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.”
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 Forgotten, The Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take Action, The Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the Government, The Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the Senate, The Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the House, The Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the Senate, The Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014
Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits and Rush through Corporate Tax Cuts, The Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the House, The Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014
Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Government Matters, April 22, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax Extenders, The Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014