Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the House

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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Mario R 3:11 You are so funny but I understand what you are saying, going through the same thing.
To anonymous@4:41 No it would be better...If President was Republican it would've passed back in January.
Here is the list of the Republican House of Representatives that need to be called on a daily (if not more) basis to ask for/demand their support for passing the Extension of Unemployment (EUC) benefits ASAP! Please call the entire list (not just the state you live in). Let them know we are united and strong by saying: "This isn't funny, we want OUR money! Please sign the discharge petition and pass the Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits NOW!" From the Center for Effective Government. Or "No more delays We want our pay January-May!" Please sign the Discharge Petition and pass the Emergency Unemployment Compensation NOW!" From the Center for Effective Government. Last name of Representative, First name, & last four digits of phone number. *all phone number start with (202) 225-_ _ _ _ Arizona Gosar, Paul 2315 Salmon, Matt 2635 Schweikert, David 2190 Franks, Trent 4576 Arkansas Crawford, Rick 4076 Griffin, Tim 2506 Womack, Steve 4301 Cotton, Tom 3772 Florida Miller, Jeff 4136 Southerland, Steve 5235 Yuho, Ted 5744 Crenshaw, Ander 2501 Desantis, Ron 2706 Mica, John 4035 Posey, Bill 3671 Webster, Daniel 2176 Nugent, Richard 1002 Bilirakas, Gus 5755 Jolly, David 5961 Ross, Dennis 1252 Buchanan, Vern 5015 Rooney, Tom 5792 Diaz-Balart 4211 Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana 3931 Georgia Kingston, Jack 5831 Westmoreland, Lynn 5901 Price, Tom 4501 Woodall, Robert 4272 Scott, Austin 6531 Collins, Doug 9893 Broun, Paul 4101 Gingrey, Phil 2931 Graves, Tom 5211 Idaho Labrador, Paul 6611 Simpson, Mike 5531 Illinois Roskam, Peter 4561 Davis, Rodney 2371 Hultgren, Randy 2976 Shimus, John 5271 Kinzinger, Adam 3635 Schock, Aaron 6201 Indiana Walorski, Jacki 3915 Stutzman, Marlin 4436 Rokita, Todd 5037 Brooks, Susan 2276 Messer, Luke 3021 Bucshon, Larry 4636 Young, Todd5315 Iowa Latham, Tom 5476 King, Steve 4426 Kansas Huelskamp, Tim 2715 Jenkins, Lynn 6601 Yoder, Kevin 2865 Pompeo, Mike 6216 Kentucky Whitfield, Ed 3115 Gutherie, Brett 3501 Massie, Thomas 3465 Rogers, Harold 4601 Barr, Andy 4706 Louisiana Scalise, Steve 3015 Boustany, Charles 2031 Fleming, John 2777 McAllister, Vance 8490 Cassidy, WIlliam 3901 Missouri Wagner, Ann 1621 Luetkemeyer, Blaine 2956 Hartzler, Vicky 2876 Graves, Sam 7041 Long, Billy 6536 Smith, Jason 4404 Nebraska Fortenberg, Jeff 4806 Terry, Lee 4155 Smith, Adrian 6435 Ohio Chabot, Steve 2216 Wenstrup, Brad 3164 Jordan, Jim 2676 Latta, Robert 6405 Johnson, BIll 5705 Gibbs, Bob 6265 *Boehner, John 6205 Turner, Michael 6465 Tiberi, Pat 5355 Joyce, David 5731 Stivers, Steve 2015 Renacci, Jim 3876 Oklahoma Briderstine, Jim 2211 Mullin, Markwayne 2701 Lucas, Frank 5565 Cole, Tom 6165 Lankford, James 2132 Pennsylvania Kelly, Mike 5406 Perry, Scott 5836 Thompson, Glenn 5121 Gerlach, Jim 2315 Meehan, Pat 2011 Fitzpatrick, Michael 4276 Shuster, BIll 2431 Marino, Tom 3731 Barletta, Lou 6511 Rothfus, Keith 2065 Dent, Charles 6411 Pitts, Joseph 2411 Murphy, Tim 2301 South Carolina Wilson, Joe 2452 Duncan, Jeff 5301 Gowdy, Trey 6030 Mulvaney, Mick 5501 Rice, Tom Tennesee Roe, Phil 6356 Duncan Jr, John 5435 Fleischman, Chuck 3271 Des Jarlais, Scott 6831 Black, Diane 4231 Blackburn, Marsha 2811 Fincher, Stephen 4714 Texas Gohmert, Louie 3035 Poe, Ted 6565 Johnson, Sam 4201 Hall, Ralph 6673 Hensarling, Jeb 3484 Barton, Joe 2002 Culberson, John 2571 Brady, Kevin 4901 McCaul, Michael 2401 Conaway, Michael 3605 Granger, Kay 5071 Thornberry, Mac 3706 Weber, Randy 2831 Flores, Bill 6105 Neugebauer, Randy 4005 Smith, Lamar 4236 Olsen, Pete 5951 Marchant, Kenny 6605 Williams, Roger 9896 Brgess, Michael 7772 Farenthold, Blake 7742 Carter, John 3864 Sessions, Pete 2231 Stockman, Steve 1555 Utah Bishop, Rob 0453 Stewart, Chris 9730 Chaffetz, Jason 7751 Wisconsin Ryan, Paul 3031 Sensenbrenner, James 5101 Petri, Thomas 2476 Duffy, Sean 3365 Ribble, Reid 5665 Wyoming Lummis, Cynthia 2311
Anonymous (not verified) (3/25/14 4:57pm) The republican president would have passed a tax cut bill, nothing for us. Were not rich paying for his campaign.
Anonymous@4:45 No President can use his executive order to pass this bill.
Anonymous@5:01 I'm just saying if President was a Republican it would've been passed. They extended it 5 times under Bush
Louisiana B.I.G.; You've go the KEYS... " GREATER IS HE..." Amen and Amen ********************* (4:22pm) That's POWERFUL...
The last republican president gave a one trillion dollar tax cut to the rich. Now when we have a need, they want pay as you go. No pay as you go for tax cuts.
How many more times will I have to hear...A vote is coming in a couple of days.
Anonymous@5:01 The republicans are the ones holding this up. But of course you knew that.