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Unemployment benefits run out for 1.3 million Americans

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 01:10

Dec. 30 - Thousands of families dealt a financial blow as the New Year approaches because they will no longer receive federal unemployment benefits. Linda So reports.

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It's not the way Kathy Biscotti wanted to start the New Year. She lost her job in the summer and has been living on $332 a week in unemployment benefits. But starting this week, she will no longer receive those checks after Congress failed to extend the program. SOUNDBITE: KATHY BISCOTTI, UNEMPLOYED, SAYING: "I wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic of what is going to become of me. Um, you know, am I going to end up living under a bridge? Am I going to end up being homeless?" Congress approved the extended jobless benefits back in 2008 as the recession was just beginning. But this year, lawmakers did not extend the program when they voted on the budget deal that was passed just before the holiday break. That will likely set up a contentious debate when Congress reconvenes in the new year. For the 1.3 million Americans who counted on the unemployment benefits to survive, the debate can't come soon enough. SOUNDBITE: KATHY BISCOTTI, UNEMPLOYED, SAYING: "It's horrible to wake up in the morning and not have somewhere to go, and um...it's degrading." President Obama has urged Congress to extend the unemployment benefits but most Republicans are against it.

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Unemployment benefits run out for 1.3 million Americans

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 01:10