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House GOP OKs Unemployment Extension
Associated Press ^ | 05-22-03

Posted on 05/22/2003 8:52:00 AM PDT by Brian S

By LEIGH STROPE

AP Labor Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican leaders say they will extend federal unemployment benefits Thursday, blunting Democratic accusations that the GOP-controlled Congress favors tax cuts for the rich over aid for jobless Americans.

The federal program, providing 13 weeks of emergency benefits to people who exhaust their state aid, is scheduled to expire May 31. Congress adjourns Friday for a holiday recess.

In announcing Wednesday's agreement by Republican House leaders, Rep. Jack Quinn, R-N.Y., said: ``I am certain that unemployed Americans will be able to get through the Memorial Day holiday without having to worry about their benefits expiring on May 31.''

Democrats, eyeing next year's presidential election, are determined to make the poor economy a politically damaging issue for Bush and the Republicans.

The nation's unemployment rate last month jumped to 6 percent, matching an eight-year high. The number of jobless workers surged to 8.8 million.

But the House agreement, and a promise by Senate Republicans to act, helped blunt those attacks.

``We made unemployment simply too hot for Republicans to handle,'' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Thursday.

Pelosi criticized Republicans, who have been negotiating an economic stimulus package, saying money in the pockets of jobless Americans would stimulate the economy more than tax cuts that mostly help the rich.

``The job loss continues,'' she said. ``And the disdain for jobless Americans continues on Capitol Hill.''

The GOP House extension proposal would continue the current federal program that provides 13 weeks of benefits to jobless workers who exhaust their state benefits, generally 26 weeks.

Six states with high unemployment would get 26 weeks: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Democrats were hoping for a more generous bill to provide help for the jobless who have already exhausted their benefits.

``We have advocated from the very beginning an extension of unemployment benefits not only for those who are experiencing the loss of those benefits right now, but also for the long-term unemployed who are suffering and who simply don't have recourse if we don't extend these benefits,'' said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

Without action by Congress, about 80,000 people each week who exhaust all their state benefits after May 31 would not get federal emergency benefits.

``We've got 20,000 people who could lose benefits in two weeks without an extension,'' said Jen Burita, spokeswoman for Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., sponsor of the Republican plan.

Washington state released its latest state unemployment figures Wednesday, showing the rate had climbed to 7.3 percent in April - which is third behind Oregon at 8 percent and Alaska at 7.4 percent.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: jobmarket; unemploymentbenefits

1 posted on 05/22/2003 8:52:01 AM PDT by Brian S
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To: Brian S
WAs there ever any doubt ? Why can't the GOP be given credit for this obvious extension ?
2 posted on 05/22/2003 8:56:20 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Brian S
Yeah, that'll get people back to work.
3 posted on 05/22/2003 9:07:57 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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I have been lurking here for a long time wanting to post but mainly enjoying the posts of others but this one topic has drawn me in.
This might possibly be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Since you cant-wont go out and get a job in 13 weeks we will now give you 13 more to lounge around on someonelses dime.
I live in Hampton Roads area and can tell you that the only people here who arent working are people who dont want to work. The peopole who are manipulating this unemployment are people of education of which I am not but it stands to reason that a college grad who has become unemployed and cant find a job in the field they have been in that anything would be better than nothing.
If I were to become unemployed the first thing I would do is find a job. Any job, from shoveling shit to working in the drive thru at a fast food joint. Second, once anyone in this country becomes employed this immediatly stops the job hunt WRONG.
In a country where people are set up to suceed not fail why stop looking for a better job? The problem began long ago when people became " to good to do that " and the dems with the massive social programs have spurned a belief that if I need something and cant get it on my own that the govt will take care of me. This is bullshit.
I have been on the very bottom of the barrel in the job market and through hard work and constantly trying to better myself have become selfemployed and and am in a great financial position that is until it comes to this issue. Being taxed in one of the highest tax brackets and having to pay unemployment insurance on my employees I just see this country going deeper and deeper into my pocket to take care of people to lazy to work. This to me is a travesty.
One day hopefully in my liftime the working class of people in this country will take it back from those in washington who spend our hard earned money on people not willing to take responsibility for themselves.
4 posted on 05/22/2003 9:33:52 AM PDT by sickofthehandouts
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To: Brian S
'money in the pockets of jobless Americans would stimulate the economy'

