January 14, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - A $1-trillion spending bill was headed for swift approval in the House by Wednesday, but legislation to extend unemployment insurance stalled in the Senate amid partisan bickering, dashing hopes for a quick deal to resume jobless benefits. Though negotiations continue, it appears increasingly unlikely that a compromise will be reached quickly to help the more than 1.4 million Americans who have been cut off from their unemployment benefits. An additional 72,000 Americans lose their insurance every week.
January 10, 2014
Re "Jobless benefits bill gains in uphill climb," Jan. 8 President Obama is correct that the unemployed need a hand. But the likelihood of those who have been unemployed for a year or more obtaining new jobs in their old professions is remote. The long-term unemployed need government-supported retraining in a new profession. And unless they participate in such a program, they should be denied unemployment benefits. Yes, they may ultimately get lower pay than before. This may not seem fair, but in a free-enterprise society, there is no requirement for those with an income to indefinitely support those not working.
January 9, 2014 |
Congress is finally grappling with an issue it should have dealt with before members rushed out on Christmas vacation: extending unemployment benefits. There is bipartisan support for renewing the federal benefits that expired last month, cutting off aid to 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans, including more than 200,000 in California. Yet some lawmakers' comments suggest that they're not really serious even now about getting the money flowing again. At times of high joblessness, the federal unemployment insurance program provides up to 47 extra weeks of assistance to laid-off workers who have run through their state benefits while trying in vain to land a job. Some critics say the benefits prolong unemployment by discouraging idled workers from taking whatever job happens to be available or making it more expensive for employers to hire them.
January 7, 2014 |
The frantic image-making by Democrats and Republicans as the 2014 elections loom rippled through the Senate debate Tuesday over whether to extend jobless benefits that expired late last year. For Democrats, who unanimously supported a procedural vote on the benefit extension, the issue offered an opportunity to come to the defense of a middle class still reeling from the economic downturn despite the abundant returns visited upon Wall Street. For Republicans, only six of whom crossed party lines to further the benefit extension, the day brought a renewed effort to tie jobless relief to Obamacare, the issue that they hope will stagger Democrats in the fall.
January 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Tuesday urged members of Congress to extend unemployment benefits for Americans who have been out of work for a long time, arguing that those unemployed are “not lazy” but victims of the country's economic crisis. Appearing in the East Room of the White House with more than a dozen unemployed people on risers behind him, Obama took issue with the argument that extending benefits will “somehow hurt the unemployed because it saps their motivation to get a new job.” “That really sells the American people short,” Obama said.
January 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Legislation to resume long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans cleared a key hurdle Tuesday in the Senate, though final passage in the chamber, and ultimately the House, remains difficult. The 60-37 vote, among the first since lawmakers returned Monday, came as six Republicans joined Democrats to advance a bill extending benefits by 90 days. In a White House appearance shortly after the vote, President Obama criticized Republicans who contend that unemployment benefits sap workers' motivation to look for new jobs.