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Washington, D.C. (Aug 5) – In a show of support, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that he supports Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in her attempt to get up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment extensions for those who have exhausted all benefits. The 99ers, at the very least, have support from Congress, individuals who understand that it is not the fact that 99ers do not want to work, but that they cannot find jobs.
“These tough economic times have made it difficult for thousands of out-of-work Ohioans to pay their mortgages and put food on the table for their families,” Brown said. “This critical bill will extend vital unemployment insurance to those individuals in the hardest-hit states who are still struggling to find work after exhausting their original benefits. It also provides incentives for businesses in Ohio and across the country to put these workers back in good-paying jobs.”
Senators Schumer (D-NY), Durbin (D-IL), Levin (D-MI), Casey (D-PA), Dodd (D-CT), Reed (D-RI) and Whitehouse (D-RI) are also co-sponsoring the Americans Want to Work Act.
Twenty additional weeks of unemployment insurance for those in States with an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent and higher could potentially fall into what will most likely come to be called Tier V. The Americans Want to Work Act also would extend the tax credit for new hires to further encourage businesses to take on new employees.
The HIRE Act provides for payroll tax cuts when businesses hire employees who have been out of work longer than 60 days, giving a $1,000 general business tax credit at the end of 12 months of employment. The proposed Americans Want To Work Act would double that tax credit to $2,000 if businesses hire 99ers or anyone who has exhausted their unemployment extensions and benefits.
More than 208,000 Ohio citizens, who had been jobless for eight weeks or longer, were hired and businesses received the HIRE Act payroll tax exemption.
The new Americans Want To Work Act is projected to save $390 million in payroll taxes if enough support can be found to pass this legislation.
To date, those opposing any additional assistance for the millions of unemployed, have come, by a vast majority, from the GOP side of the aisle. Whether this new legislation will come easily, or become another bone of contention upon which the Republicans gnaw and do nothing, has yet to be seen.
T. Cahill – WNV