Congress Votes on Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits– Again
US congress has implemented a 2012 unemployment benefits extension in the highest unemployed states in the country. Nearly overshadowed by debates, Congress is wrestling with how to increase the unemployment benefits that are about to expire. This emergency unemployment compensation is certainly a necessity and has been extended by Congress nine times since they were first passed in June, 2008.
It didn’t come as an easy task for Congress to agree on as many people believe the extended benefits for unemployed restricts people to hunt for work. The Republicans think that the job training plan would allow the employees to continue to receive their benefits while temporarily working with a company.
According to most studies made, the extensions have increased the number of Americans who became re-employed by 1.3 percentage points in January 2011 by reducing the share who excited the labor force.
Congress looks for unemployment extension for the states that need it much more than others. For example, unemployment in Ohio still high and it has nearly 787,000 unemployed. Ohio would have seen its benefits fall to 23 weeks from the standard 26 weeks as of 2012 if the extension was not pushed for.
Senior supports both parties and predicts that the emergency benefits for the long term unemployed will be extended. But the lawmakers are still deciding over how long and what strings needs to be attached to an extension. The debate is paralleling the fight between Republicans and Democrats over extending a payroll tax holiday that also lapses at year’s end. The parties are in disagreement over how to cover the cost of that tax-break extension in the current fiscal environment.
Democrats rallied to call attention to the impending drop of the unemployment benefits which have allowed the long-term jobless to collect income support for up to 99 weeks. They argued that it would not be fair to allow the compensation to lapse while unemployment remains high.
According to an estimate provided by House Democratic staff, if Congress does not take necessary action, nearly 6 million people will lose benefits next year. House Democrats have introduced legislation earlier this November that would extend the insurance program through 2012. An extension of unemployment insurance squeaked through in December as the Democrats and the Republicans decided to extend up to 99 weeks of benefits through 2011.