March 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Key senators struck a bipartisan agreement Thursday to extend unemployment insurance for more than 2 million jobless Americans whose benefits have run out, though approval is not certain in the Republican-controlled House. The proposal for a five-month continuation of benefits faces a likely filibuster by tea party conservatives in the Senate, pushing votes until later this month after Congress returns from a weeklong recess. But with five Republican senators joining Democrats in Thursday's agreement, passage in the Senate is expected.
February 26, 2014 |
Hundreds of thousands of jobless Californians last year appealed decisions of the troubled Employment Development Department, adding to months of delays in getting unemployment benefits. After holding hearings, administrative law judges at the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board rejected many of the EDD's cursory, highly technical decisions. They threw out or revised more than half of the earlier denials, belatedly awarding long-sought assistance of up to $450 per week.
February 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker used his maiden speech on the Senate floor to amplify Democrats' call for an extension of benefits for the longtime unemployed. And it took well more than 140 characters to do it. Senate tradition dictates that new members wait their turn before delivering an extended floor speech. And that was true even of Booker, the crusading and frequently tweeting former mayor of Newark, whose national stature arguably already exceeded that of some of his senior colleagues when he entered the Senate 95 days ago. But when his time finally came Monday night, Booker put it to use on behalf of legislation his party has made a priority early this election year - renewing unemployment insurance for more than a million Americans whose benefits expired beginning Dec. 28. Booker began by noting he came to Washington at a time when the public view of Congress was at an all-time low, and said the lawmakers' failure to act on behalf of struggling Americans was a major reason why. He said that after meeting with many of his new colleagues he was "inspired" by various bills they believed were crucial for strengthening the economy.
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.