April 15th, 2010
07:20 PM ET

Obama signs legislation to extend jobless benefits

[Updated at 10:42 p.m.] President Obama on Thursday night signed into law a bill to temporarily extend unemployment benefits after it was passed by the House earlier in the evening.

The measure restores federal unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 jobless Americans who started losing them on April 5 after lawmakers let that deadline pass, CNNMoney reports.

[Updated at 7:15 p.m.] The $18 billion bill now returns to the House for a final vote, which is cheduled for later Thursday. The president is expected to sign it into law soon after.

The measure would restore federal unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 jobless Americans who started losing them on April 5 after lawmakers let that deadline pass. Checks would be retroactive to that date.

Federal unemployment benefits, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.

The bill, which was approved by a 59-38 vote, would also extend several other provisions until May 31, including: The federal COBRA health insurance subsidy; the National Flood Insurance Program and the copyright license used by satellite television providers. It also prevents a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payment rates for doctors from taking place until May 31.

Read the full CNNMoney.com story

[Posted at 6:12 p.m.] The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits, sending the measure back to the House after rancorous debate over how to pay for it.

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Anita

    Tier 5 would be fabulous, but what about Texas, who couldn't even qualify for tier 4. So, the unemployment rate in Texas is 8.2% and to qualify it has to be 8.5%. That 0.3% doesn't stop the unemployed from still having to pay bills or eat. Like many of you, I apply to at least 3 or 4 jobs a day. I have worked since I was 16 years old on some job or other. Have a bachelors degree, and lost a job I was over qualified for because the younger management felt threatened by me. Now my benefits have been exhausted and I can't qualify for Tier 4 and probably tier 5 either, if it comes into play. Unemployed is unemployed no matter whether one state has more than the other, we all need help.

    April 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    I do understand that people think that some of our fellow Americans are simply just doing nothing and collecting unemployment, but its not true for all doing so. For the person who says if there are no jobs you need to move, how the hell are they suppose to move with no income and considering most of those people are families with children, why would you put the innocent through all of that. Our country is not what everyone wants to believe we are. We as a whole are pretty clueless as to our true needs. We need to be taking care of our own. If we were doing so then its quite possible we wouldnt be in this mess.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beverly

    It is easy for those not caught up in company layoffs to complain about unemployment extensions. After 4 years with a custom home builder I was the 11th person laid off. Even with 20+ years of experience I have not been able to secure employment in my field. Even looking out of my field and willing to take a major cut in pay I remain unemployed. I am now without benefits and wondering if I will have a car to continue my job search. The future certainly looks bleak.

    April 26, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |

    It amazed me to read all these comments..... Right off the bat, you can tell who is a REPUBLICAN. Remember folks, this is not Obama's doing. Obama inherit this cancer. We as American must stand united, instead of being divided. We will never move forwards. We will either remain where we are at or fall further behind. As a result we and our future families will answer to our stupidity. For those on unemployment: I really feel the pain. I as many of you. I am reaching my 3rd year of unemployment. I have received unemployment on and off as the bills are signed. Always wondering how I'm going to keep all we have work for so hard? I have always payed my taxes for over 30 years. I have never applied for government assistance. But I was not left with no other choice. I had to swallow my pride and think about my family. In my job searches. I have noticed employers profiling me. As soon as I see the interviewer is half my age. I know I don't have a chance of getting the job. Employers assuming I will not be able to do the job. I am willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, but they tell me, I'm over qualified. Other jobs, I'm not qualified because I lack the experience. I just want to earn some money so I can support my family. I even consider standing in the parking lot at home depot and offer my home improvement skills, but the Mexicans own the parking lot. Besides I may be deported back to mexico (No, I'm not Mexican. I'm Cuban decent, 1st American generation) . I'm 48 years old with lots of grey hair (I'm not going to color my hair). My x-company (corporate america) of 18 years let me go among 50% of high payed employees. It just leaves me thinking with the saying. "government of the people, by the people, for the people" Not so true any more. It's more like "Government of the rich, by the people, for the greedy corporate America"

    May 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paula Ann


      May 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
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