The unemployment extension for November 2010 has been voted down in the Congress. The Congress is leaving for their Thanksgiving vacation for a week, but there is a chance that they will take another vote before their Christmas holiday break, according to the Huffington Post.
Believe it or not, this is the easiest leg of the unemployment extension journey, once it passes through the House, it goes to the Senate, which is the same place it got hung up for lack of votes during the last extension vote during the summer.
This is beginning to look like the scenario that played out all last summer. The Senate voted the unemployment extension down three different times, as the long term unemployed saw their checks stop, according to CNN. People experienced home foreclosures, eviction notices, repossessed cars, and utilities shut off during the lapse of payment. Some could not find a way to feed their families, without their unemployment benefits.
After all the money, time, and manpower spent on pushing the bill through, the unemployment extension bill finally passed the Senate. This caused another dilemma. Now that there had been a lapse in benefits, the states did not have their computer systems set up for this newest extension payment and all the retro checks that needed to be distributed.
Some states had computer systems a quarter of a century old and computer programmers needed to be hired to set the systems up for the unemployment extension payments.
Other states paid overtime to have their state unemployment employees work through weekends to get he money owed in unemployment extensions and retro payment out.
Most of the states took weeks to get the first round of unemployment extension checks and retro checks out to the unemployed, but others took up to a month or more.
The amount of money the states paid to get their computers set up to pay the unemployment extension, and the amount of overtime and hiring of extra manpower by the states to get the unemployment checks and retro checks delivered was never released for the publics eyes. Chances are the sum was so great, that it would have covered a good chunk of the extension payments.
This was due to the fact that the Senate took so long to pass the unemployment extension bill. The amount of money wasted was astronomical. This appears to be happening all over again.
Even if and when the House passes the unemployment extension bill, the Senate is the biggest hurdle. As of right now they still need three republicans to change their minds on voting for the bill and they are not sure how to go about doing that.
This is nothing more than history repeating itself, which apparently means these branches of the government learned absolutely nothing from the last round of delayed unemployment extension payments. The money that was wasted, which could be spent on the unemployment extension itself, will most likely be wasted again as they fight this bill from both sides of the aisle.
In the mean time, the Congress and the Senate can go to their holiday affairs and celebrate the season from their country homes with their families, as the unemployed don’t know where their next meal will be coming from.
As of this point in time, it looks very probable that there will be a lapse in unemployment benefits coverage starting on November 30th. The United States Department of Labor believes that by the end of December, there will be two million long term unemployed who will be without their unemployment benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal. The numbers will be rising fast as each day the unemployment extension bill is not in place.
References: Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN