Unemployment extensions shot down in the House? Shocker. Apparently politicians didn’t learn anything from the last fiasco over the summer when unemployment extensions were denied for several months while millions of Americans lived without benefits. Now it appears the politicians are up to the same old tricks–a few months later and apparently no one has learned anything from the battle that raged on the last time the issue was at the forefront.
How frustrating is it that a completely new set of Americans get to watch the political process unfold while simultaneously living in fear that they might not be able to put food on the table for Thanksgiving? It’s a recurring nightmare for jobless Americans who have lost employment through no fault of their own in this horrid economy. Unemployment levels are still sky high yet this battle of an unemployment extension has been delivered another blow by being defeated in the House of Representatives. The bill would still need to also pass in the Senate before it would ever reach the hands of President Barack Obama. It appears the hurdles that are set in place are a bit more steep this time around–and could provide lengthy drama for many many jobless Americans who are living with the uncertainty of whether or not they will continue to receive benefits extensions.
It’s just a horrible way to spend Thanksgiving-not knowing if a paycheck is coming your way or not. Yet, here we are again–the same old fight that wasn’t resolved the last time this issue landed in the hands of our politicians. It’s unfortunate that there hasn’t been much publicity about the issue. Maybe it sounds like a broken record to the media. It’s true that people who currently have jobs probably lack empathy toward those who have lost employment through no fault of their own. The numbers though are hard to ignore. In Michigan alone, approximately 143,000 people will quit receiving benefits at the end of November if the unemployment extensions are not pushed through. According to this story, the 143k people will not have benefits at the start of December unless the unemployment extensions are somehow passed. And that is just one state.
The numbers will be in the several million range nationwide if unemployment extensions aren’t voted for by the House, Senate and then signed into law by President Obama.
It seems that the current legislation this time around is for another 3 month extension. Even if this unemployment extension is passed through somehow in early or middle December, another political war will rage again in 3 months. That’s just ridiculous. Will the economy turn completely in 3 months where politicians need to once again assess everything from scratch? Absolutely not. Will the unemployment levels drop significantly in those 3 months as the extensions once again wind down into an inevitable political battle? Of course not.
So why wasn’t there a strong resolution several months ago instead of the quick fix from our politicians? I believe there should be some given rule–for instance, when the unemployment levels are above X then unemployment extensions are in use. X could equal 7%, 8%, 9% or even 10%. Whatever the case, it would obviously help avoid more political confrontations where the fate of millions of jobless Americans are determined quarterly by several hundred politicians. I find it absolutely ridiculous that these unemployment extensions are once again probably going to be put on hold near the holidays. This issue should have been dealt with months ago when the delay lasted several months before finding a resolution. It took two Republican Senators crossing the aisle to get the deal done last time–will that happen once again this time around? Or are jobless Americans once again doomed to wait lengthy periods of time to get an answer? I find it horribly unfortunate that the fate of millions of Americans who are already in bad spirits after losing jobs will be determined by very unapologetic and wealthy politicians. The same politicians who were elected by many of these jobless Americans who are now suffering at the hands of their decision not to help pass such an unemployment extension.
I wish the media would put this issue at the forefront of what they are covering. It seems unlikely to happen until a lengthy battle ensues and more and more people are affected. If history repeats, the media won’t jump on the issue until a delay has actually started–or when the actual impact hits. I wish coverage would start well prior to that even and perhaps we would avoid the misery of watching our fellow jobless Americans suffer for lengths at a time without knowing what will happen next in regards to these unemployment extensions. It’s a battle that should never take place in my opinion. A set rule would have helped jobless Americans avoid the drama. Instead, we have to witness this horrible play it by ear politics unfold . There should have been a plan in place that would have dictated what should actually happen given the current circumstances. The politicians could work on something like that now instead of taking the approach of a quick fix for 3 months. That only says to me that we are inevitably going to watch the same recurring nightmare unfold again in 3 months. Instead of learning from the past mistakes and lengthy delays, our politicians seem content on letting history repeat quarterly. Does it not make sense to have some kind of set legislation or a bill that would dictate what can or should happen during horrible economic times like these? Of course not. That would make too much sense. Instead, we are destined to watch the political process unfold several times a year without any control over what will actually happen. Perhaps that’s why the media tunes out the issue-because it’s like the same broken record over and over again. Except this broken record now involves millions of jobless Americans who will experience real suffering at the hands of politicians who are unable to understand and empathize with the plight of someone who has lost a job through no fault of their own.
The Republicans want the issue paid for. The Democrats want the issue to pass as an emergency based decision. The jobless Americans are meanwhile suffering as collateral damage and couldn’t care less how the unemployment extensions get passed–just so long as they do pass so they can feed families, pay bills and survive during what has been appropriately deemed as a national recession.