White House wants to extend unemployment insurance through 2014

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:43pm EST

A job-seeker completes an application at a career fair held by civil rights organization National Urban League as part of its annual conference, in Philadelphia July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Makela

A job-seeker completes an application at a career fair held by civil rights organization National Urban League as part of its annual conference, in Philadelphia July 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Makela

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will push for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits through the end of 2014, the White House said on Friday, saying the help is still warranted given stubbornly high unemployment.

"While the labor market has been improving, it is not, clearly, at full strength," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing.

"These benefits are crucial for maintaining incomes of the unemployed and their families, and it has been shown to reduce poverty and increase the changes of returning the unemployed worker to a good job," he said.

More than 2 million unemployed people stands to lose jobless benefits by the end of the year if Congress doesn't reauthorize the program, the National Employment Law Project said last week.

Federal unemployment insurance becomes payable after out-of-work individuals exhaust state unemployment aid, which runs out in many states after 26 weeks. The emergency aid was most recently reauthorized in January for a year under the federal budget deal struck at the time.

The benefits "remain a critical lifeline for substantial numbers of long-term unemployed workers who are struggling and looking for work for six months," the NELP said in a report.

Carney said the White House believes Congress will support the request because unemployment compensation has in the past been extended when the unemployment rate is near current levels. The jobless rate was 7.3 percent in October.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the request would be a clear acknowledgement that the president's economic policies, including his Obamacare healthcare plan, are not working.

"If and when they offer details, we'll take a look," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

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Comments (3)
Are they serious? Really? Why is it that taxpayers are required to keep paying the expenses of the chronically unemployed? If you do not know what chronically means, look it up. As a taxpayer who pays taxes bi-weekly, quarterly, and annually, I object.

Nov 16, 2013 5:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
Craigorie wrote:
In response to “alwayslearning”…You know, unemployment itself is chronic but an unemployed person isn’t necessarily chronically unemployed. Besides, unemployment benefits eventually run out and that’s why the unemployed do indeed look for a job while at least there’s a little money coming in to keep them slightly comfortable while the job search continues. It’s rough out there; I certainly hope that the federal extensions are continued for my sake….I’m 64 and help to take care of a disabled sister and, you know, at my age it’s even harder to find a job as age discrimination does exist. But my spirits are up and I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. God bless you.

Nov 16, 2013 3:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chrysmas wrote:
You must understand that by receiving unemployment you must at one point been employed…And although I understand your comment about being chronically unemployed…(because I’ve worked as a coordinator for the staffing industry and realize how many people play the on and off game with unemployment)…there are many people who just cannot find work.
The job market is not like it use to be…and although there are many job postings… they seem to be for show. I’ve been employed ever since I was 16 years old… and now that I am 28 I find myself unemployed for the 1st time. It’s an eye opening experience because I can actually look back at all of my decisions,career choices and financial choices and pinpoint my mistakes. I am urgently seeking employment but I understand how fierce and competitive the job market is and find myself lacking in experience and qualifications…even though I have a solid background. I’m currently enrolling in school to bring myself to date.. but to also explore other ways to make a living on my own without having to rely on companies to stay afloat. If unemployment gets extended or not will not help one bit if people remain under-educated and cannot keep up with the employers demand. The length of a potential candidate unemployment status can really hinder them from obtaining employment as well (no matter how qualified you are).
So although I would like for unemployment to be extended ( so I don’t go homeless, ..etc) I would just be prolonging the inevitable. So I’ve taken some steps to make myself more marketable in the job market.
As far where your taxes going…just think about the people who really need them. For the 1st time ever in the Wisconsin I’ve seen a homeless family sleeping on the street( mother, father, son)…all due to the recession of ’08.

Nov 19, 2013 7:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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