The House passed the bill on a 403-12 vote Thursday, a day after the Senate ended a monthlong stalemate with a 98-0 vote. With some 7,000 people exhausting unemployment benefits every day and the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers set to expire at the end of November, President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign it into law.
The $24 billion package also contains tax credits aimed at struggling businesses.
Why so long to pass it? Republican obstruction, of course. Yesterday it made it out of the Senate on a 98-0 vote, so all those protests from the Pubs weren't really serious after all...
The legislation -- which had been hanging fire in the Senate for weeks -- still required a supermajority vote to close off debate as Republicans held it up, despite the unanimous vote in the end.
The 12 votes against in the House were from the Republicans as well. Ahem. Moving on...
Rep. Mark Schauer's office sent out an announcement just now.
Today Congressman Mark Schauer (D-MI) voted to stimulate the local economy and provide stability to Michigan families hit hardest by the recession by extending unemployment benefits, the homebuyers’ tax credit, and tax relief for military families and businesses. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (HR 3548) will provide immediate assistance, extending relief to the 62,753 Michigan workers whose benefits would otherwise run out by the end of the year.
“This bill will offer a much-needed lifeline to struggling Michigan families and give unemployed workers a chance to get back on their feet,” said Schauer. “The families who receive these benefits will be putting money right back into our local economy – buying groceries, filling their cars with gas, and making their mortgage payments on time.”
According to the DNews yesterday, Michigan workers who exhausted their benefits in 2009 will receive an extra 20 weeks, and those checks should start rolling in mid-December - just in time for Xmas.
Thank you Congress - it is much appreciated here in Michigan.