Unemployment Benefits Extension Could Be Postponed


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On Wednesday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said that the proposition to continue long-term unemployment benefits "is simply unworkable" when questioned about the potential to offer benefits for the beginning five-month lapse of 2014 and stretching retroactively all the way back until December 29, 2013. Reports claim that the Senate is expected to vote on legislation to accommodate the extension of jobless benefits within the foreseeable future; however, debates are already raging regarding the issue.

According to a statement released by Speaker Boehner, "There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by Leader Reid meets that test, and according to these state directors, the bill is also simply unworkable."

Adam Jentleson, who is the spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, does not think that considerations to reach a compromise should be ignored. "It is hard to imagine Speaker Boehner simply walking away from the thousands of people in Ohio who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and need this lifeline to make ends meet while they continue to look for work," Jentleson explained.

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) has expressed concern that the implementation phase could prove to be a complicated process even if the legislation is approved. There could be a significant delay before checks are submitted to unemployed, which may extend beyond the June 1 expiration date initially projected in the bill.

The NASWA sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that read as follows:

"The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) has concerns with S. 2148, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014. This legislation would temporarily reauthorize the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program until June 1, 2014, but would substantially increase the administrative burden on states.

NASWA does not have a position on whether to extend the EUC program because our member states hold varying positions on that question. However, NASWA wants you to know states have significant concerns about the implementation of this legislation."

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