Unemployment Benefit news review and update today February 27, 2014:
Close to two million Americans continue to hold onto hope that Congress will extend unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed. Over a million Americans exhausted their long term unemployment compensation as of December 28, 2013. After multiple attempts to pass an extension, policy leaders have only been able to come up with reasons to abandon the attempts.
Now, months have passed and lawmakers are still debating possible extension plans. The focus though may be transitioning however. Previous attempts for an unemployment benefit extension were short term and would have covered only three months. Now, policy leaders are talking about a measure that would be longer. According to Senator Jack Reed (Democrat, Rhode Island), Democrats are focusing on a long term unemployment compensation package that would last for six months or more. The price tag of such an extension would run between $12 and $13 billion and could possibly be paid for through savings associated with future long-term farm bill savings. Republicans have not ruled out this possibility which is apparently progress considering the past reluctance of Republican party members to agree to previously presented payment methods. Reed recently reported that he has not lost hope that the Senate can find enough support to pass an unemployment extension measure. Almost 2 million Americans still hold on to hope as well. Reed reported that he expects to bring the legislation to vote on the Senate floor very soon.