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 Politics Archive 2014

Senate votes to move the unemployment benefits extension bill to the Senate floor for discussion
by Nathan'ette Burdine: January 31, 2014

On January 7, 2014, the Senate voted 60-37 to invoke cloture and move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act bill, S.1845, to the Senate floor for discussion.  Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) co-sponsored bill S.1845.

The bill is a part of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program and will extend unemployment benefits for three months, up to March 31, 2014, for individuals who are unemployed at no fault of their own.

The EUC program allows states to use federal funds in order to provide a maximum of 47 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who have used all of their state unemployment benefits.

North Carolina is the only state that does not use federal funds for its unemployment program.  As a result, North Carolina residents only receive state unemployment benefits and did not lose unemployment benefits under the federally funded EUC program.

Former President George W. Bush signed the EUC program into law in June 2008.  In 2012, President Obama extended the EUC program after he signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

The Ryan-Murray Budget does not include funding for the EUC program. And on December 28, 2013, funding for the program ended and 1.3 million people lost their unemployment benefits.

According to the Council of Economic Advisers’ report, “The Economic Benefits of Unemployment Insurance,” 3.6 million people will lose their unemployment benefits by the end of 2014 if the unemployment benefits aren’t extended.

The report also stated that not extending the unemployment benefits will result in an estimated 240,000 jobs being lost.

According to the Associated Press, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) doubts that the House of Representatives will pass the bill.

The Associated Press quoted Reid as saying, “I don’t predict anything in the House.”  The House is controlled by the Republicans.

And according to ABC News, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)said that he is willing to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote as long as the cost to fund unemployment benefits extension isn’t greater than the money the government is spending.

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