I used to agree with these types of statements until realized something. The reason they want the jobless and the poor to have more money is so that they will go out and spend all of it in stores, thus causing companies to invest more. They look for the poor to feed the beast(the american economy). This doesn't help the poor or jobless. However, it does get them better clothes, cars, etc...
5 posted on 05/22/2003 9:35:58 AM PDT by tru_degenerate (that which is hidden will eventually come to light)
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To: sickofthehandouts
I am with on this one.
6 posted on 05/22/2003 2:17:52 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Brian S
People over 50, who most companies wont hire, should be given unlimited unemployment benefits, at least until they qualify for social security. Or,,, another alternative, is to pass a law making it illegal(with stiff penalties) for companies to not hire people over 50.
7 posted on 05/22/2003 6:23:29 PM PDT by waterstraat
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To: sickofthehandouts
It might be like that in Hampton Roads, but in Dallas, where the want ads used to be six or eight pages, they are now half a page. Amarillo want ads are a quarter page.

And Texas isn't the worst in unemployment. That distinction belongs to Oregon and Washington. The jobs aren't out there, even if you are willing to relocate. And if you're over 50, forget it.
8 posted on 05/22/2003 6:50:00 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: waterstraat
You're being sarcastic, right?
9 posted on 05/22/2003 8:12:26 PM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
There was a time when it would have been sarcastic, but now that I see so many older men who are not being hired because they are too "old" even though they have lots of experience and knowledge, I am being serious. Why should companies be allowed to get rid of older workers, and not hire them just because they are older?

I find it inconsistent to not allow these men to get their pensions and social security until they are 67 years old, but yet we wont let them get jobs. Makes no sense.

We have other laws which prevent public companies from discriminating based on sex and race, why not prevent public companies from discriminating based solely on age?

I also see that many of these companines have upper management who are older, yet they dont like workers to be older. Why should a company who has/brings in a president or CEO over the age of 50, yet wont hire a programmer at age 50?

We cant leave these people out with no recourse. If you dont hire them, then let them get benefits. It is not their fault they get older, just as it is not their fault they are black, or male, or female, etc.

10 posted on 05/23/2003 6:28:30 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Brian S
money for nothing and the chicks for free

dire straits........
11 posted on 05/23/2003 6:30:23 AM PDT by TLBSHOW (the gift is to see the truth)
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To: sickofthehandouts
You're mostly right. In this area thousands of jobs were lost because of NAFTA, many older women are permanently unemployed but you won't see them cleaning houses or working out in the fields. They can live off welfare and NAFTA displaced worker money till the end of their days. None have any intention of ever returning to Mexico where their jobs ended up even though that's where most came from in the first place. It's just too easy to let someone else provide a living for you.
12 posted on 05/23/2003 6:36:30 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: waterstraat
The problem is with laws banning discrimination. In this case I suspect they are not discriminated against simply because they are older (although I'm not sure about that). Is part of the reason they aren't hired because they demand more pay than the younger workers do? In that case the solution would be for them to ask for less pay. Is it because their skills are obsolete? Maybe they need some more training. I doubt companies would discriminate against older workers unless there were some economic reason for it, in which case the solution is not to make laws against the discrimination but to make it economically benificial to hire them.

On the unlimited unemployment benefits, that would never work since many workers would stop looking for work at all since they could retire on unemployment benefits.

I think one solution would be for workers to retire later. Since they're living longer (with more expensive medical care), it's no longer economically realistic for many people to retire before 70. Also, part of the reason companies don't hire older workers is because they'll be retiring in a few years, which is inconvenient to the companies.
13 posted on 05/23/2003 6:57:33 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Brian S
This torgues me.

I know people who won't get a job because it paid less than what they were getting when they lost their job. I'm talking a couple of bucks an hour.

They would rather run out of benefits "they earned" than go back to work at something they either don't love or isn't up to snuff.
14 posted on 05/23/2003 7:16:35 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
You obviously dont know any men over 50 who are looking for work.

Not only do most companied discriminate in not hiring those over 50, if you are already there, the companies try to get rid of you, thru early retirement, or any excuse.

It has been my experience that most men who have been working since they were teenagers, WANT to work. They dont want to retire, they dont want to sit at home and draw benefits. Your fears are unfounded that it will be abused. Yes, certain classes of people want to live on welfare for life, but the rest of us were brought up on the work ethic, and want to work as long as we can.

There should not be any age limit to drawing unemployment or social security benefits.

15 posted on 05/23/2003 7:19:01 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: sickofthehandouts
Welcome to Free Republic! I agree with you, and my experience with the current unemployed is exactly the same! It is very frustrating.

I have also noticed that the younger generation who was used to inflated wages in the 90s are the biggest culprit of this. I have older folks dying to get in a do something - anything.

