According to official statistics, nearly 15 million Americans are unemployed. Between 2 and 4 million of them are expected to exhaust their state unemployment insurance benefits between now and May. Historically, during times of high unemployment, Congress provides extra cash to extend the benefits. Congress has never failed to do so when unemployment is above 7.2%. Today’s unemployment rate is above 9% and the lame duck session of Congress has so far failed to extend the benefits.
Congress has until November 30 to renew two federal programs to extend unemployment benefits, as David Moberg reports for Working In These Times. Last week, a bill to extend benefits for an additional three months failed to garner the two-thirds majority it needed to pass in the House. The House will probably take up the issue again this session, possibly for a one-year extension, but as Moberg notes, it’s unclear how the bill will fare in the Senate. The implications are dire, as Moberg notes:
The result? Not just huge personal and familial hardships that scars the lives of young and old both economically and psychologically for years to come. But failure to renew extended benefits would also slow the recovery, raise unemployment, and deepen the fiscal crises of state and federal governments.
But wait! There’s more:
Read more: charles ferguson, david moberg, dean baker, denise distephan, economy, Extension, fed, film, grittv, house, in these times, laura flanders, matthew rothschild, movie, paycheck fairness act, politics, quantitative easing, review, senate, the nation
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by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
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