Showing posts from February, 2011

Required reading for the 99ers

I would encourage all of our fellow advocates to take the time to read each of the articles below. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, emails and faxes all have their purpose, but we need to make sure that we're not wasting our efforts. If our goal is to advocate effectively in order to get legislation like H.R. 589 passed, it's vitally important that we use the right tools for the right job.Social media not so hot on the Hill - Politico.comThe Tragedy of Political Advocacy - The Huffington PostSix lessons from MADD -

The Economic Populist: Corporate Profits Soaring Thanks to Record Unemployment

In a January 2009 ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos, then President-elect Barack Obama said fixing the economy required shared sacrifice, "Everybody's going to have to give. Everybody's going to have to have some skin in the game."For the past two years, American workers submitted to the President's appeal - taking steep pay cuts despite hectic productivity growth. By contrast, corporate executives have extracted record profits by sabotaging the recovery on every front - eliminating employees, repressing wages, withholding investment, and shirking federal taxes.The global recession increased unemployment in every country, but the American experience is unparalleled. According to a July OECD report, the U.S. accounted for half of all job losses among the 31 richest countries from 2007 to mid-2010. The rise of U.S. unemployment greatly exceeded the fall in economic output. Aside from Canada, U.S. GDP actually declined less than any other rich country, from m…

TGIF: Main Screen Turn On!

How are you, Gentlemen? All Your Base is ten years old.

Unemployment Benefits: Extend Them or End Them?

The Root's Cynthia Gordy interviewed Congressman Bobby Scott for blogging the beltway, on the matter of H.R. 589:
"It's a matter of priorities," Congressman Bobby Scott told The Root in an interview, measuring recent tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and wealthy estates against cutting off aid for the long-term unemployed."You cannot disconnect the budget struggles we're having today from the tax cuts from two months ago. If you spend $800 billion over two years, and then say, 'We're broke and have to cut spending,' there's a connection. When you have no money and compassion for hardworking Americans who are struggling because the jobs don't exist, but you just had money and compassion for dead multi-millionaires, it just seems to be a warped sense of priorities."
The takeaway quote from the congressman:"It is inappropriate to discontinue someone's unemployment compensation when the jobs aren't there"
Please read t…

TGIF: Dancing Goat!

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Business Insider: 19 Scary Facts About Getting A Job In America

Gus Lubin and Robert W. Johnson report on some of the daunting challenges out-of-work Americans face today:
"Americans say unemployment is a bigger crisis today than at any time since Reagan, according to Gallup. "Although hiring is improving, that improvement is gradual and the outlook for many Americans is bleak. Especially the record number of 99ers, the baby boomers with no money saved for retirement, the college debt slaves who can't get a job, and the factory workers who don't have skills for the new economy. "Getting a job today means going up against terrifying odds."The full list of challenges, including the statistics that show just how tough the job market is for the long-term unemployed, is something we need to communicate to Congress.

Plant A Row To End Hunger

Please take a moment to watch this message from Kim Doyle Wille, the tireless advocate for the hungry, the impoverished and the 99ers (among others)She's doing amazing work, and could use your support. She's a finalist in a contest sponsored by the AARP. Vote for Kim and her "Plant a Row to End Hunger" idea: it takes just a moment. Please and thank you.

C-SPAN Coverage of Reps Lee and Scott on EUC Extension Amendment to CR

Representatives Lee and Scott on the House floor speaking on behalf of their amendment to the Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend EUC benefits by an additional 14 weeks. The language of the amendment is the same as that of H.R. 589, but the amendment fell to a point of order because it did not comply with the House Rules for amending the CR.It's not immediately clear why Lee and Scott offered this amendment. The rules were published well in advance of last night's debate, and as of today, H.R. 589 has not gained any Republican co-sponsors.

Ali Velshi: 99ers are forgotten recession victims

CNN's Ali Velshi has been a strong voice on behalf of the 99ers, and in a guest post on the Parker/Spitzer show blog, he explains how the number of the day is 99:

"While our political discourse is consumed by talk of continuing resolutions and deficits and a potential government shutdown over the coming weeks, remember the solution to our economic future lies in a properly equipped, well-educated and gainfully employed population.

