What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Unemployed : H.J. Res. 51. Debt Limit Increase/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Extend Unemployment Benefits to Jobless Workers. (2003 senate Roll Call 199)
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H.J. Res. 51. Debt Limit Increase/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Extend Unemployment Benefits to Jobless Workers.
senate Roll Call 199     May 23, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The stagnant economy has hindered the ability of jobless workers from finding new jobs. When workers lose their jobs, they become eligible for state-administered unemployment benefits. State unemployment insurance programs provide benefits to jobless workers for up to fifty-two weeks. If a worker cannot find a job after that time, state unemployment benefits expire. Unless Congress authorizes or extends the Temporary Federal Unemployment Insurance Program-which is a stop-gap program that is enacted during periods of economic recession to provide additional benefits for workers whose state benefits have expired-those workers become ineligible for additional unemployment benefits. In an effort to financially protect unemployed workers, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) added an amendment to debt limit legislation which would have extended the Temporary Federal Unemployment Insurance Program until December 31, 2003 and provided an additional twenty-six weeks of benefits for the estimated 1.1 million jobless workers whose benefits have already expired (the federal unemployment insurance program, which requires congressional reauthorization every sixmonths, was due to expire on May 31, 2003). Progressives endorsed Kennedy's amendment as a way to provide financial security to those workers who have been unable to find new jobs during the recession. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) made a motion to table (or strike down) the Kennedy amendment and the tabling motion narrowly passed by a 50-49 margin.

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