unemployment extension

Unemployment Extension: Still Dead

Kevin McCarthy of Boonsboro, Md., speaks about his troubles living without an unemployment insurance extension during a rally on the House steps of the Capitol on May 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Long-term unemployed people still wondering if Congress will act on an unemployment extension restoring benefits for millions before going home for the August recess are going to be disappointed again.  

The expired emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) program is still dead, and shows no real signs of life beyond weekly press events from Democrats and the occasional long shot proposal from a senator or two.  

Reid: Unemployment Extension Could Get Attached to Supplemental

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he hopes senators get a chance to add an unemployment extension to the $4.3 billion emergency spending bill.  

"Well, there’s a chance," the Nevada Democrat said when asked about the odds Sen. Jack Reed would be able to attach an unemployment extension to the supplemental.  

Unemployment Extension: Score One for Gridlock

A Senate-passed unemployment extension would have expired yesterday. Kevin McCarthy, of Boonsboro, Md., speaks about his troubles living without an unemployment insurance extension during a rally on the House steps of the Capitol on May 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It's official: Gridlock is winning the battle over an unemployment extension. It's June 1, the day after a Senate-passed unemployment benefits extension would have expired, and advocates are no closer to restoring them.  

An estimated 2.9 million unemployed workers have been cut off from the now-defunct Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. A House discharge petition started by Democrats aimed at forcing the bill on the floor stalled at 193 signatures — 25 short the 218 needed. No one has signed since March.  

Portman Never Pressed Boehner on Unemployment Extension

Portman hasn't pressured Boehner to vote on an unemployment extension. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rob Portman, who provided the key vote to pass an unemployment extension in the Senate, never pressed Speaker John A. Boehner to hold a vote on it in the House.  

Portman told Gannett he didn’t try to press Boehner, his fellow Ohio Republican, to put the bill on the House floor because it wouldn’t have been a productive move.  

No Action on Unemployment Extension as Senate Leaves Town

Reed's efforts to revive an unemployment extension in 2014 have failed so far. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

None of the long-shot scenarios for additional Senate action on an unemployment extension materialized before the Senate skipped town for another recess Thursday. The Senate will not return until June 2 — more than five months after Congress allowed the benefits to expire. Democrats and President Barack Obama agreed to a budget deal that left the benefits on the cutting room floor shortly before they expired, and have been pushing unsuccessfully ever since to revive them.  

House Republican leaders have no plans to take up the Senate-passed unemployment benefits extension and only a handful of them are calling for restoring the benefits. Obama has yet to make a personal appeal to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and is apparently uninterested in the type of hardball horse-trading (video)  it would likely take to resurrect the issue.  

Carney: 'A Shame' Unemployment Extension Is Going Nowhere (Video)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday it's "a shame" that House Republicans haven't passed an unemployment extension — and suggested they should act without requiring something in return.  

"It is our view that these are benefits that ought to be extended to Americans — to millions of Americans who need them," Carney said. "We do not view it as a cynical horse-trading exercise to achieve some ideological objective."  

Unemployment Extension Amendment Offered on Tax Cut Bill

Reed hopes to add a one-year extension to the Senate's $85 billion tax cut bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jack Reed wants to add a one-year unemployment extension to the Senate's $85 billion tax cut bill, but his amendment is a long-shot to pass the Senate, let alone become law.  

The Rhode Island Democrat's proposal would be retroactive to December — so people who have gone without checks for months would be eligible for a sizable lump sum.  

Unemployment Extension May Be 'Back to the Drawing Board,' Senator Says

Reed says it might be "back to the drawing board" for an unemployment extension. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An unemployment extension may be headed "back to the drawing board" with the Senate unlikely to attach it to a package of tax breaks and no sign of movement in the House.  

As time runs out for the House to act on a five-month, Senate-passed unemployment extension, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the main Democratic sponsor of the unemployment benefits bill, said the odds of attaching it to a tax cut package on the Senate floor are long given what just happened with the bipartisan energy efficiency bill.