The U.S. Congress is on its way to a budget deal a couple weeks ahead of the January 1, 2014 deadline, but the deal doesn’t include extending emergency unemployment benefits. That means around 40,000 Ohioans could see their payments end this month.
Congress put together the Emergency Unemployment program early into the Great Recession to help out the long-term unemployed. When state unemployment expires, this federal program swoops in with up to 14 extra weeks of help. The program was last renewed in 2012, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is one of the people calling for another renewal.
“We know that unemployment insurance has a real ripple effect in the economy,” Sen. Brown said last week. “People that receive unemployment benefits, which they’ve earned, are spending that money in the hardware store in Springfield and the grocery store in Huber Heights and the auto body shop in Dayton, and that money circulates and creates other economic activity and creates jobs.”
But Democratic negotiators in Congress agreed to keep this unemployment extension off the table, in order to get a budget deal on the table. Without new funding, 1.3 million people across the country could get cut off on Dec. 28.