Obama speaks out about federal unemployment insurance program
In the U.S., a federal unemployment insurance program is set to expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama this week warned federal lawmakers not to let this program expire or it could spell disaster for long-term jobless individuals. During a press conference held on Wednesday, Obama criticized the Plan B proposal on a number of fronts, one of which includes its refusal to address the unemployment issue.
Plan B does not account for insurance woes
The Plan B proposal was introduced by House Speaker John Boehner as a solution to the “fiscal cliff” that several of the country’s social insurance programs are facing. Plan B introduces several changes to the country’s taxes, increasing taxes on those that earn incomes of more than $1 million. President Obama suggests that the proposal would not adequately address some of the financial issues that country is facing and would do even less for the growing unemployment insurance problem.
2 million people may lose their benefits if program expires
According to Obama, there are still roughly 2 million people in the country that are struggling to find work. Many of these people rely on federal unemployment insurance because they have exhausted the benefits provided to them by their particular states. State unemployment insurance is designed to provide jobless individuals with six months of benefits. If Congress does not take action, these people are expected to immediately lose the benefits that have supported them for much of the past year.
Many still struggling to find jobs, even as economy recovers from recession
Unemployment continues to be a major problem in the U.S. despite signs that the economy is recovering from the recent recession. Many of the people that lost their jobs at the height of the recession are still struggling to find work in a still volatile economic climate. For these people, federal unemployment insurance benefits often mean the difference between financial stability and ruin. Several consumer advocacy groups, as well as President Obama himself, are pushing for Congress to take action before December 29, when the unemployment insurance program is scheduled to expire.