited unemployment extension bill could become a law as early as Wednesday afternoon or the latest at the end of this week.

For the record, the unemployment extension bill passed by the Senate which is soon expected to become a law is called H.R. 4213. This is not the Tier 5 that most unemployed is clamoring as it would not create additional weeks of unemployment benefits. As in Tier 4, 99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time an unemployed American could receive unemployment benefits for states with high unemployment rates (above 8.5%). However, as in Tier 3, 86 weeks would still be the maximum time for those who are located in states with low unemployment rates.

In addition, H.R. 4213, originally named as the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act” has now been renamed to as the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act.” This bill would also extend the filing deadline for unemployment insurance benefits which expired last June 2 to until November 30, 2010. The bill also provides for unemployment benefits to be paid back retroactively for people who have seen their payments cut off since the filing deadline expired on June 2.

UPDATE: Courtesy of CSPAN and offered as a public service to all Americans, you can watch the US Congress live HERE

Clamor for Tier 5 Unemployment Benefits Continues

Unemployment Extension for 99ers: Clamor for Tier 5 Unemployment Benefits Continues – For so long, the United States of America is known as a country of hope. People usually have a tendency to migrate to USA because they believe that they will have a better life. However, because of the economic recession, so many people are left unemployed. While the other half of the unemployed are cheering in the passage of the HR4213 unemployment extension bill, the rest are still in agony as there are no Tier 5 unemployment benefits for them.

So called the 99ers or those that have received 99 weeks of their unemployment benefits in all their available Tiers (Tier 1 to Tier 4), these unemployed individuals will continue to suffer losing their homes, savings, resources, food, and dignity. It’s not that they are couch potatoes in finding a job as what others say, it’s just that there are no jobs available in the market. What are they supposed to do? How are they going to survive?

A 99er emailed us recently to voice out his opinion. We want to publish it here hoping that our politicians, especially the Republicans can hear it and take immediate actions in passing a Tier 5 unemployment extension bill.

“We, the unemployed are not a football to be passed from one politician to another. We are a group of long term faceless citizens who have exhausted all available weeks of unemployment benefits from Tiers 1 to 4. Some of us have been without any income since March and are still unable to find employment up until now because of age discrimination and unavailability of jobs. We are actually spending almost every day trying to find work by sending out resumes and applying for various jobs. However, most of the time we don’t even receive an acknowledgement that our resumes and applications were received.

There are well over four million of us, and that number continues to grow each week as more people join our plight. Lots of us have no health insurance… Many of us have gone through all of our savings, and have had to pay penalties to withdraw our retirement IRA’s in order to try and survive. As a last resort, some are selling their blood to blood banks so they can feed their families. Congress has made our American dream become an American nightmare.

Congress has bailed out the banks, auto manufacturers, AIG and Wall Street in general using billions of funds; they have sent money millions to Haiti, they have spent billions on two wars and no one worried about the deficit. How come now that the Republicans worry too much of the deficit where millions suffer? Now, to help people who elected Washington into office, Congress argues over where the money will come from and forcing us all into poverty. We want to be recognized as the hard working Americans we once were. You have taken away our dignity, our love for our country and the faith we once had for the lawmakers we voted into office.

This country desperately needs this bill to be passed immediately with tier 5 and the previous Cobra Premium Assistance Program. The fact that unemployment is at an all-time high, there is a good possibility that without Government help, there will be a double dip recession. Nobody wants to be unemployed anywhere in this country. In the first place, how can people concentrate on the duty of seeking work  if they worry they won’t have a roof over their head, a phone that may be disconnected, food for their family or their car to get to the interview while dodging the repossession man?

Extending Tier 5 and extending the Cobra Premium Assistance Program would benefit those who, despite their best efforts, have been trying to find employment for over two years now. Yes, that’s right – two years. Flipping burgers at McDonald’s is not a job to keep ones head above water, and if this bill is not passed, we will have half the population serving burgers to the other half….It would be a very sad commentary for all of us! We are all calling for Congress to pass a Tier 5 Unemployment extension Bill for all of us 99ers.”

If you are one of those 99ers, we encourage you to keep sending emails, letters, and phone calls to your state Senators to push them to pass a Tier 5 unemployment extension bill. Continue signing the Petition for Tier 5 unemployment extension bill.