Senate Won’t Vote On Jobless Benefits Until End Of Month

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced the news on Thursday.
Photo: Lingjing Bao/TRNS

Photo: Lingjing Bao/TRNS

(TRNS) — The U.S. Senate won’t vote on a measure to extend long-term jobless benefits until January 27 at the earliest.

Reid and his fellow Democrats have tried and failed multiple times this month to extend unemployment insurance for roughly 1.3 million Americans who have been out of work for six months or longer.

With Congress and President Obama away on vacation, benefits expired back on December 28. Since then, both parties have tussled over whether or not to offset the cost of extending benefits by cutting other areas of the federal budget.

The White House has blamed the hold-up squarely on Republicans, who believe the bill should be paid for.

“It’s very disappointing that Republicans in the Senate chose to block action tonight on a compromise,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney after the bill failed to attract the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

It’s estimated that a three-month extension of unemployment insurance would cost around $6.4 billion.

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Geoff Holtzman
Geoff Holtzman is Talk Radio News Service's Deputy Bureau Chief. As one of TRNS's primary correspondents, he helps cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Geoff also covered the 2012 presidential campaign, following the candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere. In the process, he learned that not all Motel 6's are created equal. Follow Geoff on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.
  • Steve Tell

    How in the heck will it cost that much, Virginia only has one extension for 14 weeks and when that is up, your federal unemployment insurance is up. There are also 9 other states that have only one extension and you can’t draw anymore, unless your state unemployment rate is 6% or above for at least 3 months they won’t offer a Tier 2 extension. A lot of people only had a few weeks left on their first and only extension in VA and can’t collect because of the government letting that plan expire. They need to stop inflating the total cost of extending the program to make themselves and others who oppose the federal extension have “validity” for not extending it, because of cost.

  • Joey from California

    I guess Uncle Sam doesn’t really care about all those people who have familieskids to support. I guess Uncle Sam doesn’t care if someone has the money to put gas in their cars to make it to work. Let alone pay their phone bills so future employers can call them and offer them an interview. In my own opinion it isn’t the unemployed who are lazy to find work. It is Uncle Sam who is too lazy to realize the more critical situation which is dire to these poor people and critical for the economy that these people can or can’t afford to fill their gas tanks and pay their bills. If they cant pay for those things. ..how on earth does congres expect people to fill jobs and make it to work on an empty tank of gas. Congress should know our country runs on oil. Why do we bother voting people to office when they can’t understand basic economics and how the country really works? Maybe if we didn’t rely on foreign oil and had a better transportation system our economy would run smoothly and our citizens can make it to work wether they have a car or not. Who votes for these idiots?

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