Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pete Sessions votes against extension of unemployment benefits

Last week, the House passed H.R. 3548 to extend unemployment benefits beyond the current limitation of 13 weeks; the bill passed with a 2/3 majority, 331-83, with Pete Sessions joining the minority of those who voted no (see Roll No. 722).

Middle Class Supports. While economists see signs of economic recovery, 14.9 million unemployed Americans still cannot find work. The unemployment rate continues to rise and now stands at 9.7%, keeping middle-class Americans at risk of being thrown out of work as a result of the economic downturn. According to the National Employment Law Project, 5 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or longer and half of the unemployed cannot find jobs within the first six months of receiving unemployment insurance benefits. There are 6 jobless workers for every job opening. Recent extensions of the duration of unemployment benefits have been necessary but insufficient: 400,000 unemployed workers will have exhausted their benefits by the end of September, a number that will increase to a devastating 1.3 million by the end of the year.

The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act would ease the financial pain associated with long-term unemployment. Unemployment benefits provide direct assistance to the current and aspiring middle-class Americans likely to be hardest hit during the economic downturn, people who want to work but have lost their means of support through no fault of their own...


John Peterson said...

Thanks for the info. The links to Thomas searches always go bust. I just noticed today, that the Thomas URLs even have the word "temp" in them. You should link to another private site like Here is the GovTrack link to H.R. 3548. Also, H.R. 3548 extends the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 passed as H.R. 2642 while George W. Bush was President. Mr. Sessions did not vote on that bill.

Anyway, the unemployment reserves in Texas are being hit hard. So maybe Mr. Sessions voted against extending unemployment because it means they will be hit harder.

Back in April, I was angry with John Carona for overriding Governor Perry and voting to take the stimulus money for unemployment. Why? Many reasons. Mostly because the definition of who was eligible for unemployment extended radically with the stimulus money. We now give unemployment to those who willingly relocate with their spouse and don't have a job in the new city. That's not what unemployment has been for traditionally. Traditionally unemployment has been for those for lose their jobs out of nowhere. There are more extensions as to who is eligible in there too. See Texas S.B. 1569 for details.

One of you guys might call me out for being heartless on a few of the extensions in SB 1569. I'll make you do the digging though... Then we can discuss ;)


Sessions Watch said...

Thanks, John. Fixed the link; we'll try to remember to use GovTrack in the future, since it does seem to be more reliable.