"Leaving these millions, jobless because of a recession they didn’t cause, is neither fair nor economically viable.

"A solution to extend benefits for those who are worst off, and a longer term solution to retrain them to compete for the jobs of the future must be part of the immediate solution that Congress and the White House work out."

Guest Post: How to Put America Back to Work - by Jean SmilingCoyote

Please note: originally posted on OpEdNews, this post is republished here with the kind permission of the author.
"Uncle Sam" picture by James Montgomery Flagg,
(work in the public domain), words put
in his mouth by Jean SmilingCoyote
Long-Term Unemployment Must be Ended FirstIt is more urgent to end long-term unemployment than it is to increase the total number of jobs in America. If unemployment were distributed equally, everyone in the workforce would be unemployed for only the percentage of each year corresponding to the official unemployment rate. We could tolerate this financially. Most importantly, the economy would be better off for all.There are three ways this country can do this.

H.R. 589 - Lee and Scott Letter To House Leadership

REPRESENTATIVES LEE AND SCOTT, IN LETTER, URGE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP TO ALLOW EMERGENCY AID FOR LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED TO BE OFFERED WITH CONTINUING RESOLUTIONDemocrats Call on Republican Leaders to Allow Emergency Benefits to Long-Term Unemployed Workers to Be Included in Budget Legislation; Bill Would Help Millions of Americans Make Ends Meet and Stimulate Economy Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Robert Scott (D-VA) penned a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Rules Committee Chair David Dreier this morning requesting that the Republican leaders allow H.R. 589, a bill to provide emergency benefits to long-term unemployed workers, to be offered as an amendment to the Continuing Resolution on the FY 2011 Budget. The bill has 62 Democratic co-sponsors, including Lee and Scott, and would extend emergency benefits to millions of Americans while stimulating our nation’s economy.In the letter, Lee and Scott cite t…

NELP On Discrimination Against The Unemployed

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is holding hearings this morning, and one of the issues they're considering is discrimination against the unemployed.Laura Bassett at The Huffington Post reported on the issue in June of last year:Still waiting for a response to the 300 resum├ęs you sent out last month? Bad news: Some companies are ignoring all unemployed applicants.In a current job posting on The People Place, a job recruiting website for the telecommunications, aerospace/defense and engineering industries, an anonymous electronics company in Angleton, Texas, advertises for a "Quality Engineer." Qualifications for the job are the usual: computer skills, oral and written communication skills, light to moderate lifting. But red print at the bottom of the ad says, "Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason."The National Employment Law Project (NELP) is presenting testimony at the hearing, and the text has been…

The Ed Show: Laid-off accountant describes unemployment struggle

Before watching this clip from The Ed Show, keep this in mind: Senator Kyl is on record stating his belief that unemployment benefits are a disincentive to find work. If he were right, the 99ers would not exist: we'd find work after those disincentives ended. Over 1.7 million 99ers are proving the Senator's belief to be mistaken.Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

H.R. 589 - Time For Us To Act

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, at the press conference to announce H.R. 589:"We're not going to just sit around for the next two years and do nothing," Lee said. "We have the president, we have the Senate, and we have many Republicans who have 99ers, chronically unemployed, who live in their districts. And I think when they hear from the people who this affects, who are their constituents, I have to be hopeful there's some sense of morality there."Two comments from the bill's introductory post are worth your attention:"I live in Connecticut and can't believe I don't see any of my reps cosponsoring this bill.""I am not only emailing, etc. my Congressman, I have requested an in person meeting with him. … I won't sit still for this."It's time for us to act.First, we have to find out if our representatives are co-sponsoring this bill. If not, we need to engage them.Send an email to your Representative. Use the contact form on…

H. R. 589

H.R.589 (text - PDF)

Latest Title: To amend title IV of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 to provide for additional weeks of first-tier emergency unemployment compensation, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] (introduced 2/9/2011)
Cosponsors (47)

Latest Major Action:
2/9/2011 Referred to House committee.

Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Ed Show: Help Is On The Way For The 99ers

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Reps. Bobby Scott and Barbara Lee to Introduce Legislation for Unemployment Compensation Exhaustees

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) introduced legislation in the 112th Congress to expand unemployment compensation for those hardworking Americans who lost their jobs during the historic economic recession and have exhausted their unemployment compensation benefits. The legislation – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act – will add 14 additional weeks of unemployment compensation to Tier 1, making it available to all unemployed persons regardless of the unemployment conditions in their state.Congressman Scott and Congresswoman Lee introduced a similar version of the legislation at the end of the 111th Congress, but it did not reach the House floor for a vote. Congressman Scott and Congresswoman Lee are re-introducing the legislation in hopes that it will receive the bi-partisan support necessary to help those unemployed Americans most in need.Here is some important information about the legis…

Crew of 42: Lee + Scott on 99er Unemployment Extension

The Crew of 42 YouTube channel has additional coverage of today's press conference.The chart that Congressman Scott was referring to shows the ratio of the unemployed to the number of job openings: the Great Recession has seen that number reach historic highs. The Congressman referred to this table in citing the multiplier effect of unemployment benefits:Economic Category/ActivityGDP GrowthTax CutsNonrefundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate1.01Refundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate1.22Temporary Tax CutsPayroll Tax Holiday1.24Job Tax Credit1.30Across-the-Board Tax Cut1.02Accelerated Depreciation0.25Loss Carryback0.22Housing Tax Credit0.90Permanent Tax CutsExtend Alternative Minimum Tax Patch0.51Make Bush Income Tax Cuts Permanent0.32Make Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Cuts Permanent0.37Cut in Corporate Tax Rate0.32Spending IncreasesExtending Unemployment Insurance Benefits1.61Temporary Federal Financing of Work-Share Programs1.69Temporary Increase in Food Stamps1.74General Aid to State Governments1.4…

Representatives Barbara Lee And Bobby Scott To Introduce Bill To Provide Benefits To Long-term Unemployed

February 7, 2011For Planning Purposes OnlyCONTACT:
Joel Payne, Lee, (202) 225-2661
Larry Dillard, Scott, (202) 225-8351Lee and Scott to Stand with Economic Policy Institute and American 99ers Union; Unemployment Benefits More Stimulative to U.S. Economy than Millionaire Tax GiveawaysWashington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Bobby Scott will join Gregg Rosen of the American 99ers Union and Dr. Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to introduce The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act, legislation to extend emergency benefits to long-term unemployed workers. Many of these long-term unemployed workers, known as 99ers, have exhausted their benefits and need this assistance to support their families, make ends meet and contribute to our economy. The bill would provide 14 weeks of emergency unemployment benefits to people who have exhausted all their benefits and are still unemployed.Not only is providing these benefits the right thing to do,…

A Busy Week Ahead

99ers, we have a busy week ahead. A Facebook group is coordinating a call-in event on Tuesday, Representatives Barbara Lee and Bobby Scott are announcing legislation at a press conference on Wednesday, and the House Committee on Ways and Means is holding hearings on Thursday.Monday - Tell A Compelling StoryThe House Committee on Ways and Means is holding hearings on Thursday, and it's up to each of us to include our statements for the record.We've seen how one person's story, whether Peter in Fremont, Bud in Las Vegas, or Dawn in California, can focus media attention on the plight of the 99ers. Now, it's your turn. This is your chance to make your voice heard. This is your chance to tell a compelling story.From the hearing advisory: "any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing."The more of us who can submit a stateme…

Rep. Scott: No Extension Bill Yet

I've spoken with Rep. Bobby Scott's office just now: contrary to the story that appears in The State Column, the Congressman has not re-introduced unemployment extension legislation. The Congressman's office told me that an extension bill will come from Rep. Barbara Lee's office, and is expected in the next 1-2 weeks.