Unemployment Benefit Extension news review and update today March 25, 2014:
The Senate reconvened yesterday after being away for a week long recess. Prior to lawmakers going on this most recent recess, a deal was struck between a contingent of Democrat and Republican policy makers. The basic deal was to extend long term unemployment benefits to the long term unemployed in America for five months, through May, and to make payments retroactive in nature.
Some of America’s long term unemployed have been out of work and without unemployment benefits since late December 2013. The number of Americans that are still out of work that have exhausted their unemployment benefits has ballooned to over 2 million.
Senate lawmakers struck the extension deal, but did not vote on the deal prior to leaving for recess. Now that lawmakers are back in session, primary focus is on the unemployment benefit crisis and the extension vote. Despite failing to pass an unemployment deal given multiple attempts so far this year, the Senate will try again this week. Analysts contend that the legislation’s chances of passing the Senate’s vote are better than average, but the long term outlook remains bleak.
House Speaker John Boehner has reported that the deal is unworkable and should be dropped from consideration. State workforce agencies have relayed that the retroactive nature of the newest unemployment extension deal would cause significant processing problems. This is a primary reason cited by Boehner that makes the deal unworkable. There is another provision in the deal that would deny benefits to millionaires. This aspect is problematic as well since the current operating system does not contain the necessary data to determine who should and should not be excluded. These problems could pose a significant problem for this deal passage through the House.