POLITICS: Jobless bill dead; revival effort in motion
|By Jack Katzanek, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
A spokesman for a senior House Democrat said that a
"But it's also accurate to say there's urgency and support among Democrats that's going to continue and that's very much alive," said
"It collected dust on Speaker (
Instead, Reed and Heller intend to go back to the drawing board and draft a new measure, Curran said. The two senators represent the states with the highest levels of unemployment.
State-funded benefits usually offer the unemployed about six months of benefits, but a series of extensions triggered by the 2008 recession allowed people to receive extended payments, usually for an additional year.
The extensions expired three days after Christmas when
Those numbers have continued to grow as 26-week periods expired for additional people every day. On Wednesday, Levin's office said the number has hit 3 million.
There were more than 150,000 residents of the Inland counties officially listed as unemployed in April, the most recent month for which the state has data. Not all of them are receiving benefits.
When the state announced the extension's sunset late last year, it said that 14,171
Unemployment usually is more pronounced farther from major coastal commercial centers. In Inland cities, the jobless rates of cities such as
But unemployment is in double figures in
Keeping that benefits lifeline alive makes economic sense, said
"For these people, a good chunk of their benefits gets spent on food and gas and other necessities," Adibi said. Consumer spending creates a multiplier effect when money is circulated and actually accounts for more than two-thirds of all economic activity. "They're not going to be in a position to put it into savings."
The Reed-Heller bill passed the
Curran said he's hopeful that senators and their staffs can draft a new extension measure that will gain some traction.
"We're not throwing in the towel," he said.
Boehner has insisted any bill to extend the benefits would have to include some Republican-sponsored action that would create jobs. The House passed a bill a month ago that reauthorizes numerous business incentives, including a tax credit for research and development and one for users of renewable energy.
Proponents of the benefits extension have hoped that those incentives, which cost about
In an op-ed piece published this week, Levin, D-
That delay could cost as many as 700,000 construction jobs.
"We should include a six-month extension of unemployment insurance alongside either of these legislative packages," Levin wrote.
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