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Friday, February 11, 2011

Why all job seekers should support HR-589 The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2011

Reach Out Job Search News Blog Op/Ed Exclusive

Congressional Black Congress (CBC) Representatives- Chairman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) held a news conference on February 9, 2011, announcing what can be named a true jobless extension compensation bill for all job seekers who have received supplemental jobless payments, past the State Funded Unemployment Benefit level of 26 weeks.
Photo Credit Required-Reach Out
Job Search Blog-MonicaRW

Job Search Advocate/Expert/Writer
 Monica Ross-Williams with Rep.
Barbara Lee, who wrote/orginally
sponsored HR-589

Reach Out Job Search News Blog writer and Michigander Monica RW was in attendance at the announcement, which was held in the Congressional Press Conference room, in the Capital building in Washington, D.C. on February 9th, at 9:45am. 
"To say that I was very impressed with the examination of the depth of the issue with long-term unemployment that each of the Congressional Representatives had, would be an understatement. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, during her speech, empathized that for each job opening there are 4.7 individuals seeking employment", Monica RW stated.    
"Representative Jackson-Lee noted that jobless workers are not seeking a handout but instead benefits that they have worked in the professional they were laid off from, by no fault of their own. Additionally, Representative Bobby Scott stated his believe that if Republicans can support tax cuts for wealthy individuals in this country, he cannot understand with the facts of 6.2 million long-term unemployed individuals, why they could not support extending jobless payments to the nations' workers," she noted.


  • The bill would extend unemployment compensation to individuals by adding an additional 14 weeks of benefits to the existing Tier I of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, the temporary federal program first created in 2009, as a response to the recession.
  • This bill also extends the expiration date of federal unemployment benefits from June 2, 2012 to September 22, 2012.
This Bill is Necessary, Should be Voted Upon in the House, Senate and Signed by President Obama Because:

Photo Credit Required-Reach Out 
Job Search Blog-MonicaRW
Rep. Barbara Lee (L) with Gregg Rosen
American99ersUnion (R), Dr. Heidi Shierholz
(F-R) from the Economic Policy Institute
  • As of February 2011, 13.0 million people are classified as unemployed and 6.2 million are long-term unemployed (have been jobless for more than six-months).
  • According to the Economic Policy Institute, for each job opening, there are 4.7 individuals seeking employment.
Which Jobless Workers Would Be Eligible for HR-589?

  • Currently unemployed workers and those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits are eligible to receive an additional 14 weeks of benefits.
  • Photo Credit Required-Reach Out 
    Job Search Blog-MonicaRW
    Rep. Barbara Lee (R) with Gregg Rosen
    (L) Co-Founder American99ers Union
  • This would include all unemployed job seekers currently receiving Tier I, II, III, IV benefits from the Federal Emergency Unemployment Extension program of former President George W. Bush enacted at the beginning of 2008 AND Exhausted Unemployed Job Seekers, known as the '99ers' who have been without any jobless compensation since April 2010.
How Much Will The Bill Cost?

  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to issue an official score for the bill but, it should qualify for the emergency designation under pay-go spending rules for new legislation and would cost an fraction of the Bush tax cut extension of formerly HR-4853, of $857 Trillion dollars, signed by President Obama December 17, 2010.
  • It is estimated that HR-589 would cost between $16-$26 billion dollars, a small fraction of the costs of HR-4853 and would assist unemployed workers that need these payments to pay for basic staples of living like food, clothing and shelter.
  • Photo Credit Required-Reach Out 
    Job Search Blog-MonicaRW
    Congressional Staffer of Rep. Lee (L)
    and Dr. Shierholz from the Economic
    Policy Institute.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has money remaining within the act to fund this bill. Please see www.recovery.gov to track the money from ARRA. In addition, money would be available to Appropriations Act of 2010 to pay for this bill. 
Why Will HR-589 Help Our Economy?

  • As opposed to the wealthiest individuals, who are likely to save the extra tax breaks they were given late last year, unemployed workers are more likely to spend these benefits to help make ends meet. Economic experts, like the Economic Policy Institute, believe that this spending would stimulate the economy and contribute to job growth.
Photo Credit Required-Reach Out 
Job Search Blog-MonicaRW
(L-to-R) Gregg Rosen, Candida Hayes-NY-99er,
Connie Kaplan-NY-99er, Menna Demissie-Staffer
Rep. Lee's Office, Monica Ross-Williams-Job Search
Advocate/Expert/Writer, Rhonda Taylor-RI-99er/
Advocate, Job Search Advocate-NY-99er
To date, there are at least 48 Democratic Congressional Representative Co-Sponsors for HR-589. In turn, no Republicans are co-sponsoring the bill, at this moment.



Unemployment advocate Rhonda Taylor of Rhode Island, who appeared with Reps. Lee, Scott and Jackson-Lee, along with American99ersUnion Co-Founder Gregg Rosen, Dr. Heidi Shierholz-University of Michigan Alumni & Economist at the Economic Policy Institute and ten other long-term unemployed individuals at the press conference on February 9th; decided to stay in Washington, D.C. to lobby Republican Congressional Representatives to support HR-589 until Friday, February 11th. 
Photo Credit Required-Reach Out 
Job Search Blog-MonicaRW
Long-Term Unemployed/99er Advocates
(L-to-R) Gregg Rosen-American99erUnion
Co-Founder, Connie Kaplan-99er Advocate-NY,
Rhonda Taylor-99er Advocate-RI.

Ms. Taylor is expected to report on the results of her meetings with GOP leadership, within the next week.

For HR-589 to have the best chances at passage to become law, pressure has to be placed on particularly Republican Representatives in Congress vote for the measure. All long-term unemployed job seekers who have received jobless compensation over six months, should be supporting this bill and calling their states' GOP Representatives strongly encourage their support of HR-589.

To contact your states' Federal Congressional Representative, please use the following link.


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