Originally Posted by jcp5n
There is undergoing effort to extend unemployment insurance til the end of 2010, which will allow many of us to have the requisite 9 months to modify our loans. Go here for more information and for the link to send a message to your Congressman that you support this. 30 senators have already signed a letter to the Senate Majority leader urging that unemployment benefits be extended til the end of 2010. Let's make our voices heard.
Just FYI -- the letter referenced above from the 30 Democratic Senators suggesting the extension of UI benefits through the end of 2010 was written last week before the attention of Congress turned this week to reining in spending. This focus on budgets is apparently in response to concerns raised by independent voters in recent campaigns -- concerns which incumbents have realized they must address to retain their seats in the mid-term elections later this year.
Yesterday, multiple media sources were reporting that Democrats will try to curb government spending in 2010 with a "pay-as-you-go" plan that would require spending cuts or revenue increases to offset new spending or proposed tax cuts.
Specifically concerning unemployment benefits and the COBRA premium subsidy:
That would mean that the tens of billions of dollars it takes to extend unemployment benefits beyond the six months regularly permitted -- and the billions it takes to subsidize COBRA insurance premiums -- would have to be "paid for" with tax hikes or cuts to other benefit programs when the current extensions expire at the end of February 2010.
Possible escape hatch:
If bipartisan agreement can be reached by Congress, continuing benefits for the long-term unemployed could be categorized as "emergency spending" -- and thus be exempt from the new "pay-as-you-go" proposal. But "emergency spending" is more likely to be passed in increments of three or six months -- not the full ten months remaining in 2010 after the current extensions expire.
In addition, in his State of the Union address on Wednesday, President Obama will reportedly propose a three-year freeze in spending as another way to halt increases in the nation's $1.4 trillion deficit. The limits will be on discretionary spending, and will not be imposed across the board. Safe from the freeze are likely to be: the military, veterans, homeland security, international affairs, as well as Social Security and Medicare.
Obama Unveils Tax Initiatives to Help Middle Class - WSJ.com
Democrats Look to New Budget Rules to Tame Deficit - ABC News
Top Senate Democrat lays out deficit curbs - Capitol Hill- msnbc.com
Senate Leader Proposes Tougher Anti-Deficit Rules (Update1) - BusinessWeek