Crewof42 released an H.R. 589 update:

Today the CBC met with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley for about an hour. During the meeting the issue of the 99ers and unemployment extensions was discussed.

While there have been many meetings between Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and legislative leaders about moving forward on H.R. 589, all those efforts have yet to produce any concrete plans about how the legislation can move toward passage.

Facebook 99erAID member, Rochelle Sevier, sent an H.R. 589 update after calling both Rep. Barbara Lee and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI):

I spoke with Rep Barbara Lee’s office re HR589 and was told there is no date to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. This means we need to keep the heat on Rep Dave Camp. His office phone# is 202-225-3561. I called Camp’s office and they are logging calls with respect to the bill.

Thanks, Rochelle, for making the effort to keep the pressure on Congress to act quickly. It’s vital that H.R. 589 or some other assistance is made available to the growing ranks of the long-term unemployed. Last month an additional 127,000 unemployed were determined to be out of work for 99 weeks or longer. The official BLs estimate of workers unemployed for 99 weeks or longer now stands at nearly 1.9 million, which is a record level. The 1.9 million BLS estimate doesn’t include the unemployed who have exhausted their state maximum unemployment benefits in states that allow less than 99 weeks of benefits.

One of the most highly respected and influential financial experts, Mohamed A. El-Erian – CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO – has a clear understanding of American unemployment, he calls it a crisis. In an excellent article, Sleepwalking through America’s Unemployment Crisis, Mr. El-Erian paints a picture of American leaders refusing to awaken to the unemployment crises which rises brightly before them:

Let us start with the facts:

·         At 8.8% almost three years after the onset of the global financial crisis, America’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly (and unusually) high;

·         Rather than reflecting job creation, much of the improvement in recent months (from 9.8% in November last year) is due to workers exiting the labor force, thus driving workforce participation to a multi-year low of 64.2%;

·         If part-time workers eager to work full time are included, almost one in six workers in America are either under- or unemployed;

·         More than six million workers have been unemployed for more than six months, and four million for over a year;

·         Unemployment among 16-19 year olds is at a staggering 24%;

With virtually no earned income and dwindling savings, the unemployed are least able to manage the current surge in gasoline and food prices, they are effectively shut off from credit, and many have mortgage debt that exceed the value of their homes.

The statistics alone are disturbing, but when those statistics are combined with the realities faced by for millions long-term unemployed, the problem morphs into tragedy.

Mr. El-Erian concludes:

The US government has little time to waste if it is to avoid an even more protracted and entrenched unemployment problem. It must move now to address the problem’s sources through multi-year programs that range from educational restructuring and worker retraining to productivity enhancement and housing-sector reform. And it must do so while better protecting the long-term unemployed, many of whom bear little responsibility for their current, once unthinkable, and unfortunately long-lasting predicament.

It is past time for the US to wake up and confront in a holistic fashion its unemployment crisis. As everyone who has ever had an unpalatable job knows, shutting off the alarm and pulling the blanket over one’s head is not a solution.

Unfortunately, the GOP controlled House is asleep at the unemployment wheel and has done absolutely nothing to further job creation or advance critically needed unemployment assistance.

What legislation is the GOP House currently considering?

OpenCongress: If you need any more evidence that the House Republicans have given up on serious legislating for the year, look no further than the schedule for their first week back from recess. Votes are planned on repealing potentially popular parts of the new health care reform law, restricting federal funding to health care providers that provide abortion services even though no federal money is used for the abortion services, and expanding oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Not a single mention of jobs or unemployment legislation is being considered by the House, or the Democratic controlled Senate for that matter. America’s most vexing issue – unemployment – is receiving zero attention from an out-of- focus Congress.

H.R. 589 or other immediate assistance is literally becoming a matter of life and death for many long-term unemployed. This past week a very active person in the 99er community tried to take his life. For privacy reasons, he is identified as 99erX. His roommate and best friend sent the following, in part:

It’s with a sad heart that I’ve returned to let people know that we nearly lost one last night. You all know him as 99erX. I know him as a roommate and best friend. I found him unconscious and barely breathing at a little after 6 this morning from a nicotine overdose. He was rusted to the emergency room and is expected to make a full recovery physically. Emotionally I’m not so sure. He’s one of the strongest people I know and he’d reached the end of his rope. I should have seen it coming with the way he’d become distant, even with the kids. Just figured it was a ‘phase’ or something. He left a simple note that just read: ‘I’m sorry’.

He’s sorry. 99erX has no reason to be sorry, it’s a dysfunctional unemployment system, overseen by clueless high-level bureaucrats and controlled by inept and shortsighted state legilators and congressional representatives that should carry the weight of being sorry. I have had contact with 99erX and he is a very talented, personable and intelligent individual. He is someone who certainly deserves better than he has received from a dispassionate Congress that finds it easier to bailout crooked and corrupted bankers using trillions of taxpayer dollars than to assist millions of vulnerable Americans who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for 99erX.

While Mr. El-Erian states that America is sleepwalking through the unemployment crisis, the unemployed are living with the sleepless nights and reoccurring nightmare of unemployment. Wake up, Congress, the time to act is now.

