Unemployment benefits Unemployed Americans face the prospect of a bleak holiday season after Republicans in the House of Representatives thwarted an expedited effort by Democrats to extend jobless benefits into next year.

The measure would have further extended jobless benefits enacted during the summer until the end of February at a cost of $12.5 billion. The legislation passed by a 258-154 vote, but failed to meet the two-thirds majority, or 275 votes, required to move the bill under so-called "fast-track" rules.

Republicans opposed the legislation because it wasn't paid for with unused funds from last year's economic stimulus program.

Dec. 1 Cutoff Looms

"The fact is, we can both provide this help and pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending," said Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), the Associated Press reported. "That's what we should be debating today."

The White House was critical of Republican efforts to cut off jobless benefits as Congress also seeks to extend Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans during the lame-duck session. "I don't think we want to leave here having fought for tax cuts for millionaires and against unemployment insurance for those that have lost their jobs," Obama administration spokesman Robert Gibbs said, according to the AP.

If Congress doesn't act quickly to extend benefits, some 2 million unemployed workers will stop receiving unemployment checks as of Dec. 1.

The federal extensions have given unemployed workers with an additional 73 weeks of benefits beyond the standard 26 weeks of coverage provided by states. So far this year, benefits extensions have helped 9.5 million households and pumped roughly $6.8 billion into the economy every month, according the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit workers-rights advocacy organization.

"Congress should. . .quickly reauthorize these programs to avoid a catastrophe right in the midst of the holiday season," said Christine Owens, NELP's executive director.

It remains unclear how lawmakers will act to extend the unemployment benefits, but they may resurface in a bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. However, it appears unlikely that Congress will be able to act in time to avoid the expiration of benefits on Nov. 30.

In past reauthorizations, lawmakers made the extensions retroactive, meaning unemployed workers would still receive the checks, but later rather than sooner.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

This constant jockeying for political position has got to stop! These legislators were elected to look out for the best interests of the country and the people in it. I THINK A SOLUTION TO ALL THIS CRAP IS TO DIMINISH THEIR JOBS (THE LEGISLATORS)TO THAT OF THE COMMON MAN. IF THEY WERE PAID WHAT THEY ARE WORTH, WERE RELIEVED OF THEIR "PERKS", REQUIRED TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR ACTIONS, AND MADE TO SIT IN FRONT OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS ON A REGULAR BASIS THEY MAY PERFORM IN A FASHION THEY COULD BE PROUD OF! I'm for running the whole bunch off and starting over. What say?

December 01 2010 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
World Buyers

For the 14.8 Million unemployed, let's begin a March on Washington D.C. Let's camp on the steps of Congress until they get the message to pass a 24 month extension of unemployment benefits. Many of them are millionaires so why do they care about the unemployed? See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/f0yiIl

November 30 2010 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Republicans and some Democrats, are not in touch with the American voters,as they have claimed and are showing how out of touch they really are.The American voter want those in Washington,DC to govern and cutting off benefits to the unemployed and pushing for millionaires to get tax cuts are shameful and unAmerican.The profit of a trillion dollars made in this year by the same businesses that are not hiring,but are giving bonuses,should give us all pause.The unemployed are not finding work,but are still obligated to take care of their families,there are no bonuses for them.Families are hurting and the holidays are not the time to play politics with lives of people who are out of work,through no fault of their own.

November 30 2010 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cant afford to pay anymore $$ for people that dont work. Unemployment benefits are temporary, not life long retirement payouts. Sorry that I cant pay for the non-working anymore, but my checks are bouncing and Im working.

November 30 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

YEAH RIGHT! Take away Unemployment pay and give the rich sucker a tax break! I SAY TAX THE IMPORTS! You take our jobs.. I say take away your pilfering profits! Profits made by yoking up with communists and socialist systems who exploit the poor and make them work of a few bucks so you can be greedy rich..you filthy slime I hope the house of cards burns down so it cant be rebuilt..

November 22 2010 at 8:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


November 22 2010 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If one actually reads the many notes and books written by our Founding Fathers, their number one fear was that this new Government could become so big, that it would ultimately violate the rights of We the People. We had just defeated the most powerful Government on the planet, the ROYAL KING of England; we quickly realized the only thing that could kill America now were deadbeats and profiteers demanding more entitlements of Europe, and other citizens wealth. Remember that Constitution... all enemies foreign and domestic. This country is waking up realizing illegal foreign invader (profiteers) and minority have not's, are stealing this country's jobs, wealth, and safety nets, via elite progressive socialist in Washington (deadbeats) feloniously robbing our tax dollars. Wayne that is why the second greatest gift our Founding Fathers gave us was the right to carry a gun. You completely ignored the third possibility. You could be killed for such blatant arrogance to believe your personal failure, is our absolute responsibility to pay for, because we have more than you do. Your death not only protects my life and property, but also protects this great nation from criminally depraved thieves obsessed with poor moral turpitude. Many minorities are demanding Congress not only make it legal to steal others possessions, but they also want them personally delivered to their homes, because they are just so special. Does it really matter if that thief has a $2,000 armani suit on, or rags, before ******* your blood dry, stealing from your personal hard labors? Lead becomes profusely cheaper, as well as a more permanent solution for this problem. Think of it as going Green, saving the planets resources. What good would all the wealth in the world be, having to live with purloiner neighbors like that?

November 22 2010 at 7:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
old aol welcome

After reading these posts and getting my laughs I just got to say its about time they stopped the gravy train for most of you and made you get off your lazy butts.I see people on wefare and unenployment with $200 sports jackets or $100 jerseys and sneakers I couldn't afford when I did work. So no I don't feel sorry for any of you, don't give me that xmas bull either. Teach your kids the meaning of xmas its not about toys. One other thing while I'm on my little rant don't threathen to rob my house because it would be my way of reducing the unenployment in my area. We have guns to. now get off this blog sell your computor cancel your internet and cable (you can use the computor at your libary) and go out and get a job. thank you for siding with me (lol)

November 22 2010 at 5:12 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


November 22 2010 at 3:11 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I agree with angiebarnes919(your comment was very correct0,I have seen some idiot posters on here and they do not have a clue.I am a nurse and I lost my job and I have not found another job yet but I keep trying.PPl just spew off at the mouth bse their situation may be better than some but don't let your head get so big if you think it can't happen to you(get it greek--and a few others).This will cause a major problem as I see it,some ppl feel don't have anything left to lose and will take from others in hostile manners(ROB,KILL AND OTHER THINGS)to get what they need.There are cases where elderly ppl have lost their jobs and need one to supplement their social security but ppl don't want to hire the elderly either.It's sad!!!You have a bunch of nimrods posting on here and can afford to spew venom about the unemployed but things have a way of coming back to haunt them,they may be in the unemployment line before long and I would like to be a fly on the wall to see if they still feel the way they do..All unemployed ppl are not lazy and do try to obtain employment but you can't make someone hire you.Alot of us do have education.NOW WHAT????

November 22 2010 at 1:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply