Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten

As politicians have shifted their focus to a discussion of minimum wage this spring, addressing the December expiration of emergency unemployment benefits, retroactively, appeared increasingly difficult. However, the Senate now appears ready to raise the issue, again, nearly two months after the emergency benefits expired.

The number of Americans, who have been cut off from unemployment insurance due to congressional inaction, will swell to just under 2 million people as February draws to a close. Approximately 1.3 million Americans were abruptly cut off from the program on Dec. 28, 2013, and the number denied benefits will continue to grow without congressional action. More than $3 billion in unemployment checks has not been distributed to unemployed workers as a result of the program‘s expiration.

The cut in unemployment compensation will continue to exacerbate shortages at food banks, elevate mortgage delinquency rates, and inhibit the ability of job-seekers to continue their search, if no action is taken.

Payroll employment, the labor market participation rate, and long-term unemployment have still not returned to pre-recession levels, and robust job growth in the near term appears unlikely. For these reasons, efforts to extend emergency unemployment compensation have attracted bipartisan support, especially among conservatives in states still plagued with high unemployment. Nonetheless, only four Republican Senators supported moving forward with the proposal in a procedural vote in early February.

Extending emergency unemployment benefits is a vital piece of unfinished business for this Congress, and it is perhaps the only vehicle of its kind that could provide relief to job-seekers trying to make it in a tough market. An extension of the emergency unemployment compensation program (EUC) should continue to be pursed for the same reasons the minimum wage should be increased-- the economy is not working for the average American. We can, and should, help low-wage job workers, those working part-time for economic reasons, and unemployed job seekers.

For a breakdown of ongoing state-by-state impacts, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has produced a concise chart that extends through December 2014 here.

 

For Further Reading:

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not ForgottenThe Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take ActionThe Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the GovernmentThe Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the SenateThe Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the HouseThe Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the SenateThe Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014

Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits   and Rush through Corporate Tax CutsThe Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the HouseThe Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014

Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment CompensationGovernment Matters, April 22, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax ExtendersThe Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014

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WE WILL GET OUR PAYBACK ON THIS GOVERNMENT COME ELECTION TIME. LETS SEE HOW THEY DO BEING UNEMPLOYEED. WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND CONTROL OUR GOVERNMENT INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM CONTROL US. WHO'S WITH ME???
Wow when It is going to happen Stop playing And get together
Come on congress we as Americans need your help! If there is not a time they we needed you guys help today is the day we need help we are suffering so bad out here we are turning to illegal activities and we don't want that.
At times It really makes you wonder if we are humans or pawns in Congresses chess game! It's truly sad and disheartening to be an American. Especially when you consider what we've all been thru together. It hasn't been A day that's passed when I don't still feel pain about 9/11.. I lost my job because I broke my kneecap and I was let go, Do you people think were not trying to find work? You honestly think we would rather stay home and collect rather get up and work? Majority of us have children and we want too be Role Models.. I watch you people debate over hunting grounds,Flood damage etc and you have people millions of us in disarray. I am humble always and I won't blame just Republicans It's Democrats also because it's no way you people can sleep well at night and not think about us. Btw it's 3 degrees where I'm at my 2 daughters are in bed fully dressed undercover. It was either food shopping or gas bill.
I was on unemployment before this mess of a political debate. I have moved in with my parents so I could stay off the streets and to keep my car. I have run through my savings and expect it to be repossessed in the following month. My landlord is suing me for missed payment. I have contacted my congressman and he has voted in favor of unemployment extension. I have overstayed my welcome back at home since they no longer live in my childhood home.
How many vacations have they all had, just since the first if the year ? I bet you anything they were enjoying there selfs somewhere nice and warm. when all the time we were trying to stay warm, keeping our home at 58 degrees,to keep the electric bill down. Another question ? What did they all eat for dinner last night ? Im sure it was nice, and more than likely at a very expensive restaurant . I HOPE THEY ALL GET WHATS COMING TO THEM !!!!!!!!!!
I served my country honorably and would have been proud to die for it, after all we WERE THE GREATEST NATION THIS WORLD HAD EVER KNOWN. Not so sure anymore, the republicans want to say we are LAZY...LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT? Say it to my face, I'll be happy to sit with any one of you. I WANT to continue working, did not ask for a layoff yet here I am. Week 26 was the end of December thanks doodlebugs...you weren't even smart enough to wait til spring started and give people a chance when the trades start to pick up. For any readers suffering, look up what CONGRESS MAKES PER YEAR, ADD IN ALL THEIR BENEFITS AND THEN THE NUMBER OF DAYS THEY NEED TO ACTUALLY BE IN SESSION. A BUNCH OF DAMN THRIVES!!!!! But you damn we'll better believe they do anything big business asks, that's why they get millions in envelopes...ONE PISSED OFF AND DESPERATE MARINE, Semper Fi Congress...
If this bill doesnt pass NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN ......PASS THE MESSAGE .......
Out of work for the first in my 37years of working since May. 2013 and this is how we are helped by our Government by calling the unemployed lazy are you kidding me , the 2 sides need to come together and pass this emergency unemployment benefits now ! We have families that are suffering I myself have MS and can't afford to get health benefits please pass this now .
The real question is will these same congressmen and women be votes right back in?