99ers await the reintroduction of the 99ers unemployment extension into the House by Representatives Barbara Lee and Bobby Scott. Over the holiday break Congressman Scott vowed to do everything he can push this unemployment extension through in the 112th Congress for the 99ers, as reported on Hartford Examiner. Although the Congress has only been in session for just a day, we have learned much about some of the new players to spark a pang of hope for more 99er unemployment extension supporters. Will Connecticut’s Jim Hines be another supporter of this bill? He did jump the party line for the last unemployment extension, according to the Connecticut Post. . Will he do it again for the 99ers?
Starting with the new Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, he is an old player in a new position. He has already shown he is on a fast track to give this country back to the people by retiring the jet that Nancy Pelosi called her own during her reign as House Speaker, according to Fox News live.
Boehner’s flying will be on a commercial jet, like everyone else, which is a complete turn around from what Nancy Pelosi’s track record was. Pelosi wanted a bigger jet when she first took her post, according to the Washington Times. She had too many people traveling with her for the little jet that sat only 12 people. That small jet came along with her position and she wanted the 200 passenger jet, that would hold her entourage and allow her a coast to coast flight without stopping for refueling, as her smaller jet needed to do. (She doesn’t have that problem anymore, she has to fly like everyone else now.)
This Nancy Pelosi jet ordeal has to be hard for the unemployed in this nation to stomach. With 99ers losing their homes, one Congresswoman was jetting around in a 200 passenger Air force jet. She did get her jet upgrade with a few contingencies attached.
Speaker of the House Boehner was also seen in tears during a recent interview, shown on Fox News live, as he talked about the country. Although he was ostracized for the crying, it showed that this man has emotions about what is going on in this nation. He appears to be for the individual American and their plight and not following the crowd mentality that the House has been under for a few years now. Boehner is highly respected among his colleagues in the Congress and if he goes for the 99ers unemployment extension, many will be sure to follow.
Even though the money to fund an unemployment extension for the 99ers is going to be a major issue with the Republicans, Boehner may go for the 99ers unemployment extension if money can be located to do so. He does appear to be a man in touch with the individuals in this country having a tough time. Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts located and designated funds for the last unemployment extension passed and the funds ended up not being needed. Before the last unemployment extension was passed, the Republican Senators would not pass the bill unless money could be taken from somewhere else in the budget. Scott Brown found the money, but that all fell by the wayside with the Obama deal, which traded the Bush Tax Cuts for the unemployment extension. So where is that money now? Can Senator Scott Brown jump in again and present a way to fund the unemployment extension for the 99ers?
Hopefully Representatives Barbara Lee and Bobby Scott have all these ducks in a row in case the unemployment extension will need to come along with funds from somewhere else in the budget. The same funds that Scott Brown found were not used last time, so would this not be the best place to use them? The proposed extension for the 99ers is only 14 weeks, so if Brown found the money for a 13 month unemployment extension in December, the 14 week extension cost should fall within the same amount of money he found, even if the 99ers are much more in numbers than politicians would like to admit.
The other plus that the 99er’s unemployment extension has going on for them this time around is the new unemployment numbers coming out in February. The 99ers, or the long term unemployed, who are without unemployment benefits or an income will now be counted. The Labor Bureau of Statistics have now included this group of people in the stats, which up until January 1st 2011, they were not included. There was no way to know how many 99ers existed, so the politicians did not have a number which would constitute a crisis in front of them.
The canned response of , “as soon as their benefits ended, they did go out and get a job” will not hold water anymore. This will give a face, so to say, to the 99ers, a colossal numbered face! The number, that will no doubt be astronomical, will no longer be able to be ignored. The statistics that come out in February will include the 99ers for the first time.
So there a few things that may flip the coin on its side for the 99ers to get an unemployment extension this time around. Many will say this is a hyped up dream and there is no chance of the 99ers unemployment extension this time around either. With the Speaker of the House already showing his colors, which are very brilliant so far, and the new stats which include 99ers coming out, this is a step in the right direction. Couple this with the two Representatives in Congress who want to push this bill through and a Senator who found the funds for an extension which was never used and could possibly be used this time, it is a start! Then Connecticut’s Jim Himes who has already shown he is for giving help to the unemployed and took a lonely stand to help individuals in crisis, will he do this again? All of these factors may work in the favor of the 99ers seeing an unemployment extension a reality.
Reference: Fox News Live, Hartford Examiner, Connecticut Post, Washington Times