Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 5, 2015

Reid Doubts Unemployment Extension Will Come Up in Highway Bill Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would work as quickly as possible to advance a highway funding patch, but an unemployment extension isn’t likely to get a chance to hitchhike on it.

“The highway bill has to move forward, and I’m going to do everything I can to expedite it as much as I can, quickly,” the Nevada Democrat told reporters.

He signaled that he did not think extraneous items would be attached to the must-pass bill, regardless of which version advances. “I doubt it” Reid said when asked if an unemployment insurance extension would be a piece of the Senate’s highway bill debate.

A highway bill funding extension sponsored by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., sailed through that chamber 367-55 on Tuesday. The bill won support from the White House, meaning it’s beginning to look inevitable that the Senate will eventually accept the Camp bill.

Reid said that he planned votes on alternatives, however.

“Right now, what we’re working on is how to move forward on this legislation. Democrats have a couple of amendments. It’s no secret what they are. It’s the Wyden amendment, the Boxer amendment and the Republicans are, as I understand it, trying to figure out what they want to do in terms of amendments,” Reid said. “So, we’ll see if we can come up with an agreement.”

Led by Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Senate Finance Committee advanced its own extension on a bipartisan basis with a different blend of offsets but a timeline that would punt the highway bill issue into next year, like the House-passed measure.

The amendment from Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., would curtail the duration of the extension in an attempt to force Congress to negotiate a broader bill during the post-election lame duck session.

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  1. Jazzy

    July 16, 2014
    4:32 p.m.

    How much longer will we have to wait, 7 more months?

    Can we just get a simple Yes or No please? (We are still being polite.)

    Kildee, Levin, Pelosi, Horsford, Perez, Obama, Reed, Reid – quit playing politics with our lives. We get it, your career is important, SO IS OURS!

    We watch C-Span.. We know all week you have been renaming post offices…

    • kathy gray

      July 16, 2014
      7:03 p.m.

      Yes, it has been darn right cruel the way they wave this over us every so often with a tease that it “may pass” with this or that. Nothing new is really ever presented and I do believe when they leave for summer recess we are done and folks that is very soon. WOW and I guess we are too small a number for Obama and other government leaders to care. I am very worried and our numbers are growing….

    • Chad Hatten houston

      July 16, 2014
      8:33 p.m.

      Jazzy, why aren’t millions in the street, homeless, if the euc funds were so critical. I’m trying to learn why. You posted a very dire post on another article, I am seriously asking , how long can people hold out. I would expect a wave of millions of forclosures and evictions, and that has yet to happen.

      • God child

        July 16, 2014
        9:28 p.m.

        hey dude most of us are sleeping at a relative or friends house and if you don’t hear about it on the news you would not know but a lot of us lost more than our homes. please believe I never thought it could happ to me. I’ve been working all my life and fiearr time it’s hard for me to find work. Ga has the highest forecloser rate so before you judge,pray you don’t lose your job

        • Chad Hatten houston

          July 16, 2014
          9:32 p.m.

          Not judging, serious question. I would have expected more homelessness, and real political radicalization. If people really lost it and dragged one member of the 1% out of their home for a beating, that would get the attention of the filthy elites.

          • satoshi n.

            July 16, 2014
            9:38 p.m.

            So chad in may is 110 k foreclosures enough for your expectations as congress raids the surplus in the futa fund to spend on jacked up construction highway contracts.

          • Chad Hatten houston

            July 16, 2014
            9:46 p.m.

            one can safely say tens of thousands have lost their homes, due to boehner

      • satoshi n.

        July 16, 2014
        9:29 p.m.

        Just wait , also if u r serious to want to know just go to your local shelter and ask if their is any room for u even if u don’t need it .

        • Chad Hatten houston

          July 16, 2014
          9:35 p.m.

          There was genuine rage at the pigs in the 1%, when the occupy movement was going, I wonder what level of deprivation it will take for violence to break out against the 1%, who have destroyed the country, and caused the LTU problems.

