Unemployment Benefits Expire For 1.3 Million

    December 28, 2013
    Rachel Kolman
    Comments are off for this post.

This weekend, millions of Americans are suddenly going to stop receiving their unemployment benefits. The extended federal benefits plan expires this Saturday, the 28th, forcing 1.3 million to go without a source of income.

These long-term federal benefits were created by President Bush in the recession of 2008, and since then have been extended 11 more times. The most recent extension allowed for a total of 73 weeks of government assistance. But last week, Congress failed to extend the benefits plan any further.

Federal long-term benefits kick in after the state’s unemployment benefits have run out. On average, long-term unemployment runs from 14 to 47 weeks. The typical weekly benefit check is $300. Which is roughly the pay of a full-time job at minimum wage. The Obama administration says these weekly checks were enough to keep 11 million Americans above the poverty line and supported roughly 17 million children. And now, that source of reliable income is gone.

So how long will these long-unemployed have to live without benefits? According to CNN, senators will bring it to vote as soon as they are back from recess. A majority of Democrats have pushed for another extension but are facing opposition from Republicans, forcing a stalemate.

The benefit extension plan isn’t cheap: according to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost to extend the federal benefits by another year is around $26 billion. But many argue that the extra money helps stimulate the economy, as families use their checks for groceries, shopping, and paying the bills. President Obama supports extension of the plan, calling on Congress to make temporary extension their “first order of business” in 2014. Obama has said that he would sign a proposal “right away,” but with the stalemate between Republicans and Democrats, prospects for immediately passing the bill seem weak.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • Johnny

    I can’t help but think of the movie Scarface when Tony Montana says, “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” I would substitute women for the Government.
    Since the financial meltdown of 2008 and the Tea Party takeover of the GOP the grab for power has been unprecedented. The free for all give-a-way of the Financial Institutions paid for by our tax dollars was the BIGGEST white-collar crime of all time. Sorry for the movie quotes but I love the irony. From the movie Killing Me Softly at the end Brad Pitts character (Jackie Cogan)in a conversation with his contractor/employer (Driver)

    “Barack Obama (on TV): …to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental
    truth, that, out of many, we are one…
    Driver: You hear that line? Line’s
    for you
    Jackie Cogan: Don’t make me laugh. One people. It’s a myth created by
    Thomas Jefferson.
    Driver: Oh, so now you’re going to have a go at Jefferson,
    Jackie Cogan: My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint. Because
    he wrote the words all men are created equal, words he clearly didn’t believe
    since he allowed his own children to live in slavery.
    Jackie Cogan: He’s a
    rich wine snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the brits. So, yeah, he writes some
    lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for for those
    Jackie Cogan: This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community?
    Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own.
    America’s not a country. It’s just a business.”

    How true are those words today, we are so far removed from the days when the Unions(how ever flawed)were strong and wages for the middle class was healthy. When did caring for the American public become a bad word, compassion, empathy and just plain love. I was raised to believe that America was the greatest country in the world because we valued HOPE, hope that the average person who lived in America could become something, anything.
    I can only imagine what would be on the agenda in January 2015 if the Republicans took control of the Senate. More tax cuts for the rich, slashing Social Security, repealing Obamacare, rolling back the Clean Air Act, cutting nutrition assistance for children, rolling back women’s health. This could and can happen, yours is a voice(CNN)that can help us who have no $$$ big money platform to get the message out. I believe as with the attempts to de-fund Obamacare, the Tea Party’s attempt to de-fund the middle case it in full force. If we have no options but to take an $8hr partime job versus a fair pay for a good days work then how can we compete against the SUPER PACS of Citizens United. Like Gerry mandering, Immigration Reform is a big threat to the Right, they are attacking policies for hard-working Americans like never before. We need to Extend Federal Unemployment Benefits, Raise the Minimum Wage, and pass Immigration reform.

    The stakes are high. And we can’t afford to wait until next November to swing into action and share our concerns as Americans. Already, right-wing front groups funded by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are spending millions of dollars attacking candidates from coast to coast. Already, the polls in those races are tightening. And already, dozens of candidates need support so they have enough funds to fight back. If the average American cannot contribute then who wins?

    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts,

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/rich-ord Rich Ord

      Johnny – Taxing businesses to death kills jobs. Increasing government regulations kills jobs. Electing Democrats who clearly want to tax more and regulate more KILLS JOBS.

  • Donnie Conklin

    Why do americans have to suffer so much to live in United States. Funding for those receiving unemployment should have been addressed and approved long before benefits run out. How do these families survive in this world with no money?