On the last day of 2013, millions of Americans quickly felt the effects of the Great Recession. That was the day that unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term jobless ended, and since that day, those citizens have both struggled to find work and pay bills.

Over the past several months, Congress has worked fervently on an extension to that crucial aid, but has hit roadblocks both within the Senate and the House, regardless of party affiliation. However, that appears to have changed, although there still isn’t a lot of optimism that any legislation would get passed quickly.

Vote passes bill in Senate
Since unemployment insurance benefits expired, debate has raged on about the wording of a new bill to address these issues. On Monday, April 7, one was passed in the Senate by a vote of 59-38. That new legislation would provide emergency relief to the long-term jobless, expected to be about $256 per week. The aid would be for men and women who have been without a job for at least six months.

The recently passed bill would retroactively reinstate benefits that ended at the end of December 2013. If passed through Congress, it would maintain those payments until the end of May while another, more permanent extension is discussed. While the vote did gain support in the Senate, many experts predict that it won’t survive the House. This comes even as a number of Senate Republicans have expressed support for the Democratic-formed bill.

Job growth at the center of attention
At the moment, the extension to unemployment insurance benefits doesn’t include any provisions about job growth. This is one of the key sticking points for approval in the House, especially with the expressed concerns of Speaker John Boehner, Roll Call reported.

“As the Speaker said months ago, we are willing to look at extending emergency unemployment insurance as long as it includes provisions to help create more private-sector jobs – but, last week, Senate Democratic leaders ruled out adding any jobs measures at all,” said Speaker spokesman Michael Steel, according to Roll Call. “The American people are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ and House Republicans are focused on our jobs agenda for families and small businesses.”

Despite the potential problems, the fact that the unemployment insurance bill passed in the Senate is good news for those without jobs and employers. Progress has been made, and ideally, future debate will lead to a speedy resolution.

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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(800) 207-6926

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