          • Frank

            July 17, 2014
            8:52 a.m.

            Nick Hanauer a member of the 1 percent club is predicting violence against the 1 percent. He claims that if the inequity in the economy is not solved, the pitchforks will come out.

          • Chad Hatten houston

            July 17, 2014
            11:30 a.m.

            even one act against the 1% would change the dynamic, imagine if the LTU marched into a rich 1% neighborhood, then the issue would be addressed, and euc would be done.

      • Moira

        July 18, 2014
        8:54 p.m.

        I fed my two dogs lasagna noodles today. I had a mayonnaise sandwich. I have no money to pay my mortgage, much less food. Hold onto your knickers, Chad, they are indeed coming, as mine is. 40 years working and where the hell did it get me. Unemployment checks are not what we really want. We want jobs.
        So, if ever you become unemployed and have to live on what we did with unemployment compensation (insurance we paid into, as I did for 40 years), then come talk to us and tell us how you feel then.
        Every damn job I apply for wants to know if I’ve been the recipient of welfare, food stamps, SSI or if I’m a minority. Getting the impression they get the preferential treatment for tax breaks. I’ve applied for jobs cleaning home, to manage a Burger King, to being what I was. Nobody has called. 943 job applications and I can’t get a phone call.
        I’m a white, 54 year old woman and nobody can seem to understand why I can’t get a job. Maybe somebody will let me know? Maybe I’ll have to cross over to the Mexican border then cross back just to get caught and have a decent meal like the rest.
        Count your blessings.

        • Chad Hatten houston

          July 18, 2014
          9:22 p.m.

          Yes, most people lose money less quickly on unemployment. I live in the armpit of the nation, Houston, TX, and here, in some parts of town, people can live on unemployment alone, but this is like the third world, compared to the rest of the country.
          You’re right, jobs are the answer, and decent paying jobs. The ghetto/third world areas of Houston, people can still live on minimum wage, but most of the rest of the country cannot. We need a dynamic and growing economy, which we have not had in a decade.

  2. Chad Hatten houston

    July 16, 2014
    4:57 p.m.

    Jazzy, the issue has been hijacked by people demanding retro payments. Their calls the fringe leftists in congress are preventing the majority of votes needed to pass a 5 month forward extension. Soon wayne heddinger, a rich retiree from Louisville, will show up here and troll with his same tired post, and that type of thinking is keeping you from feeding your family.

    • kathy gray

      July 16, 2014
      6:52 p.m.

      I think most of us at this point just want an extension, yes, the absence of the retro payments is disappointing but the extension is needed.

  3. Navy veteran

    July 16, 2014
    6:45 p.m.

    OK, so EUC doesn’t ‘come up’ in Highway Bill debate. It shouldn’t. EUC should be extended based on its’ own merit. That merit being, the 3.5+ million struggling Americans and their 2.6+ million suffering children. Both sides know that stringing out and abandoning these suffering families is immoral. Please work together and get this lifeline re-established before it is too late.

    • kathy gray

      July 16, 2014
      7 p.m.

      Without the EUC hijacking a ride on this bill or the recent Farm bill (missed again) the extension most certainly will die. We have waited months; there are very few jobs and nothing has been done. The psychology I’ve heard around the net is starting to make sense. The Republicans joyfully say “NO” per usual (because like children this is how they compromise), and the Democrats say they (Repubs) are stopping the EUC. In reality, Obama and his coherts love that they are getting credit for a lower employment rate,when it is still at one of the worst rates ever especially for those over 55, and the Republicans think they won by stopping it. Both sides should be thrown out…..the Bill for EUC will not stand alone, sadly.

      • Great Depression1929

        July 16, 2014
        7:27 p.m.

        Microsoft is laying off a record number for their company. Sears, JC Penny and Macys are doing the same by shutting down one store after another. The economy is shot and we can’t get EXTENSIONS?

