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house Bill H.R. 1136

Should You Have to Pee in a Cup to Get Unemployment Benefits?

Argument in favor

Drug users should not be able to benefit from the federal unemployment system. People have to pass drug tests when they apply for a job – the unemployed should have to do the same to get their pay out.

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04/14/2015
I say yes but only if you eliminate marijuana from the testing. It is a plant that people use every single day. I dont care if the marijuana was recreation or medicine it should not be tested because it does stay in the system. Meth, Heroin, and Coke those are all drugs that we need to be worried about but a natural plant come on. People should not be denied benefits for marijuana use.
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Martyn's Opinion
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04/21/2015
I have to take random drug tests, why shouldn't those living off the government be held to the same standard.
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Dakota's Opinion
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04/02/2015
Unemployed illegal drug users should not be entitle to everyone else's tax paying dollars just for them to potentially use that money to buy more drugs.
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Argument opposed

Denying aid to the unemployed targets the most vulnerable. This bill completely disregards the use of medical marijuana by people who may be unemployed because of an injury or illness.

Jeremy's Opinion
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05/25/2015
You have already paid for these benefits. That's why it's unemployment insurance not unemployment gifts. It's your money. Period.
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Evan's Opinion
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05/26/2015
Florida tried this with welfare, and ended up spending more money on testing than they saved by cutting off people who failed the test. Less than worthless as a cost-saving measure.
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standupmike's Opinion
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03/12/2015
its no ones business what I did last week it should not have anything to do with whether I get benefits or not
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What is House Bill H.R. 1136?

If you lose your job and cannot find work, you are entitled to unemployment benefits under Title III of the Social Security Act. You would not have to pee in a cup.


If this bill passes those drug-test-free days would be over. The bill would require states to drug test everyone who applies for unemployment benefits and everyone who already receives them. 


If the test is negative, the unemployment benefits are yours! But if it’s positive, you have to wait 30 days before retesting to receive your benefits. Did you test positive three times in a row? You’re going to have five years before you can even think about receiving unemployment compensation, because that’s how long you’ll have to wait before you can test again.

Impact

People receiving unemployment, people applying for unemployment, people at risk for losing their jobs, taxpayers

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1136

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: 

Sponsoring Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM) said he introduced this bill into the House to benefit his constituency. In a press release, he cites New Mexico resident, Katy Petemeier, who remarks:
“As a small business owner, I know the difficulty of finding qualified, drug-free employees.” 
According to Pearce, her frustration echoes throughout the country. Supporters hope this bill will parallel the efforts that private businesses employ to ensure employees refrain from drug use. It is also considered a responsible use of taxpayer money.

Still, state led efforts to drug-test the unemployed have faced immense challenges: the expense of running the programs rarely justifies the few drug users they discover. If this bill passes, applicants would pay for their own drug tests, but the federal government would reimburse all applicants with negative results with taxpayer dollars. Indeed, a similar law in Florida cost the state $45,780.


Media: 

Sponsoring Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM) Press Release
Countable YouTube

Huffington Post

Alternet (against)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user micahb37)

AKA

Accountability in Unemployment Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend title III of the Social Security Act to require States to implement a drug testing program for applicants for and recipients of unemployment compensation.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
      Health
    IntroducedFebruary 26th, 2015
    I say yes but only if you eliminate marijuana from the testing. It is a plant that people use every single day. I dont care if the marijuana was recreation or medicine it should not be tested because it does stay in the system. Meth, Heroin, and Coke those are all drugs that we need to be worried about but a natural plant come on. People should not be denied benefits for marijuana use.
    Like (175)
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    You have already paid for these benefits. That's why it's unemployment insurance not unemployment gifts. It's your money. Period.
    Like (56)
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    Florida tried this with welfare, and ended up spending more money on testing than they saved by cutting off people who failed the test. Less than worthless as a cost-saving measure.
    Like (44)
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    I have to take random drug tests, why shouldn't those living off the government be held to the same standard.
    Like (30)
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    Unemployed illegal drug users should not be entitle to everyone else's tax paying dollars just for them to potentially use that money to buy more drugs.
    Like (23)
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    its no ones business what I did last week it should not have anything to do with whether I get benefits or not
    Like (18)
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    Someone's personal life has nothing to do with their work ethic. If they can't keep them separate then that's probably why they lost their job. Requiring them to pee in a cup is degrading because we don't ask corporations to do so when we graciously hand out billions of dollars in subsidies. We shouldn't do that to actual people either.
    Like (16)
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    Because this has proven fruitless in two states already. And until the politicians who suggest this legislation can prove their friends or family won't profit off of this by owning the drug testing company then I say back off.
    Like (16)
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    People who are unemployed are NOT criminals. They are victims of an unfair economy. It is legally & morally wrong to act punitively toward American citizens who have done nothing wrong as if being unemployed was a crime & they were somehow suspect because their job disappeared Into China or Mexico or Guatemala. This is the oligarchy at it's most vile: not being wealthy has become synonymous with being an addict. If we pee tested Members of the House & Senate and their staff members, we would find more drug users than among those who actually work for their inadequate income!.
    Like (11)
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    Yes and why not if your taking tax payers money don't they have the right to know its not being spent on drugs
    Like (9)
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    As much as I like the idea, there are too many negatives than there are positives..
    Like (7)
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    The State collection of bodily fluids as a condition of participation in the social welfare system is abhorrent to any common sense notions of justice in contemporary society.
    Like (7)
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    I have to work for the money they are getting and I have to pass a drug test so why shouldn't they have to?
    Like (6)
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    You need to pass a drug test to get a job. You should for this too. Even for marijuana. It's only fair.
    Like (6)
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    People who use medical marijuana would be denied benefits thus unable to afford rent and feed their families which will leave them homeless. Do we want to put a family on the street just because some politician wants to puff up their chest by saying how tough they are on crime and to prove it they throw a family on the street. To me that is a crime in itself.
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    If you are on illegal narcotics the chances of you getting a job, keeping it, and being a productive tax payer is extremely low. Better to recognize that, put them in jail/treatment and move on.
    Like (4)
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    Why are lawmakers continually targeting those who are most susceptible & are in need of help? Until we treat drug abuse as a medical issue & treated accordingly, Americans should not be required to submit to tests which may result in self-incrimination just to receive assistance. It is hard enough to recognize that you need assistance & harder still to ask for help -- let's not make it any more difficult.
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    I say let the political leadership lead by example and get tested first.
    Like (3)
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    I say nay because drug testing is really only effective against marijuana users who should be able able to freely use the drug at their own discretion like tobacco of alcohol
    Like (3)
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    I had to pee in the military.......they should too
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