Unemployment benefits extension

Link to YouTube

Banker, teacher, civil engineer…

This video, Ryan Star’s Breathe, is about the jobless in the United States. It features real people who have lost their jobs and at the website about this video, breathe4jobs, you can click on the images of every single person featured in the video and find out more information about them and their job search experience.

While congress debates (hedges, shuffles and weasels around the subject) an unemployment bill (H.R.3548) that would bring much needed relief to the 15 million officially unemployed Americans (source: The Wall Street Journal), observers note that the senators holding up the bill with their posturing and posing (see below for a list of the 13 lawmakers who voted against the procedural motion to bring H.R.3548 to an up-or-down vote), have food to eat, a bed to sleep in and health care if they need it.

Want to contact your senator? This site makes it easy. You can use the form letter as it is, or craft it to personally reflect your feelings.

Progress Illinois reports that:

5:45 p.m.: After a quick debate this evening, the Senate voted by a wide margin (87-13) in favor of cloture on H.R. 3548. While one more cloture vote will be required to bring the final bill to an up-or-down vote, the Senate is now expected to take up the bill in its current form, including the amendments added by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), in the coming days. Open Congress has listed the 13 lawmakers who voted against the procedural motion, which you can see below:

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Jefferson Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Update October 30, 2009 via Progress Illinois:

Late last evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that his chamber will hold another cloture vote Monday on the final language of the unemployment benefits bill. The vote will be held Monday evening at 5 pm EST.

If the extension survives the procedural hurdle, Senate rules dictate that Democrats must wait an additional 30 hours before a final tally can be taken. That means the it could be approved by late Tuesday or early Wednesday at the earliest. The bill would then have to be reconciled with the less-generous House version or approved in full by the lower chamber.

Related link:
Bread poem


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