Unemployment Extension 2014: Petition Demands President Obama Extend Benefits

The 2014 unemployment extension has become a political football, with Republicans arguing that unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed should not be extended. Democrats believe benefits should be reinstated quickly, but the political stalemate has resulted in no action being taken at all. But could an unemployment petition to President Obama on WhiteHouse.gov some how change all that?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, Republicans have argued that the unemployment rate dropped because of unemployment benefits ending. The reason this might be the case is because those who exit the labor market by giving up are not counted, which means the unemployment rate can go down. At the same time, some Republicans also argue that the unemployment extension should not be renewed because it because it supposedly gives an incentive to not actively seek a job as hard compared to if people have run out of options. But one GOP senator hoping to encourage his fellow party members to vote in favor of the 2014 unemployment extension by tying it to a massive tax cut bill.

As of this moment, the battle over the 2014 unemployment extension has stalled out in the House of Representatives. The Senate already passed a bill intending to offer emergency unemployment insurance for an additional five months, but the House has yet to consider the unemployment extension bill. In order to raise public support for the bill, a national effort called “Faces Of The Unemployed” hopes to draw attention to the difficulties faced by the more than 2.6 million Americans effected when their unemployment benefits expired.

There also several unemployment extension petitions attempting to gain enough signatures in order that politicians may take notice. For example, the progressive organization MoveOn.org, which was originally created in response to Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, is attempting to gain attention with their petition. But so far they only have 8,812 signatures:

The unemployment extension petition on WhiteHouse.gov was only created a week ago and so far only has 66 signatures. But part of the problem may be with the way it is worded:

“Respectfully asking President Obama to pass the unemployment extension- millions of Americans need it urgently! Help us! Stop stagnating the bill in the House! Help hard Working Americans get back on their feet!”

As President of the United States, Obama is bound by the limitations of the executive office put into place in order to ensure a balance of power. According to the Origination Clause of the United States Constitution, all bills for raising revenue must originate in the House. The same goes for appropriation bills focused on unemployment benefits. Thus, President Obama can only sign a bill once it is passed both by the House and Senate, and it may be argued that the bill must originate in the House. While some people may believe Obama could issue an executive order for the unemployment extension, such an action would clearly be in violation of the laws as created by Congress. The most the petition could hope for is to receive the 100,000 signatures necessary for President Obama to make an official response.

Do you think there is a middle ground solution for the 2014 unemployment extension bill? Or do you think the House should just allow the five month extension?

[Image via Conservative-Daily.com]