The failure of Congress to extend unemployment benefits means 1.3 million Americans will lose jobless aid beginning tomorrow.
House Republicans refused to come up with the estimated $26 billion over two years to extend the program unless the money came from cutting other programs. The benefits accrue to people who have been looking for work for at least six months.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that extending the program would boost economic growth by 0.2 percent and add about 200,000 jobs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, says he will schedule a vote on a three-month extension as soon as lawmakers return in January. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California says she will push Republican leaders in her chamber to hold a vote in early January. The White House has also backed an extension.
Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday” Dec. 8 that extending benefits for those unable to find jobs “actually does a disservice to the people you’re trying to help.”