July 22,2010

Press Contact:

Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields (Baucus)
(202) 224-4515

Baucus Lauds House Passage of Unemployment Insurance Extension

Package to Retroactively Reinstate Benefits, Extend Eligibility through November Will Soon be Signed into Law

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) lauded House passage today of legislation he introduced with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate to reinstate federal unemployment insurance benefits for Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  The Senate passed the extension yesterday and the legislation is now headed to President Obama to be signed into law.

“This bill will finally provide the support American workers in Montana and across the country need to help them survive the toughest job market we’ve seen in decades.  These folks have worked hard all their lives, they will work again, and this bill will help them feed their families and remain in their homes as they continue to search for jobs,” Baucus said.

The unemployment insurance extension will retroactively reinstate federal unemployment insurance benefits, so that Americans who lost their benefits when the program expired on June 2, 2010, can receive the support they need while they look for work.  The bill will also extend federal unemployment insurance benefits through November 30, 2010, so Americans who lose their jobs through no fault of their own can continue to receive these much-needed benefits.

Baucus has been fighting for months to extend unemployment insurance as part of a larger package to create jobs and provide tax cuts to businesses and families, which was repeatedly blocked from moving forward on the Senate floor.  Baucus and Reid introduced the unemployment insurance extension that passed this week on June 29, as a Senate substitute amendment to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, in order to provide American workers with the benefits they need immediately.  The substitute amendment was modified to remove the extended closing date to qualify for the Homebuyer Tax Credit, which passed previously in other legislation, before passing the Senate yesterday. 

 A summary of the bill as passed follows below:

           American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, H.R. 4213

Summary of Reid-Baucus Substitute Amendment to Extend Unemployment Insurance

  • Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program - The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides (depending on a State’s unemployment rate) up to fifty-three (53) weeks of extended benefits. The bill would extend the EUC program through November 2010 and is retroactive.
  • Extension of Extended Benefits (EB) program - 100% Federal funding for the Extended Benefits (EB) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides up to an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits in certain States (i.e., 13 weeks for States at or above 6.5% unemployment and another 7 weeks for States at or above 8% unemployment). The bill would extend full funding for the EB program through November 2010.
  • Eliminating the penalty for part-time employment in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program - The legislation coordinates EUC Benefits with regular benefits by providing States with a number of options to allow EUC claimants to remain eligible for the EUC program when they become newly entitled to State unemployment compensation if switching to State benefits would reduce their weekly UI check by at least $100 or 25 percent.

 The three provisions together are estimated to cost $33.9 billion over ten years.