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Senate Proceeding on Jun 23rd, 2010 :: 1:20:00 to 1:29:35
Total video length: 3 hours 31 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Jeff Bingaman

1:19:41 to 1:20:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bingaman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that kevin windroth and lia pasner of my office be granted floor privileges for today, june 23. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bingaman: mr. president, i want to speak briefly about the issue of unemployment insurance benefits.

Jeff Bingaman

1:20:00 to 1:29:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Bingaman

Jeff Bingaman

1:20:04 to 1:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: these benefits we -- we allow, we the congress, allowed these benefits to expire 21 days ago. i believe there's a major misperception on the part of some about what the effect of this is. this provision -- this proposal

Jeff Bingaman

1:20:26 to 1:20:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: to extend these benefits is talked about as a so-called extension of unemployment insurance. that suggests that the provision simply provides additional weeks of unemployment compensation payments to people who have used up all their benefits. understandably there are people in my state and around the

Jeff Bingaman

1:20:47 to 1:21:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: country who say, wait a minute, at some point you don't want to keep adding more and more weeks of unemployment benefits. but what we need to understand is that's not what we're proposing to do here. what we have been trying to do is not to add more weeks, but merely to allow unemployed --

Jeff Bingaman

1:21:08 to 1:21:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the unemployed to continue drawing the same number of weeks of benefits that they were able to draw prior to the expiration of the program we're trying to extend. the provision does not provide additional payments to anyone who has exhausted his or her

Jeff Bingaman

1:21:29 to 1:21:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: federal and state benefits before the authorization of this program expired june 2. it does not extend the number of weeks of benefits under the programs. rather it simply allows the programs to continue operating for people who use up the weeks of state-provided unemployment benefits that are available to

Jeff Bingaman

1:21:50 to 1:22:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: them. in plain language, what this provision would do is give a person who has lost his or her job last month the same unemployment compensation benefits as someone who lost his or her job a full year ago. now, what are we talking about here as far as the amount of

Jeff Bingaman

1:22:13 to 1:22:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: these benefits? there's a -- an editorial in "the new york times" this morning indicati that the average check -- unemployment check is $309 a week. it's not that -- that high in my state. it's $5 a week is the average. but we are not talking about

Jeff Bingaman

1:22:34 to 1:22:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: a -- a -- a vast amoun of money. particularly if a person is trying to support a family and trying to pay some portion of their bills while they seek another job. and people need to understand also that you cannot draw unemployment benefits under the state programs or the federal programs unless you continue to

Jeff Bingaman

1:22:56 to 1:23:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: be actively seeking employment. so in plain language what this provision would do is give a person who lost his or her job just recently the same opportunity that people who lost their jobs sometime ago have had. the bill we're debating would

Jeff Bingaman

1:23:20 to 1:23:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: allow what we call the emergency unemployment compensation program to continue operating. a person who loses his job is eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of benefit through the state unemployment compensation program. and when those benefits are exhausted some states add additional benefits through what

Jeff Bingaman

1:23:43 to 1:24:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: they call extended benefit program. once all the state benefits have en exhausted, the person may be eligible to receive additional benefits through this emergency unemployment compensation program which is the subject of our discussion. that program is what we're

Jeff Bingaman

1:24:06 to 1:24:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: debating today as part of this extenders package. clearly the date on which a person becomes eligible for the emergency unemployment compensation program depends on when that person lost his or her job. moreover the number of payments for which that person is eligible also depends on when he

Jeff Bingaman

1:24:27 to 1:24:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: lost that job because the benefits are paid in a series of four tiers, which each tier lasting a certain number of weeks. because this program has been forced to stop operating, people who have lost their job recently will not receive as much unemployment compensation or as many weeks of unemployment

Jeff Bingaman

1:24:48 to 1:25:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: compensation as people who lost their jobs months ago. continuing the emergency unemployment compensation program is simply a matter of fairness to those people if they continue to seek employment. from the week of june 2, 21 days

Jeff Bingaman

1:25:09 to 1:25:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: ago, when thi program expired, until the end of last week there were right at 4,000 people in my state who had run out of state benefits. so those -- those individuals then would find they did not have the benefit that they could have had had they -- had they

Jeff Bingaman

1:25:30 to 1:25:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: run out of state benefits an lost -- and lost their jobs a few weeks earlier. until the congress acts, none of these people will be eligible for emergency unemployment compensation program. an additional 4,600 people who aren one of the lower tiers of the emergency unemployment program will exhaust their tier of benefits and be unable to

Jeff Bingaman

1:25:51 to 1:26:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: receive the next tier of benefits. that's roughly 8,000 new mexicans w will be affected by this expiration of this federal program. in my view the obstruction that has forced this program to stop is not fair to those new mexicans. it's not fair to many americans. these are people who worked for

Jeff Bingaman

1:26:12 to 1:26:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: companies that were able to hang on to their employees longer than other companies once the recession hit. cutting the benefits of -- of these individuals is not fair. and these individuals are ones that primarily that live in states like my home state of new pokes he could where the -- of

Jeff Bingaman

1:26:36 to 1:26:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: new mexico where the rescission hit hardest a few months later than other parts of the country. it's not fair that people in these states should be eligible for fewer weeks of benefits when they have paid into the unemployment insurance system just like everybody else. it's easy to find maps on the internet that show the states that disadvantaged by what the

Jeff Bingaman

1:26:58 to 1:27:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: senate has failed to do here. there are animated maps that show how high unemployment spread across the country. it started in the east coast and the west coast and it crept toward the middle of the country. states like new mexico and texas and oklahoma and kansas and nebraska and wyoming, south

Jeff Bingaman

1:27:19 to 1:27:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: dakota, and colorado, i would say for the presiding officer, were among the last to be affected by the recession. it is the people of these states who are being disadvantaged because the emergency unemployment compensation programas been allowedo lapse. i want to be clear that i do not believe this program needs to be

Jeff Bingaman

1:27:40 to 1:28:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: continued indefinitely. not least because of the substantial cost involved. when the job market improves, we need to find a way to phase out these costs. we shoul choose, in my the fair thing to do would be to choose a date and say that people who lose their job after that date and begin drawing

Jeff Bingaman

1:28:02 to 1:28:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: unemployment benefits after that date will not be eligible to receive the extra weeks of benefits that the federal government is adding to what the states are providing. the economy is much better than it was last year when the country was losing 750,000 jobs every month. the freefall has stopped.

Jeff Bingaman

1:28:24 to 1:28:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the private sector is once again creating jobs at a very modest level. but the unemployment still is at 8.7% in my state of new mexico, at 9.7% nationally and now is not the time to eliminate the assistance that this program has been providing to the many

Jeff Bingaman

1:28:45 to 1:29:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: people who have been forced to lose their job during this recession. i urge my colleagues to support the continuation of this emergency compensation program until we can find a fairier way to phase it out and terminate these extra benefits. mr. president, i yield the

Jeff Bingaman

1:29:09 to 1:29:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: floor, and i see a colleague a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from recognized. mr. lemieux: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent at the conclusion of my remarks the senior senator from new hampshire be recognized. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. lemieux: thank you, mr president. america is facing a lot of challenges. we have the issue of

Jeff Bingaman

1:29:30 to 1:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: unemployment compensation that my colleague just mentioned and how to pay for that so we don't put this country into further debt.

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