Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Congress Runs Up against Deadline over Unemployment Benefits

Though there are many issues swirling as the lame duck session kicks off, Congress will have to negotiate the federal unemployment insurance benefits for millions that are set to expire on Nov. 30, CongressDaily reported today. Nearly 2 million of the 5 million people now on federal support will immediately lose benefits if Congress does not act by December. 1, according to the National Employment Law Project. The other 3 million would gradually lose benefits over the following few months as they used up the remainder of their benefits. The benefits cost between $6-7 billion per month, according to estimates compiled by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Extending them for one year would cost about $80 billion, the Center estimates, noting that there is no official figure for the cost of their extension.