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8 Comments to “The passage of H.R. 589 could be a lifesaver for some 99ers. Why is it being ignored?”

  1. david says:

    They do not care. Plain and simple. If they did we would not have trade agreements and they would be showing concern for us. THEY DO NOT CARE! Mine ran out last December. My house is for sale. These people in Washington DC are so out of touch the only thing they will understand is “up front and personal and UGLY”! When you are done to NOTHING you have NOTHING to lose!

  2. fed up says:

    I live in Monterey County, CA..Unemployment here is over 12%..HSBC, one the the largest private employer in county plans on restructuring and may close or dispose of this office, making things much worse…HR 589 MUST BE PASSED QUICKLY..and a tier 5
    UE bill be passed



  4. lorraine grippo says:

    Please we need help now. Lets get this bill passed, and make sure the republicans don’t block it

  5. Ben Leet says:

    Readers might also visit “Put America to Work Campaign” that follows Congressional bills promoting direct federal job creation. ( There are several proposals, the People’s Budget sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus received 77 votes from Congressional Reps., all Democrats, 40% of the Democrats in the House, the vote was on April 14. The People’s Budget offered a $145 billion plan. The Economic Policy Institute promotes a $100 billion plan. For $162 billion 7 million jobs would be created according to professor Philip Harvey of Rutgers, whose report “Back to Work” lays out a detailed plan, published and available at Demos. Somehow the public has to raise the temperature on elected representatives to channel the money, restore prosperity. The economy still generates about $47,000 per human each year, over $100,000 per worker, it makes no sense that 30% of the workers are either 1) out of work – 9%, 2) with too little work or discouraged from looking – 10%, or 3) working full-time and full-year at less than poverty level wages – 11%. See for references on those numbers. And here’s an article about full employment :

  6. justasavingguy says:

    You folks should have saved your money and you would not be in this position. How many of YOU 99ers shopped at thrift stores, dented can stores, day old bread stores, drove a 25 year old car, and never ran the A/C before this recession problem????? Until 2 years ago, I grossed over 150K a year with the wife’s income. My family of 5 lived on just under 30K a year in Upland, Ca. I OWN my home (worth over 600K) and my 25 year old car, a 1985 Suburban with 400K on it. My children (3) are all 4.0 students and have earned their way into Ivy League colleges on scholarships. I have managed to save over 1.8 million dollars and because I am a frugal investor, I am now worth over 4.3 million. YES, I did loose close to 1Mil, BUT, I still have over 4 million dollars. 95% of my friends lived well beyond their means and are now broke. IT IS ALLTHEIR FAULT!!! One must learn to SAVE 30% of their net income at minimum. If all of the country had done so and not bought new cars, boats, shopped at whole foods market, purchased clothing at Sax, take vacations, you would probably be in the same position as me. And BTW, I am DEBT FREE!!!! I am now purchasing homes in Riverside County, Ca for 25% of what they were 2-3 years ago. I will then rent them for at least 1300 per month (this is on the low side). SO, after I purchase 7 of these homes for appx 140K each, I will collect 91K per year in rent. After investing just over 1Million dollars, this will give me a return of over 9% for doing nothing but investing my hard SAVED money!!! I know if I had played the stock market aggressively, my financial situation would be MUCH better. But if there is one thing I have learned from this mess it is simply to INVEST WISLEY!! If many of you had lived like I have, you could be doing the same thing. ALSO, after my 26 weeks of UI, I turned down any more payments as I paid into the system to only receive 26 weeks of benefits. I don’t take what I have not earned.

    Something you 99ers are not thinking of, the MAIN reason tier 5 or anything close will NEVER happen is according to my math, there are appx 1.5 million people who qualify for the 99ers situation. IF a tier 5 type of bill is passed, the unemployment rate will go up no less than 1.5%. This TODAY would have unemployment at well over 10%. Now that the GOP has taken over they will get the economy going again with tax cuts for people like me, so I will invest my hard SAVED money to help business grow therefore I can hire some of you and I will benefit with more money in my pocket!!! You will benefit with employment provided by one of my corporations created by me SAVING MONEY!!!

    Please do not misunderstand me. I am VERY good at what I do and I have not been able to find employment for over 2 years, it is REALLY tough out there. I have had 5 interviews out of state which the prospective employers paid for and I am still unemployed. My gripe is that people need to be more frugal with their income and quit trying to purchase things you can’t afford. For example, if you go on daily walks, bring a bag so you can pick up any cans or bottles you might see. Look for lost change and other valuable items on the sidewalk and street. I will bet I have picked up over 1K in the last 10 years on my walks and invested it to create more wealth. It also makes your neighborhood nicer to live in.

    Just something to think about…………

  7. Notsolucky says:

    Aint that just wonderful! Mr. big shot here to tell everybody how to live their lives. Well listen goofball , if were to live the life you just mentioned , I would have to place a gun to my temple and fire! Live an let live!

  8. Notsolucky says:

    and about getting unemployment past 26 weeks . We paid in to it, and we have been payin in to it for years. Where is all that money that was paid in while no body was drawing any UI The thieves in washington, and people like you are the ones who rip us off!

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