Unemployment Benefits Will Likely Expire

December 11, 2013 9:26 a.m.

Unemployment benefits will likely expire as scheduled on Dec. 28 for some 1.3 million Americans who are looking for work.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) revealed Wednesday that Democrats will push “after the new year” to extend the federal emergency compensation program for those out of work.

“I believe, as many Democrats do, that an extension of emergency unemployment insurance should be included in this package,” he said Wednesday in remarks on the Senate floor. “I’ll stand up for those Americans who want to get back to work as soon as possible but face a market where there is only one job opening for every three unemployed workers. That’s why we’re going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of unemployment insurance — when the Senate convenes after the new year.”

House Democrats are pushing hard to extend unemployment benefits, which were not included in the budget deal unveiled Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

It’s unclear whether the benefits will be extended at all — House Republicans want to end the program, which they say was an emergency measure for an economy in free-fall. And if so, it’s unclear if they’ll be provided retroactively to those who lose them on Dec. 28.

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