Hillary Clinton is making a strong push to restore benefits to long-term unemployed Americans:
Two weeks ago, before jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans expired Dec. 28, Mrs. Clinton tweeted: “What happens to kids in families cut from unemployment insurance & food stamps? They’re #2SmallToFail, & deserve an equal chance to succeed.”
Mrs. Clinton’s support for restoring the emergency unemployment benefits comes as congressional Democrats vow to make the issue a priority in 2014. “Extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do for millions of Americans who are trying to support their families,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a written statement Saturday. She blamed Republicans for preventing Congress from passing an extension of the benefits and warned that if the benefits for the long-term unemployed aren’t extended, the U.S. economic recovery will slow, costing up to 240,000 jobs in 2014.
Republicans have argued that declining unemployment numbers have made the extended benefits unnecessary and offer a disincentive for some people to seek work.
When Congress returns from its holiday recess, the Senate will consider a bipartisan bill that would extend the benefits program by three months. But support in the House is not assured, and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has said Republicans would back an extension only if it is paired with spending cuts elsewhere.
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