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. Mikeg

    To answer Jason Newton question. The bill now has to go to a conference committee to work out the final wording of the bill. This "should" be quick. Then goes back the each house where it's voted on again in its new form. The house may still get it today. If all goes ok in each house, this bill may be passed in a few more days. Then it just has to get signed by the President.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Keli

    While they have to apply for the FIRST tier of federal extensions, they do NOT have to apply for the subsequent tiers – I wish everyone would quit giving out that false information.

    Otherwise, I can't wait to hear that it's passed the House as well.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick T

    Some of ya'll are saying there's jobs out there........Where are they????

    April 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Linda

    I am so glad that they passed the extension. My job was outsourced to India have been unemployed for the last 9 months. I look everyday..........I am happy i will be able to feed my kids and keep a roof over there head unitl I find a jobbbbbbbbbbb...............

    April 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Acusense

    My last comment on this matter is addressed to all you bloggers who seem to have no issue generalizing about what makes up the unemployed of this country. There are millions of unemployed people in this country. You say it leaves them without incentive to work, wanting handouts, etc. My question to you is where are you getting your information and statistics. Have you taken the time to survey these millions of people to know of their situations? Can you tell them apart or do they all look alike? Are they short, are they tall, fat, skinny. You all seem to know specifically what drives these unemployed people and why they are out of work. My advice to you is stop generalizing about them and show some compassion. You only have your past cynical experiences feeding your current thinking. It's sickening to hear and the day you are out of work through no fault of your own you'll be singing a different tune.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keli

    "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."

    EXACTLY – this does not EXTEND the benefits, just the deadline for moving on to the next tier, of which many have already collected – how fair would it be to deny those who are only on tier 1 any additional assistance when many people have completely exhausted tier 4?

    April 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robert

    I know for older people like me, I have worked almost forty years till I was forced to leave my job. It is a really tough enviornment right now to get started all over again at my age. Unemployment has helped me to maintain my house payments, since this is the first time I have drawn unemployment ,like I know alot of other people are in the same boat I think the number of people willingly unemployed is very small.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    My wife has been unemployed for over a year now, still looking for a job even part time. We had to relocate we both lost everything. We were in the housing industry her a senior consultant (Still bringing in money to her company by the way) and me a blue collar excavation grade checker. and we ened up both being laid off in 2008, me Oct 31 and her Dec1. Had to move in with the parents and have since filed bankruptcy, forclosed on a house, and owe uncle sam back taxes for living on a 401k. Yet the jerks at all the banks are still living on the high while I cannot buy a house becuase the economy ruined my families credit. Thanks Mr Bush for screwing me, and a sincere thank you for Mr Obama for at least trying to help.
    Ps Tell AIG I want to buy my own home again!!!!!

    April 15, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    I was unemployed for 51 weeks. I thought all was hopeless and that I would never find a new job. I applied to 115 positions and had 15 interviews before I finally was offered a position. I always felt it was a tragedy that the government had extended benefits beyond 26 weeks. It is a horrible crutch that keeps so many of us from seeking work that we are overqualified for. Too many people are unemployed but people need to be taking care of themselves instead of relying on the government.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jane

    I wish people would lay off people that are unemployed. Its not their choice
    to be that way. I have been unemployed for 7 months.I look for work
    everyday. I have a interveiw tomorrow so just say a prayer I get the job
    instead of complaining because of the goverment helping us that are

    April 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kelly

    I am 41 and unemployed for the first time in my life. I do not want to take unemployment or COBRA but there are no jobs that pay enough to pay my bills and no I do not have credit cards. I will take as much of a pay cut as I can but I also have a responsibility to pay my debts. Also, unemployment does not cover an average family's bills. It may cover groceries and a couple of uitility bills. I am not lazy and I hate being home. I want a job, I have begged people for a job, I have humiliated myself and cried for a job. I do not want to lose my house or my car, and I do not like seeing my children worried. I am single and do not receive child support so it is just me. I refuse to get food stamps because I still believe there are people in greater need than me. Please, help me, I need a job to support my family.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mikeg

    Now it's stuck in the house. The Republicans what to change the bill again. They should pass it bill for a short time fram. Then work on another bill to pay for the rest.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ron

    To Sylvia: encourages laziness, huh? Have you tried to live on unemployment?

    April 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alan

    It passed. Extended till June 5th...

    April 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alan

    On another note; here in NY the unemployment check amounts to 405.00 a week.My mortage alone is over 2000.00! So for those of you who think we WANT to be on unemployment and it encourages laziness, you are misinformed! I'm in construction and luckily I parlay my experience as an electrician to get side work. Others aren't as lucky as me. A skilled trade is a Godsend. But by no means do I like sitting home! It's depressing...

    April 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
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