Federal insurance comes to an end
Unemployment insurance has become a very complicated situation in the U.S. and one that is surrounded by controversy. The federal government’s unemployment insurance program has officially expired, leaving approximately 1.3 million people without benefits. Many of these people had relied on their benefits for financial stability as it was their only source of income. With a still turbulent economy, these people have been finding it difficult, if not impossible, to find new jobs.
Federal lawmakers have been working to address the issues, feeling the pressure from those that have lost their benefits.
An initial test vote was held recently concerning the extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits. While the vote passed with lawmaker approval, this does not mean that benefits will be extended any time soon. Test votes are often held only to gauge the support a particular issue is able to garner among lawmakers.
In order to extend unemployment benefits, legislators have come up with a $6.5 billion budget deal. The deal would provide the unemployment program with enough funds to remain active for at least another year, but some lawmakers are calling the deal excessive because of its high price tag. Many argue that the legislation will be stalled until its supporters figure out a way to cover its costs.
States are unable to support the unemployed on their own
The unemployed still have access to state benefits, but these benefits have been significantly reduced due to the expiration of the federal insurance program. States can now only offer a fraction of the support they had been able to in the past, and this support is finite. Without federal backing, states cannot support their unemployed populations with insurance benefits. This issue is adding more tension between consumers and politicians.
Some lawmakers suggest that federal unemployment insurance is a detriment to the economy, while others claim that federal benefits actually help the economy. Because the issue has been aggressively politicized, it is difficult to determine which viewpoint is accurate. The truth of unemployment insurance’s impact on the national economy is likely somewhere in the middle.