Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014 Passes the Senate

The EUC temporary extension bill that has been debated for months was finally brought to a vote on the floor of the US Senate as an amendment to HR 3979 late yesterday and passed on a vote of 59 to 38 with three abstentions.  It was significant that the vote on the bill only received 59 votes in favor after earlier obtaining a 61 vote margin on cloture. The bill text is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr3979eas/pdf/BILLS-113hr3979eas.pdf

The House is not likely to take up this bill before the Spring recess and even less likely to take it up later in April (one month before the temporary extension would expire).

The substance of the bill as passed is virtually the same as it has been for some time, and continues to include the retroactive application provision to pay claims going back to the week after December 28, 2013 and the “no reduction” provision that would prohibit states from reducing the average weekly benefit amount of benefits as compared to the average as of June 2, 2010. There is a special provision inserted for North Carolina to enable the state to enter an EUC agreement to pay claims beginning December 29, 2013 notwithstanding the enactment of state legislation in 2013 that caused the US DOL to cancel the EUC agreement.

It is possible that a jobs bill could be developed in the House that would include a provision to assist unemployed workers in their work search efforts, and we continue to discuss UI integrity measures as well that would improve the solvency and integrity of the system.