MA Unemployment Compensation – NEWS as of 7/22/2010

July 22, 2010

Good News.  The House passed the bill late today and it should make it to the President’s desk to be signed very soon.  Also good news is that it IS retroactive to the date your checks stopped.  Thus lump sum checks will, in theory, arrive from the MA U.C. office in the near future.  WHEN the checks will actually roll out is anyone’s guess.

The Bad News.  The additional $25 included in your check every week will be gone. Also the federal tax credit to the first $2400 of your compensation will no longer be in place.  Also bad?  There is no help for the people who had already maxed out their benefits – definition being those who were unemployed for over 90 weeks and collecting.

For more info read below:

House Votes 272-152 To Pass Extension Of Unemployment Benefits

7/22/2010 2:29 PM ET

(RTTNews) – After finally clearing the Senate on Wednesday, a bill to extend unemployment benefits for millions of workers was approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday and is on its way to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

The House voted 272 to 152 to pass the bill, which retroactively extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program that expired at the end of May through November 2010.

As was the case in the Senate, the vote largely came down along party lines. Republicans were largely opposed to the bill because it adds to the deficit.

The Senate passed the bill by 59 to 39 late Wednesday, with Sens. Olympia Snow, R-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, the only Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., was the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

While Democrats managed to invoke cloture on the bill on Tuesday, the final vote was delayed until Wednesday night, as Republicans chose to use all 30 hours of debate.

The move was the latest in a series of delay tactics by the GOP, who argued that the bill’s $34 billion price tag should be offset by cuts in other areas.

Obama was critical of Republican’s efforts to block the bill in a statement released after the Senate vote, saying, “Americans who are working day and night to get back on their feet and support their families in these tough economic times deserve more than obstruction and partisan game-playing.”

The president also called on Congress to act on more proposals to support the economic recovery, including providing aid to states and support to small businesses.

Meanwhile, in a statement on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., accused Democrats of not prioritizing providing relief to small businesses.

“In the middle of a debt crisis, Democrats can’t seem to pass trillion dollar spending bills fast enough,” McConnell said. “And in the middle of a jobs crisis, they continue to push one bill after another containing job stifling taxes, new rules and regulations, and government intrusion into business.”

Referring to the bill extending unemployment benefits, he said, “Their signature piece of jobs legislation appears to be a bill that borrows $34 billion from our grandchildren to help folks who can’t find a job in the environment Democrats have created over the past year and half.”


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