Monday, June 28, 2010

Unemployment Benefits Extension Nixed for Nearly 1 Million

According to CNN Money, over a million Americans have lost their unemployment benefits as Senators failed to pass an extension last Thursday. There were 57 votes for the legislation, but it was not enough to overcome the GOP filibuster of the bill.

Hoping to overcome deficit concerns, the Senate trimmed down the bill yet again on Wednesday night so that it would only increase the deficit by $33.3 billion over 10 years, instead of $55.1 billion. The main changes were to scale back additional Medicaid funding for the states and to reallocate some stimulus and Defense Department spending.

The bill will now be pulled, according to two Democratic leadership aides. This leaves many groups in flux, including the jobless who have lost their safety net, companies who are waiting to learn what tax breaks are extended, and governors who were counting on the additional funds to balance their budgets.

The grab-bag legislation pushes back the deadline to file for federal unemployment benefits until the end of November, renews expired tax provisions, lengthens a small business lending program and adds to infrastructure investments.

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