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11-24-2010, 08:18 AM #1
Millions to lose unemployment benefits
Millions of jobless Americans are expected to lose their unemployment benefits, as lawmakers in the House of Representatives have failed to extend the program.
In eleven days, 800,000 people will lose all their benefits and by the end of the year, 2 million people will join their ranks, a Press TV correspondent reported on Saturday.
House Democrats and Republicans blame each other. Party leaders in Congress disagreed over how the $12.5 billion measure would be funded.
“This is unprecedented,” US unemployment analyst Scott Lilly says.
“We have always gone to extended benefits when we had unemployment above 7 to 7.5 percent. It is 9.5 percent now and we are terminating the program,” he added.
House Republicans and 11 Democrats wanted more spending cuts before they would authorize the extension.
Meanwhile, according to the Department of Labor, the current unemployment rate has been around the stubborn 9.6 percent for weeks, with 14.8 million people looking for work.
In the past 3 years, federal spending for unemployment recipients has reached more than $300 billion.
This comes as the United States is about to start its holiday season and its coldest. Even with the federal government's subsidizing job and welfare programs, nearly one in 5 Americans say they lack the money to buy basic groceries.
Despite the deadlock in Congress, there is still a chance for millions of Americans to receive unemployment checks.
If lawmakers can reach an agreement, the House has two days after this Thursday to pass benefits legislation.
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