The Push to Continue to Pay Americans Not to Work in The Magnificent Obama Economy
But wait. I thought we were told Obama's policies have employed bazillions of people.
It's all good. It's all good...
Groups backing an extension of unemployment benefits have launched a new round of lobbying to convince Congress to extend federal benefits to the long-term jobless.
A coalition of advocates including the National Employment Law Project (NELP) held more than 40 meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the first week of the lame-duck session to make their pitch for a $30 billion extension of the program.
The assorted labor union, civil rights and anti-poverty groups face a tough path to winning the extension at a time when lawmakers are looking for ways to reduce the budget deficit. Lawmakers started talks at the White Houseon Friday to prevent the nation from going over a so-called “fiscal cliff.”
But the groups are hopeful they can win another extension, and received a shot of confidence this week when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said stimulus measures should be included in any deficit-reduction package.
"People get it, understand why it's important and why it could be so bad for their states," Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator with NELP, told The Hill on Friday.
"We're sensing a lot of support."
Still, Conti and other supporters are looking at the issue in the context of tax and spending that remain a top priority for lawmakers.
The groups are pressing for a one-year extension of legislation approved last February when Congress extended a payroll tax cut. The extension would provide a maximum of 47 weeks of federal benefits for those unemployed for more than six months.
Combined with state-level benefits, the long-term unemployed would have a minimum of 34 weeks of benefits and a maximum of 73 weeks.
Without action, 2.1 million people would be cut off from benefits on Dec. 29, the groups argue.