According to the website ModernHealthcare.com the bill that contains both the Medicare cut blocking amendment and the federal unemployment extension of benefits should be before the House for a vote sometime around Wednesday. Due to the deficit that seems to be out of control though, there may be some stalling. Some are concerned as to the funding of the Medicare amendment. Even though this will not help everyone, it will help many, and is needed as quickly as possible.
Slowing Things Up–The Republicans This Time
It is surmised that the Senate Republicans will request that the costs incurred by the Medicare amendment be reconciled. Although it has been reported that the Ways and Means committee has exempted both the unemployment extension, and the Medicare amendment. (Take that LeMieux, remember?) I thought that the exemption meant that the costs were DEFERRED? Oh well, what do I know…
The Truly Sad Part
According to the Economic Policy Institute the numbers are: 15 million unemployed, 11 million underemployed, or disgusted with trying, almost 50% of the un- or under- employed have been so for more than a year. Over 30% for more than 18 months. While this doesn’t add a Tier V as everybody hopes for, many congressional leaders have made statements that they would get on board for additional weeks. We are waiting for responses from Senator Levin on these issues.
The Economic Policy Report That Congress Will Read
Along with the above statistics mentioned this group is giving the legislators a realistic look at the numbers, we believe. This report shows that 1 in 8 Americans (40 million) are collecting food stamps, and there are many others qualified that are not collecting them. In their statement they say:”Twenty-seven million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. That crisis, not our long-term budget deficit, should be driving fiscal policy. If Democrats in Congress don’t have sense enough to deal with the crisis at hand they won’t be around to deal with the crisis on the horizon.”
I completely agree with that.