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. David Gibson

    Once again, something RIGHT has been done.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ViperGuy

    Great news. It's amazing how close the US comes to anarchy each month they go through this. I don't know why they don't extend it untill the end of the year. They have to go through the same process again in a few weeks.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fred

    This economy is tough on everybody, but this program has got to stop. I'm sorry, but some folks have been receiving this welfare off the backs of others for going on three years now. Pick up a shovel, grab a sack of seeds, and get busy. If jobs aren't available in your town or within your realm of expectation, move and/or set your sight to reality.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Garyss

    I wanna help the unemployed but I don't want to borrow from our grandchildren to do it....so we need to give out less money (maybe everyone gets only 70% or unemployment) or raise taxes (I hope not) or cut some other program to pay for it. We cannot keep spending more and more money that we do not have or we will go bankrupt.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Craig

    Let's see, how about if we take some of the 983 billion dollars we have spent on killing people in two middle-eastern countries for no reason and funnel that back to our own unemployed US citizens?

    April 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. steven badger

    they bank rolled aig why not me!

    April 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • The AIG comment is so true!

      My accounting textbook lists tons of examples companies like AIG that were allowed to steal money from us, and the government allowed it.

      May 26, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. William Keota

    I am one of the Amerians that is on extended unemployment benefits.Every day I searchfor jobs.I am starting to think that perhaps just buy lottery tickets instead,maybe chances are better then spending money for gas to look for a job. Do you think Americans trapped in this position are starting to think that maybe Socialism could be a better way?

    April 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paula Ann

      you sound like the one who put us in this position!! If you want socialism move to another country. I have been unemployed for over a year.....I'm in the same boat so don't cry for socialism. People like you really annoy my digesttive system.

      May 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sylvia petronio

    It is disgraceful that unemployment benefits would be extended yet again. It leaves no incentive whatsoever for the unemployed individual to actively engage seriously in seeking employment. Plus the longer the stay at home is, skills are being lost. Plus it is another load for the tax payer. One more thing The Senate is so completely out of touch with reality, that it is scary. It encourages laziness in the job seeker. Just because a job offered may not be at the level the seeker is looking for, does not mean that it could not be accepted on a temporary basis. There are plenty of unskilled jobs available. keep giving extended unemployment benefits just encourages a thumb of nose situation.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Marie

      Dear Sylvia,

      It sounds as if you may be able to help us all finds jobs. Could you please e-mail all of your networking contacts to this website in order for us to be gainfully employed?

      May we use you a souce of networking?

      Best regards,

      Currently Unemployed

      May 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ed D

    I don't understand why it is so hard to find funds for this when we have so many billions going towards pet projects and buying votes.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jason Newton

    So when will the House take a vote and pass the bill to extend unemployment benefits?

    April 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Colorado Kathleen

    Thank goodness for the unemployed people who are struggling so badly to pay their bills, keep their homes, and feed their families. It is high-time that our Government takes care of it's own and stops bailing out every corporate bad guy.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. S. Burns

    This whole situation has been ridiculous. It makes it so obvious that Republicans don't care about the average person. I'm glad that at least some of them came to their senses.
    Most seem to have conveniently forgotten that they caused this economic meltdown in the first place, and they have had no problem with dumping the burden of paying for two wars on their children and grandchildren. This unemployment bill is chicken feed by comparison.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anonymous

    How long will this extension be good for?

    April 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Beth

    OMG! How are you going to pay for it????? How about the war?????? Get real!!!!

    April 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ronald Dotson

    They should extend the benefits, we bail out the banks and others company, why not the people.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
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