        • kathy gray

          July 16, 2014
          8 p.m.

          Yes, I don’t know how the politicians can deny when they KNOW things are bad….it is just one side getting even with the other; over issues non related to our fate. Children fighting at our expense. The President should be saying something….that has taken away hope. So sad.

      • Chad Hatten houston

        July 16, 2014
        7:46 p.m.

        many over 55 will never work again, and if they are not close to early social security at 62, that is a major problem.

        • kathy gray

          July 16, 2014
          7:57 p.m.

          Exactly. I am 61 and have never been unemployed; in insurance and have college. I was told by my state Unemployment Workforce Center counselor to do a “functional resume” since I don’t look “old” but my resume shows my age….anyway this is a resume where years are basically taken out – glossing over with your good points. The first job I applied for shot it back stating “years!”
          I sent it back with the years on and guess what? No call, no interview. Another asked if I would work for $8 an hour (made that in 1978) however, out of desperation said I would start at that and again, NO CALL. Wow huh?

          • Chad Hatten houston

            July 16, 2014
            8:01 p.m.

            So maybe you make62, and are forced to take early social security, well that can have long term costs also, because it is a reduced benefit, and the taxpayers make up shortfalls there. It’s very shortsighted thinking by republicans, there are many costs associated with not giving another extension.

          • kathy gray

            July 16, 2014
            8:06 p.m.

            Not many of us can afford to retire at 62 I know I cannot. Many of my family members are much wealthier than I and they are working to 65 even 67. It is disheartening as they are in jobs they’ve had for years – hard to make people understand that starting over is almost impossible. You’re right the reduced benefit puts many on social services or in other programs in the long run.

  4. kathy gray

    July 16, 2014
    6:49 p.m.

    Add Reed to the phoney bloodsuckers! Do not feel any connection to either party anymore…they both are full of devils.

  5. Chad Hatten houston

    July 16, 2014
    7:45 p.m.

    The sad thing nobody talks about, except here, is what happens to the families, when unemployment drags on past six months and on to 12 months. For some, there really has not been a job to take, do they all become homeless and completely wiped out.

    • satoshi n.

      July 16, 2014
      9:25 p.m.

      when couch surfing ends yes

  6. Richard Yancy

    July 16, 2014
    8:13 p.m.

    Where the hell is President Obama????? Executive Order is needed!!! Why dosen’t or haven’t he even done anything????

    • Danny1029

      July 16, 2014
      10:08 p.m.

      Busy giving the money to illegals !!!

  7. P.K.Linwood

    July 16, 2014
    9:46 p.m.

    H.R.4970 is a patch, congress calls failure work. They can’t get the real job done, which is a comprehensive solution to infrastructure problems. The American people are not going to see any benefit from the passage of this bill, they’re just throwing money at the problem once again, not what the people want. Where’s the rhetoric about government not creating jobs?

  8. Jay

    July 16, 2014
    9:49 p.m.

    Yeah Where is Obama? Probably eating ribs and taking a vacation while the long term unemployed suffer. The only politician really trying to help is Heller a Republican…he gets no help from Obama or his even his own party. We need to vote all the out of touch incumbants out of office. They are hurting America.

  9. Tony Montana

    July 16, 2014
    10:18 p.m.

    The most powerful weapon the dems have for November elections is the ability to say that repubs don’t care about the jobless. I don’t know if its not clear to anyone yet what Reid is doing but it should have been clear 3 if not 6 months ago. Now its beyond obvious unless you have your head in the sand.


    July 16, 2014
    11:44 p.m.

    Mr. Reid, have you also abandoned the three million unemployed too? While you’re still able to work and provide a good life for yourself and your family, we’re still suffering financially.The republican and democrats have both failed the more than three million unemployed families who are still without an unemployment extension since late last December. While both political parties walked away from the issue, these millions of families were left in financial ruin and deep poverty. Over the past seven months these families have lost much of what they have ever worked for. while billions of dollars were approved for the Ukraine, and more to support illegals at the border, nothing was given to these families so desperately in need. Where is the compassion and common decency for these unemployed?