We are doomed if this (my) generation doesn't pull themselves up by the bootstraps.
16 posted on 05/23/2003 7:19:08 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: waterstraat
How long have you been a Communist?
17 posted on 05/23/2003 7:20:01 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: waterstraat
The people you speak of should farm out their skills on a 1099, or do temporary contract work. However, only if the skills are marketable.

Someone who worked in factory needs to return to school.
Someone who works in a field that is clearly moving off-shore needs to accept that do something else.

IT will no longer come back at the levels it was in the '90s, and that information is clear and cannot be disputed. It's over.

However, I predict manufacturing will go up as the SARS scare spreads in China. Not all of it, but I believe it will increase in due time.
18 posted on 05/23/2003 7:25:13 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: mabelkitty
How long have you been spending my tax dollars on OPIC? How long have you supported the H1-B and L-1 visas? How long have you been allowing in millions of immigrants each year? How long have you been giving tax breaks to american companies who move or outsource overseas? How long have you been forcing american factories to close and replace their products with chinese junk? How long have you been forcing older people out of work? How long have you supported the income tax instead of tarrifs? How long have you allowed open borders? How many american made products did you ever buy?
19 posted on 05/23/2003 7:26:02 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: mabelkitty
Someone who worked in factory needs to return to school. Someone who works in a field that is clearly moving off-shore needs to accept that do something else.

Go to school to learn what?

Who is going to hire a 55 year old trainee over a 21 year old graduate? How many current young college graduates cannot find work?

Please be specific in what major in school they should learn, and what specific jobs are out there for someone who went back to school and is now in their late 50's just entering the field. Just what jobs are you talking about that will not be outsourced?

Dont forget, we are not talking about a "few" people here, we are talking about millions of people.

I really hope you have an answer, a generality of just "returning to school", or "retraining" , spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new degree, must result in a job at the end of it.

20 posted on 05/23/2003 7:30:58 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: waterstraat
I find it hard to believe that companies discriminate against older workers with no economic reason for it. If a company actually did that, it would put them at a competetive disadvantage to companies that did not discriminate. If there is an economic reason to discriminate against older workers, the market is correcting that by bypassing them in favor of younger ones. The older workers need to make themselves competetive in the marketplace again, either by accepting lower pay, getting more training or agreeing to retire later.
21 posted on 05/23/2003 7:40:25 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
YOu sound like the same person who found it hard to believe that companies discriminated against black workers with no economic reason for it. YOu sound like the same person who found it hard to believe that companies discriminate against female workers with no economic reason for it. YOu sound like the same person who found it hard to believe that companies discriminate against asian workers with no economic reason for it. YOu sound like the same person who found it hard to believe that companies discriminate against jewish workers with no economic reason for it.
22 posted on 05/23/2003 7:51:51 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
The older workers need to make themselves competetive in the marketplace again, either by accepting lower pay, getting more training or agreeing to retire later.

How will retiring later, get them money now, if they are out of work ? Retraining for what? What jobs are available that older workers can retrain for? Where are these jobs? Accept what lower paying jobs? Where are these lower paying jobs?

23 posted on 05/23/2003 7:53:55 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
"I think one solution would be for workers to retire later. Since they're living longer (with more expensive medical care), it's no longer economically realistic for many people to retire before 70."

You're right. Let's petition Congress to change the mandatory retirement age to 70.
No, let's go for 80. Oh, what the heck, as long as were asking, let's reach for the sky - 90!
Your idea is also a great solution to that pesky Social Security problem. (/sarcasm)

