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. srhx6teen05

    wow, this tells me a whole lot.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    The discussion was for one month but only to extend a deadline to file for extensions that you may qualify for.

    There are no additional weeks of benefits added to the end of the road for the hundreds of thousands who run out of all extensions now and in the next 4 weeks.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan

    Until the end of April only. They are working on a bill to extend it Until Dec 30th I believe. But this current bill is just buying them time to iron things out.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bill

    Big Question is is this passing rectro active if not the people that lost there benefits last week are domed

    April 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. surpriser

    How sad that the government will give billions to corporations and banks who have caused this recession, yet we have to fight for unemployment benefits that we have worked so hard to earn. I'm feeling very anti-government these days.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JRH

    If you pay people not to work...........they won't.......there are jobs out there, it just may not be that appealing

    April 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Debra

    Thank goodness, I've been off work for 4 months and looking at being homeless a month after my unemployment benefits run out the end of May. Whew, I avoid homelessness once again. Hopefully i'll find a job, I'm very qualified!! It's been so frustrating. Thank you!!!

    April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CY

    It's not an extension. It's an extension of the DATES that end the qualifying period for the different tiers. The media is so full of it. They're as uninformed as ever.

    The unemployed need another tier. The people who have already exhausted all tiers are called lazy, bums, etc. Fact of the matter is... JOBS ARE NOT OUT THERE. I know people who've been out of work for over two years. I've personally helped fax their resume's out time and again.

    One of my family members works in the HR department of a fairly large company. She said that the jobs that are posted have upwards of 500 resume's sent in for them during the week. Of those 500... only about 25 are called for interviews. Of those 25, only 5 are brought back for a 2nd interview.

    It's a sad reality... but the media and the government are using key words (such as extension of benefits) that mislead the general public into thinking that things are getting better, or people who are in NEED of help are ACTUALLY being helped.

    It's all a farce.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill Jensen

    Don't worry about the unskilled jobs being filled, they're are plenty of illegal immigrants to fill those positions, and keep the wage base low...

    April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. brian

    Why do people feel they are entitled to get paid by the government if they are not working? This makes no sense. I can understand the concept of unemployment insurance, where a set period of unemployment payments is contracted for and paid through premiums in advance. But why in the world would we want the government to provide an ever extending period of payments for not working? This does not seem to be something that should be a function of government.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Acusense

    A rancorous debate over spending by wasting money arguing over a 30 day extension deadline when a Dec 31, 2010 deadline has already been approved in another bill. What was the logic in all this argumentation that had anything to do with the issue at hand – extend the benefits out for 30 days until the longer deadline has had a chance to be vetted for final approval. Are the Republicans actually so vain and self-serving they can't see the forest for the trees. I suppose so if the true agendas at hand have nothing to do with the issue. Then, it's highly plausible to get lost down the bunny trails which were painfully uncompassionate, stupid, and cruel to hear for any average intelligent American. Throwing the unemployed under the bus at the last minute because it hits the Dems in the archilles heel is sleezy. And all the Republicans who went along with it because it was what the party wanted clearly are not capable of thinking and acting independently and objectively.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alan

    The bill will extend the deadline to file for extended benefits until June 2nd. If you are getting benefits, and your benefits end say June 6th, you will not be eligible for the extension unless they pass the jobs bill which extends the deadline to the end of the year. Mine expires the 3rd week in May, so I am eligible under this extension...

    April 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. charles

    I work over 100 hours a week in an office, often working on weekends and late into the night. I hardly ever get to see my four young children. Could I get myself fired and get paid not to work for 2 years? I sure would like to be on the other side of ths government wealth redistribution program. My kids would love it. I think that is what I am going to do!

    April 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Goat

    I agree FRED, In Germany most people grow their own food since WW2. Heck here in California we grow our own lemons, Avocados, oranges, Chiles, Pomegranates, some corn. If I can do it you can.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gary

    Where is the benefit for all of us that are upside down in our mortgages, but have jobs and go to work every day. What do we get for doing what we're suppose to? We're all responsible and have had to suck it up to get through any tough time. When do we get to throw in the towel and get our lives paid for? Doesn't anyone remember the Great Depression, where people actually moved to find work, or gave up something when they ran out of money? Kind of sickening to see fat people at Taco Bell eating on extended benefits. This country has no idea how to actually go through anything without sticking it's hand out. It's sad.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
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