ORLANDO (CBS4) – Time is running out for more than 100 thousand Floridians who rely on extended unemployment benefits to survive.

Those benefits will end next week unless Congress re-authorizes them.

More than two million Americans rely on the extended payments but so far Republicans and Democrats have not seen eye to eye on how best to extend them, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Republicans have said they’re willing to approve the extension through February, at a cost of $12.5 billion, but they want to pay for them by finding the money elsewhere in the federal budget. Democrats agree that they want to shrink the budget too, but this is not the time to battle over cost cutting when so many people rely on the extended benefits.

Last week the Democrats tried to pass the extension through February, but Republicans fought back citing the deficit.

If Congress fails to reach an agreement, those people in the “Extended Benefits” program would see their last check on December 4th.

Many economists say extending the benefits would be good for the economy since every dollar spent on unemployment generates nearly two dollars in economic activity because it is put back into the local economy immediately. They also point out that in addition to helping the people who receive them, unemployment payments help keep businesses in business by giving laid-off workers cash to spend.

Source: Orlando Sentinel


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