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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts to Ponder Before Voting for Michigan's Unemployed Job Seekers

Vote 12345  Image via Wikipedia
Today, Michigan's unemployed job seekers along with other voters of our great state; will take part in our annual elections process. Many candidates seeking various positions of higher office on the local, state and Federal levels, are requesting your support. 
The vote that you cast tomorrow could have a great impact on if unemployment supplemental benefits are extended, within our state and on a national level, for Tiers I-IV.
Following the Reach Out Job Search series of articles on the unemployment extension, President Obama the Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010 on July 22. With the legislation the Democratically controlled Congress, passed the act to extend the dates for all current tiers until November 30, 2010.
Questions surround unemployment Extensions Under the Soon-To-Be Newly Elected Congress and President Obama
It is unknown if the newly elected House and Senate members, who will take office officially in January 2011, will either agree to look at another longer-term extension of the supplemental jobless payments. 

What is known is that during the lame-duck session in House and Senate chambers, the representatives will have less than two weeks left in this year with various holiday related recess periods, to bring the HR-4213 back to the floors to have an up or down vote on the bill.
The National Employment Law Project issued a Press Release on October 27, citing the narrow window Congress has createdfor a unemployment extension bill, to be passed within both chambers.
Other steps the bill would have to overcome include President Obama expected signature for signing the bill into law and individual states' unemployment insurance agencies, interpreting the legislation, passing on the supplemental benefit payments to the nations' jobless.
"On November 15th, Congress is scheduled to return for only one week, with only three or four likely voting days, before taking off again for the Thanksgiving holiday. After then, Congress will return for two days, only one of which is likely to be a voting day, before the federal unemployment programs expire on November 30th. This is obviously a narrow window for Congress to act to keep the programs going", stated NELP.

Michigan's Unemployed Job Seekers Vote Could Have a Big Impact on Any Future Jobless Extensions

Whatever the jobless voters of Michigan decide for representation at the Federal level, could have a huge impact on if any unemployment benefit bill is even considered within the House, where over 70 percent of all laws began their track to passage. All Federal House Representatives in the state, are up for re-election on November 2. Michigan has 15 seats in the House, with 8 represented by Democrats and 7 held by Republican Representatives. 

There are at least three major Michigan races where, if the polls showing a possible Republican wave are any bellwether, could change hands to flip Michigan's House Representation make up, into GOP control. The first race is District 1 where U.S. Congressman Burt Stupak (D) has decided to retire. Gary McDowell (D) is battling Dan Benishek (R) to retain this seat in the Democrat majority. 

In District 7, Congressman Mark Schauer (D) is fending off a challenge against a former representative he defeated for the seat in 2008 Tim Walberg (R). Also, in District 9, Congressman Gary Peters (D) is facing a stiff challenge from Rocky Raczkowski (R).

If all three of these seats were to fall into Republican hands on November 2, the possible exist that three less votes exist for any Federal extension of unemployment benefits. In addition, for the Michigan's Governor's race, venture capitalist and former Gateway C.E.O. Rick Snyder (R) leads Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D) by nearly a 20 point margin. 

Michigan's Governor's Race Results, Could Impact the Initial 26 Weeks of State Level Unemployment Benefits and Federal Extensions

Candidate Snyder has cited a "10 Point Plan" to add job opportunities to the state but, has yet to discuss in any manner what he would do to advocate for jobless benefits extensions in Washington, D.C. or within Michigan. 

Candidate Virg Bernero (D) has appeared on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" on many occasions to advocate for Michigan's unemployed residents. Bernero has also proposed a "Make It in Michigan for Free" plan to encourage companies to open businesses in closed manufacturing facilities for a variety of tax credits and his "Main Street Agenda".

Michigan's unemployed job seekers would be wise to throughly examine all candidates positions on issues directly affecting jobless supplement payment extensions, prior to going to the polls, tomorrow. Otherwise, thousands of Michigan's unemployed could be in the same position as the 99ers -jobless state residents who received up to 99 weeks of supplemental income payment- that have been without any additional income assistance since April 2010.

A bill for the 99ers, S-3706-The Americans Want to Work Act, sponsored by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) sits within the Senate Finance Committee after being blocked an up or down vote by a single representative, Senator George LeMieux (R-FL). It is unknown if the bill will be taken upon the Senate floor after Congress returns from the election recess period or if the legislation would ever make its' way out committee under GOP control of one or both chambers.

What are your thoughts on this article? Let us know if you have voted today and also feel free to comment on this story!
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