Another update on the senate vote on unemployment extension .. the problem .. the senate doesn’t feel your urgency. You must take action now.
I must have received another email from NELP .. it is the only time I address federal unemployment extensions.
So with further ado .. I’ll just let you read it and follow the links .. if you’re not too apathetic. They make it so easy to send a message to your senator you really have no excuse not to. They want to eliminate the COBRA Subsidy .. that should prompt you into action.
Unemployment Extension Update 6/14/2010
Dear Friends –
We’ve begun another legislative week, and one in which we hope that the Senate will conclude action on HR 4213, the bill that would extend eligibility for the federal unemployment programs (Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Federal Additional Compensation, and full funding of Extended Benefits) through November 2010. This has turned out to be a much harder fight that we anticipated, and it’s dragging on longer than we know is ideal for those of you who are seeing the premature end of your benefits.
When the House considered the bill a few weeks ago, out of the need to get the overall price of the bill down so that a majority of Members would vote for it, they stripped out the COBRA subsidy, as well as important money for state Medicaid programs, and scaled back the eligibility for the UI programs from end of December, to end of November. As horrifying as these cuts were, we were lucky to not have lost more – more and more Members are beginning to think that it’s time to start scaling back these programs in general, and we are fighting that tooth and nail.
When the bill came to the Senate, the Medicaid money was restored, and we are leading a fight to restore the COBRA subsidy. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has been our champion and he is waging a great fight. 24 Senators have agreed to co-sponsor the amendment, and we and a number of other advocates have been working to both gain more co-sponsors and shore up support among the moderate Senators on both sides of the aisle, but we still do not have a clear sense that we can reach the magic 60 votes to get the subsidy restored. But we are not going down without a hard fight because we want to not just protect the subsidy, but make the message loud and clear that it is too soon to be cutting back support for the unemployed.
Yet again, we need you to make your voice heard and contact your Senator telling him or her to vote YES on the COBRA subsidy and even more importantly, to vote YES on HR 4213 and be sure that unemployment benefits stay up and running for the millions of long term unemployed.
Lastly, continue to keep up the good work. Your support is greatly appreciated!