A Tier 5 unemployment extension is needed by 99ers, and the Americans Want to Work Act has been introduced by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). However, the Senate Finance Committee has yet to discuss the bill.
The bill would add 20 additional weeks of benefits for those in states with over 7.5% unemployment. Furthermore, employers would be given tax incentives to hire displaced workers. The situation is clearly win-win, and would not only create jobs but save employers money.
There are two versions of the bill – one in the House and the other in the Senate. The timing of the bills is very similar to the passage of Tier 3 and Tier 4 legislation last year. If 20 additional weeks of benefits are made available, some venture to say that they will try to pass the bill as close to winter as possible, allowing families to have money for Christmas and heating bills.
Still, we are in the election season very, very soon – and that could come in to play as well. As incumbents are scrambling to keep their jobs, the excitement and panic driven by the election season could come in to play.
I think that a Tier 5 extension will be made, but it won’t be until the elections are over. That’s actually under three months away.