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View Diary: The 8-week filibuster, they are all Jim Bunning now (78 comments)

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  •  How will the Dems fix this? (8+ / 0-)

    I wrote to Feinstein and got a ridiculous form letter in return:

    Thank you for writing to urge Congress to introduce a 5th tier extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Your correspondence is important to me, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

    I understand the difficulties that many Californians face when their UI benefits expire. UI benefits are crucial in providing assistance to unemployed individuals while they search for employment. California has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn and faces an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent.

    Since the economic downturn began in 2008, Congress has enacted a number of measures dealing with UI benefits, and extended the number of weeks for UI benefits to a total of 99 weeks, which I have supported. Most recently, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-157) was signed into law on April 15, 2010. This law extended UI benefits through June 2, 2010, and the COBRA health insurance subsidy and the National Flood Insurance through May 31, 2010.

    The "Tax Extenders Act of 2009" (H.R 4213), passed the Senate on March 10, 2010. This bill would extend UI benefits, the COBRA health insurance subsidy, and other tax provisions through the end of the year. This bill must now be considered by the House of Representatives, and likely by the Senate again, before it goes to the President for a final signature.

    Currently, no legislation has been introduced in Congress to expand UI benefits beyond 99 weeks. However, in an effort to stimulate job creation, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-147) was signed into law on March 18, 2010. It provides $15 billion for payroll tax forgiveness for employers hiring and retaining new workers, and expands the Build America Bonds program to help state and local governments secure funding for infrastructure projects. Please know I am doing everything I can at the Federal level to create job opportunities.

    Again, thank you for writing to me. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

    I will be calling tomorrow to ask what SHE is going to do to help the millions who just lost their UI!

    •  PS Feinstein wants it both ways, as usual (4+ / 0-)

      I wrote to her in response to this comment:

      ...."the deficit is becoming an overriding concern.

      "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."

      She uses an acedotal story to defend cutting off unemployment insurance to millions? I am not pleased.

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