Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the House

by Jessica Schieder, 3/21/2014

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said the Senate emergency unemployment extension bill is “unworkable” in a blog entry posted to his website by his press office.

The comment suggests that – if the Senate bipartisan unemployment extension bill passes – Boehner may not allow the bill to be considered in the House. By preventing the bill from being considered and voted on, Boehner shields others, who are against extending unemployment insurance, from having their opposition reflected in their voting record.

The blog post explained that the unemployment extension was “unworkable” because there are concerns that issuing the unemployment checks would “be costly, difficult to administer, and [it would be] difficult to determine an individual’s eligibility.”

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) issued a press release in response saying, “This is nothing but a callow excuse to try to justify, yet again, abandoning the nation’s long-term unemployed.”

Other congressional leaders in favor of the unemployment compensation extension were quick to express frustration, including Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

With 60 votes in support of the extension expected in the Senate – including five from Senate Republicans – the extension is predicted to pass the Senate next week. In the event Boehner attempts to prevent the bill from being brought to the floor, House Democrats, including Pelosi, have already begun collecting signatures for a discharge petition. With 218 signatures, the rarely used maneuver would force a vote. At most recent count, there are about 191 representatives already in support of the unemployment compensation petition.

The following are resources to make sure politicians continue to hear your voice on emergency unemployment compensation (EUC):

  • Urge your representative to support the unemployment extension when the issue comes up in the House by entering your zip code here. You’ll be directed to a letter put together by the Half in Ten campaign.
  • Thank the senators and representatives who have fought so hard to extend emergency unemployment benefits, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) by looking up their contact information here. Let them know extending the emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) program still makes a difference, and you are still watching.
  • Call your representative using this number, provided by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME): 877-363-6141.
  • Sign a petition to the White House, bringing the president’s attention to the issue and prompting a response, here. Since calling this petition to your attention, an additional 1,700 people have signed, but many more signatures are needed.
  • Sign MoveOn.org’s petition to restore emergency unemployment insurance here.
  • Share your story via our webform here, which we will share with representatives and journalists to highlight the urgency of renewing unemployment insurance.
  • Join our Google Group to share stories and resources with others who are either unemployed or passionate about the issue.
  • Stay in touch with the Center for Effective Government by signing up for our e-mail updates and action alerts here.


The stories shared by our readers have deeply moved us. Click the button below to view our "Emergency Unemployment Benefits Stories Page". We've featured stories from those impacted by the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits, as well as a counter reflecting the number of Americans impacted.



For Further Reading:

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not ForgottenThe Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take ActionThe Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the GovernmentThe Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the SenateThe Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the HouseThe Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the SenateThe Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014

Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits   and Rush through Corporate Tax CutsThe Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the HouseThe Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014

Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment CompensationGovernment Matters, April 22, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax ExtendersThe Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014

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wow, awesome article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

I'm 57 years old and have thousands of resumes out there and can't find work, I get an odd temp job here and there so unfortunately I need unemployment to survive...these politicians can never fault me for trying but because they are dragging their heels I could be living in the street. Thank you for being so inconsiderate of the real people ....

I hope boehner and his family lose everything. You will never be voted into office again, you crybaby piece of crap.

As long as Obama care is relavent republicans are not going to budge on a UI Extension.
It's seems like ever since Obama care rolled out republicans are not willing to pass any law that benefits the ppl.
Since Obama's second term Americas largest corperations began laying-off (in there terms "sliming down") due to regulations the company anticipates.
Last time I checked congress is still passing laws that give these corperations tax breaks.
Is this all a goverment/corporate set up?

How many signatures are on petition???

One question please. How can the government cut off honest people's rights to unemployment when there are so many people who intentionally collect unemployment after they've found a job, and continue to do this repeatdly through out the years and get away with it with only a slap on the wrist. I mean the first time they do it, it should be shame on the unemployed claimaint but the 2nd time and there after SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT for letting them get away with it repeatedly!!!! How about you do something about those people who OWE BACK UEC???

The senate and house r playing a game k well u add this and that and than we will pass EUC well senate and house latest news flash this is not a game ... It's over 3 million people's life that u r Playing w/ .....

Cause our Goverment could care less if we all had to live in a cardboard box ....

This is BS over 3 million people need this and there is more cause some state would not let u continue to call on ur extension due to it ending in Dec .. What A**holes ... I still say we should all leave here and go to other country than we will get aid

attention all unemployed keep checking your dua card

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