Although it's true most Americans don't save enough for their own retirement, the problem is TAXES ARE TOO DAMNED HIGH!
24 posted on 05/23/2003 7:54:25 AM PDT by oh8eleven
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To: oh8eleven
Are you talking about the age at which people can recieve Social Security? I think Social Security's actually a big part of the problem. If people had private accounts, I'm sure they could afford to retire several years earlier (plus it would be their decision about when they wanted to start drawing the benefits). But I wasn't talking about the SS retirement age; I was refering to when people choose to retire from working. As healthcare costs and lifespans increase, most people will need to work longer if they wish to retire without lowering their standard of living.
25 posted on 05/23/2003 8:09:11 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
I agree that social security is a big part of the problem. Most people in their 50's could get by or open a business if they could access all the contributions they have put in, plus interest. Mine would be well over $500,000, but I asked to cash out, several times, and they would not let me, nor give me back all of my money.
26 posted on 05/23/2003 8:11:49 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Brian S
Maybe I am oversimplifying things, but it seems that there are two factors to unemployment; # of jobs and # of workers. For years we have been exporting jobs and importing workers, with ever more 'business friendly' administrations. We may go through periods of high employment like in the late 90's, but they will continue to be the exception rather than the rule. We have to stop listening to business leaders who want little more than cheap workers who they do not have to invest anything in. It's sad that the major parites have locked us into two non-solutions; indirect incentives through tax cuts and direct subsidies through government handouts. One can only hope that American ingenuity will outpace our stupid policies.
27 posted on 05/23/2003 8:12:21 AM PDT by sixmil (down with open-borders-tariff-free traitors)
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To: waterstraat
If older workers actually are discriminated against, perhaps the best solution is for them to start their own businesses. If their skills are really more valuable than companies are willing to pay for, self-employment would be advantageous to them. The companies they start could then hire other older workers, putting them at a competetive advantage over companies that discriminate. I know this solution worked very well for Jewish workers who were discriminated against.
28 posted on 05/23/2003 8:13:42 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
And just what businesses should they start? Is this really a good economic climate to start a business? Do you know the failure rate of people who start their own businesses ? Do you want them to start a business with the last bit of their savings? or with taxpayers dollars? Most money from the federal government is very difficult to get unless you are a either foreigner or a minority. How does a white man in his 50's get money to start a business?
29 posted on 05/23/2003 8:24:14 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: waterstraat
I can't give an answer to every problem faced by older workers, but I know that the only solutions you've given are to give unlimited unemployment benefits (takes away incentive to work, creates new welfare class, and takes money from those who earned it) and bans on discrimination in hiring (hard to enforce, huge potential for abuse, and interference in the free market). No solution is perfect, but the ones I've suggested beat the alternatives.
30 posted on 05/23/2003 8:39:43 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: waterstraat
You're joking, right?
31 posted on 05/23/2003 8:46:30 AM PDT by Jesse
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To: Jesse
You're joking, right? </I

No!!!

I actually went to the social security adminitration 3 times in person(over a 20 year time period), and demanded all of my money plus interest back, and to be let out of their program. I also formally wrote the social security administration asking to be removed from the program, and to be given back all of my contributions plus interest. They flatly refused!!!! No joke! Its real folks, they took my money and wont give it back, and if I die, my kids wont get anything from all that I put in there.

32 posted on 05/23/2003 9:00:24 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Jesse
You're joking, right?

No!!!

I actually went to the social security adminitration 3 times in person(over a 20 year time period), and demanded all of my money plus interest back, and to be let out of their program. I also formally wrote the social security administration asking to be removed from the program, and to be given back all of my contributions plus interest. They flatly refused!!!! No joke! Its real folks, they took my money and wont give it back, and if I die, my kids wont get anything from all that I put in there.

(italics off?)

33 posted on 05/23/2003 9:01:37 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
My suggestion has allowed women, blacks, asians, jews, etc to all be allowed to have a job in the United States. I dont see where my suggestion of allowing older workers to be employeed without discrimination is all that radical, nor is it unamerican.
34 posted on 05/23/2003 9:04:33 AM PDT by waterstraat
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To: waterstraat
Well, it causes a huge potential for abuse since older workers who are not hired because of higher health care expenses or obsolete skills can complain that it was because of unfair discrimination and sue, costing companies money. Not to mention that there is nothing conservative about it.

BTW, I don't think Asians or Jews really needed anti-discrimination laws to succeed. In general, they were willing to work hard, got good educations and the market provided jobs for them.
35 posted on 05/23/2003 9:10:22 AM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (Mark Sanford in '08)
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To: Nathaniel Fischer
"...most people will need to work longer if they wish to retire without lowering their standard of living."

I think that might qualify as a catch-22.

Nonetheless, why do seniors have to lower their standard of living? Their kids are grown and gone along with the huge costs of raising them, they don't need a 3500 sq. ft. home, they probably shouldn't even have a mortgage, they don't need to have two new cars, etc.

I'm old enough to have seen my grandparents and parents retire. While they didn't live "high on the hog" they essentially continued to live their lives as they always had.

SS is not the problem. While I don't like the gov't taking my money and giving it back 45 years later with little interest, there are millions of American who would have squandered that money and had nothing.

I'll say this again - it's taxes that insidiously steal people's hard earned money thoughout their lives that force them to continue working. Americans should be able to retire at 55, not 70, 65 or even 62.

And speaking of SS - while America wasn't looking a few years ago, the gov't raised the age of retirement (for the baby boomers) to 66. If you're gen X or gen Y you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
36 posted on 05/23/2003 9:34:45 AM PDT by oh8eleven
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