  11. biggin

    July 17, 2014
    12:29 a.m.

    if our congress was paid by the hour, maybe more would get done

  12. biggin

    July 17, 2014
    12:39 a.m.


  13. biggin

    July 17, 2014
    12:46 a.m.


  14. Newly unemployed

    July 17, 2014
    10:40 a.m.

    Just got an invitation to interview at Macys…I’m going. I will take any job

    • Vayda

      July 18, 2014
      3:11 a.m.

      I have also, and really liked to cried of the amount the job is paying (minimum rage), in which I have not worked for in 26 years. On the flip side i liked to cried just to be able to have food, gas, utilities etc., the basic needs to live a life here in the good o USA. Poor Shame on them!

  15. satoshi n.

    July 17, 2014
    11:38 a.m.

    Got an idea for the congress and pres first lets take the surplus away from the Futa insurance fund then shove it in the face of the rich highway contractors then have the pres go on a 16 day vacation in the Hamptons in a $12 million dollar house, and make sure 110 k families houses get foreclosed in the month of may 2014, 3 million people still long term unemployed, sound good. Then congress go on vacation.

  16. satoshi n.

    July 18, 2014
    1:06 p.m.

    You will never get an extension so its over. The Congress both sides do not care they will steal the futa surplus and hand to the rich highway contractors. Sure if your under 40 and they might hire you to work on the highway, but it is mostly a high paying job reserved for friends, neighbors, or family of the existing highway worker. The media fails to state full time jobs deleted replaced with part time jobs, and independent contracting to get around paying healthcare and f.t. benefits. Obama gave 40 seconds to the plane shoot up. Where the gas tax go to/Taxes on gasoline and diesel for transportation by U.S. state in U.S. cents per gallon as of April 2014[3]StateGasoline tax
    (includes federal tax of 18.4¢/gal)Diesel tax
    (includes federal tax of 24.4¢/gal)US (Volume-Weighted) Average49.955.4
    Every gallon of gas 50 cents and they are broke for the last how many decades? b.s.

  17. satoshi n.

    July 18, 2014
    1:11 p.m.

    So every 1,000 gallons gas u pay $500.00 for the highway and that is not enough. On diesel it would be $554.00

  18. Dwain Gallo

    July 18, 2014
    3:14 p.m.

    We have been led on a string by these carnival shills in both parties. We all know they are pimps for corporations, bankers and special intertests. They must all be voted out of office and more main stream and independants need to replace them. VOTE!


    July 18, 2014
    3:29 p.m.

    Both political parties have long forgotten about the more than three million unemployed families still without unemployment benefits since late last December. Over the past seven months, these families have fallen deeper and deeper into financial ruin and poverty. Both parties seem to lack the compassion to even care. While the republicans have fought tooth & nail on behalf of their constituent the Koch brothers, they continued to ignore the poor & unemployed. Congress has approved billions of dollars for the Ukraine, but lacks the moral fiber to help our own people in this country. These families are not going away, they are still in desperate need of a retro extension bill to help them recover from this economic catastrophe. Where are the “family values” which the republicans represent themselves as having??

  20. erick

    July 18, 2014
    4:10 p.m.

    Pass HR 1579 the “Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013″. This will impose a financial transfer tax on wall street financial transactions, thereby reducing the deficit. This way the drug money laundering banks an cocaine sniffing stock brokers will contribute to something use full.

  21. Frank

    July 19, 2014
    9:52 a.m.

    My state of New Jersey tied for next to last in job creation in the last five years with a 1.4 percent increase in jobs since the recession. Take into consideration an increase of people looking for jobs in the last five years we are no better off now. The Republicans just stole any chance we had of getting help. Make sure you get out to vote in November. We will soon be silenced because the unemployment forums will be going away.

