The unemployment extension was voted down in Congress and then they all hopped in their limos, private jets, and fancy cars to make the trip home for their Thanksgiving vacation break.
As the members of Congress have their feasts with their loved ones, the long term unemployed are worrying about the November 30th deadline.
The reason the Congress is short on votes to pass this bill is that that the 12 billion cost to pass the unemployment extension will add to the deficit. Senators who cast the “no” vote are demanding offsetting savings elsewhere in the budget before passing the bill.
Maybe they can call in some of the money that they gave to the car companies, insurance businesses, and banks during the bail outs.
Unless the unemployment extension is voted on again and put into place by November 30th, many of the long term unemployed will stop seeing their checks. According to the Bloomberg report, the Labor Department is predicting by the end of December 1.36 million Americans will be affected if Congress doesn’t act. Some estimates put it closer to 2 million.
Providing Christmas for the kids is tough task when collecting unemployment benefits. The money that is paid out in these benefits is not enough to get by. It covers the bare necessities, leaving most families with bills mounting higher each month.
The Congress is not the only hurdle for the unemployment extension, once the bill is finally passed through the house the senate needs to pass it. As of this writing the Senate is short three of the sixty votes needed to pass this bill.
So, once the Congress gets two thirds of their votes behind the unemployment extension bill the Senate needs for three Republicans to change their minds and sign onto this bill. This is basically the same scenario that delayed the unemployment extension through the summer this year.
There is no good time for the unemployed to lose their benefits, but at this time of year with the holidays a few weeks away, this has to be the worst.
As it is looking right now, it is most probable that there will be a lapse in the unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed, again if this happens, it will start just before the holidays.
Unless the powers that be put the unemployment extension as a top priority and push this through both the House and the Senate in record time, the holidays may be bleaker than expected for many.
The irony of all this is that last time the unemployment extension was at a stalemate in the Senate and benefits stopped for the long term unemployed, it was costly.
The delay this summer had states scrambling to get the retro checks out once the unemployment extension finally did pass. The overtime, extra manpower, and the money spent on computer programmers for the states to get this in place due to the delay was costly. This money could have been better spent if the lapse in the unemployment had not occurred. It is a shame they seem to forget that cost now.
The biggest cost in the delays, were the people who had homes foreclosed on, cars repossessed, utilities shut off, and no food on their tables. This was the biggest tragedy to the delay in passing the unemployment extension this past summer.
Many of the unemployed are hopeful the government will come through and head off this possible lapse in money for the unemployed. Especially with the holidays coming, there is a hope that the spirit of the holidays will have the lawmakers empathetic to the problems facing the unemployed. Hopefully this will be the case.
Connecticut fared better than most states with their unemployment averaging close to the national average. Although people are finding it hard to secure jobs in the Nutmeg State, because there are very few out there, other states sit with unemployment at a double digit percentage.