Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Son of Stimulus"

That's what everyone's favorite sun burned congressman from Ohio dubbed an extension to unemployment benefits.

There has been much commotion on this blog about whether people let go after June 21 will receive an extension on their unemployment benefits. Well, the U.S. House passed a $154 billion jobs bill yesterday to extend unemployment benefits for six months, along with numerous other programs, according to the Associated Press. The bill passed by a 217-212 vote, with not a single Republican voting for the measure (I'm looking at you Tim Murphy).

Now, this is great news and all, but it will not hit the floor of the U.S. Senate until January. And the AP story says this most recent stimulus bill will have a harder time making it through the Senate... God Bless America! Plus, our proud senators are very busy right now watering down health care reform and catering to insurance lobbyists. I mean, we can't expect them to do much-need plans quickly, can we?

Major Items in the Jobs Bill
-$41 billion to extend unemployment benefits for six months
-$36 billion for highways and mass transit
-$24 billion to states for Medicaid for poor and disabled
-$23 billion for teacher salaries to save about 250,000 jobs
-$20 billion to keep Highway Trust Fund solvent
-$12.3 billion for health insurance subsidies for long-term jobless
-$2.8 billion for water projects
-$2.3 billion to extend family child tax credit for poor families
-$2 billion for job training and summer jobs
-$2 billion for housing renovations
-$1.2 billion to put 5,500 cops on the street
-$600 million for improvements to airports and seaports


  1. As much as the extension of unemployment benefits might be needed, the passage of this new stimulus bill is part of a larger plan that has failed. The money is money not used for TARP, or money returned from banks.

    When the TARP funds were appropriated, as they were returned, they were to be applied to reduce the deficit. This was a promise. Now, the promise has been broken.

    If the initial promise was not intended to be kept, why was it part of the provision of the initial TARP funding? No, there was no support on the (R) side. Rather than attempting to explain the allocations, first there needs to be an explanation why the promise of deficit reduction was not kept. This bill should never have reached the floor of the House.

    Since this major promise on financial matters, then why should the next promise be believed? Clearly, this was a very hastily assembled piece of legislation (like all legislation in Wash DC these days). Even one day before the vote, President Obama made a national splash at a Home Depot, espousing the merits of "cash for caulkers." Just one day later, none of all the rhetoric at Home Depot was part of the bill. This speaks volumes about the disarray and chaos that hovers over the Capitol.

  2. I wrote my elected officials and encourage everyone to do the same.

  3. I kinda agree with you, Roger. I really think this health care debate has thrown DC for a loop. And this second stimulus bill has defininitely flown under the radar. I mean, even the unemployed were unaware of what Congress is doing, and it would benefit us the most. But if the economy doesn't turn around soon, that will spell doom for Obama and the Democrats... and probably for our country.

  4. Mike, I know this is not good news, but the the trend continues,

    The profile of Heartland looks much like the local offerings here, small town newspapers.

    Just FYI, for keeping track of what else is happening.