    • Chad Hatten houston

      July 21, 2014
      9:30 p.m.

      yes, the new economy and new normal suck

    • KDJ

      Aug. 28, 2014
      9:26 p.m.

      8/28/14 Frank, I know you want me to chill out but it’s hard to do. He’s been trying to get me to comment to him all day and I’ve held my tongue but I ended up doing what I told myself I wouldn’t do. I’m going to try to sit back and watch so I don’t look like I’m a provoker, Deal?

    • KDJ

      Aug. 29, 2014
      7:55 p.m.

      I’m biting my tongue right now! His truck driving comment pisses me off. I’ve earned every penny I’ve made in my life and I did it legally. It’s hard not to comment back.

      • Frank

        Aug. 29, 2014
        8:13 p.m.

        You here kd ?

      • Frank

        Aug. 29, 2014
        9:25 p.m.

        If we manage to hook up on here I can clue you in to what happened.

  22. desperately inneedofajob

    July 19, 2014
    1:01 p.m.

    It is unfortunate that our government has allowed more than 4 million Americans to suffer without any regrets!!!! They have more compassion for foreign countries, immigrants and wars being wage in other counties than they do for Americans!!!!!!!SMH


    July 19, 2014
    6:23 p.m.

    Shame on both the Republicans & Democrats for failing to pass the Unemployment Extension Bill for the more than three million unemployed families, who have been without benefits since late last December. Both parties have failed these unemployed Americans miserably. For more than seven months now, these families have continued to fall into financial ruin & deep poverty. These workers thought that both parties would eventually do the just and morally correct thing, and pass the bill in the senate. But that was sadly not what happened. The Republican senate were too busy fighting on behalf of their “supporter” the Koch Brother’s oil pipeline bill. They have clearly made it known just for whom their party answers to, and whom they support. And it is not you or I my friends. The Democrats too have chosen to give up and walk away from these millions of unemployed families. They have shown a total lack of resolve and integrity. In the coming elections, we the people, need to clean house. We need to elect “public servants” again, Remember them? They’re the ones that “serve” the public.

  24. Jim Labruno

    July 20, 2014
    7:22 a.m.

    Anyone sitting at home still thinking one day they are going to get a unemployment extension are going to wind up homeless. Get up and get a job. The extension is NEVER going to happen. If that is not obvious to you by now that is your biggest problem. The government and Bohner or whatever his name is do not give a damn about us little people. They do not lost 5 minutes sleep over us. So its never going to happen.

  25. Yonatan YONATAN

    July 21, 2014
    6:30 p.m.

    Mr. Reid,
    When will you finally do something about the more than three million STILL unemployed workers STILL without an unemployment extension since late last December? Over these past seven months of waiting patiently for the senate & government to do the correct and moral thing, to pass the bill, these families have been falling deeper and deeper into financial ruin and poverty. The longer these benefits are withheld, more & more might never be able to recover from. These families are in a desperate situation. Why can we give billions in foreign aid, and even more in military aid, but refuse to take care of our own people here at home. We send our sons & daughters off to war, but will not take care of their unemployed loved ones at home

  26. Chad Hatten houston

    July 21, 2014
    9:29 p.m.

    3 million and growing, end of ear 5million


    July 22, 2014
    6:33 p.m.

    It’s amazing what can be done when the democrats REALLY want something done. What about the more than three million STILL unemployed families who are STILL without an unemployment extension since late last December? Have they forgotten about this group already? These families have been falling deeper and deeper into financial ruin over the past seven months, while both political parties played their party politics. Why is it that other countries receive financial aid, but NOT our own citizens here? Look what a disgrace the VA has been to out veterans? Who are you working for? Yourselves??

  28. Chad Hatten Houston

    July 23, 2014
    1:17 p.m.

    agreed, they just do not care

  29. Daniel Ryan

    Aug. 7, 2014
    6:11 p.m.

    I wish all the unemployed families could be hired to build a fence across US/Mexico border tmrw!! Now theres a solution

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