Yesterday Was The Day Unemployment Benefits Ran Out For Thousands Of People


Yesterday Was The Day Unemploymet Benefits Ran Out For Thousands Of People

People wait in line at a jobs fair in Albany, NY. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Today’s the Day: Long-Term Jobless Benefits Expire

More than 1M affected

By John Johnson, Newser Staff

A political fight on Capitol Hill becomes very real today for about 1.3 million Americans: Their long-term unemployment benefits expire. In the latest budget deal, lawmakers didn’t extend the 5-year-old federal emergency program that provides an average of $300 a month to people who have used up their standard 26 weeks, reports the Wall Street Journal. Expect it to be at the top of Congress’ agenda in 2014, reports the Hill, with Democrats pressing to restore the benefits, perhaps retroactively. Doing so for the full year would cost about $25 billion.

Republicans and libertarians generally argue that the extension was necessary during the worst of the recession, but no more. “This is an emergency program,” says a budget analyst with the Cato Institute think tank. “The emergency has long been over.” The benefits “induce people to wait to start searching for a job, and that ends up kind of hurting them,” he says. Democrats counter that the benefits not only provide vital cash to recipients—Nancy Pelosi called the failure to extend them “immoral” yesterday—but boosts the overall economy by helping people who would otherwise have no money to spend do so. Prospects for an extension are murky given the “constrained fiscal environment,” reports the New York Times. One scenario is that Republicans agree to a 3-month extension if Democrats offset the money with cuts elsewhere.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s