Millions of Americans lose unemployment benefits - WFLA News Channel 8

Millions of Americans lose unemployment benefits

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Long term unemployment is at its highest level since World War II, and for millions of Americans who have been looking for work for more than 26 weeks, today is the last day they'll get a paycheck until they can find a new job. 

1.3 million Americans are considered "long-term unemployed" which means they've been out of work for six months or more. They receive an average check of about $300 a week. But funding benefits has dried up. 

Congress failed to approve the extended unemployment benefits in the long-term budget that was just signed this week.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed and Republican Senator Dean Heller are working on a plan to restore the benefits. 
 
But, House Republicans oppose the $25 billion price tag without cutting spending someplace else.

"If there have to be cuts made to find it then they need to find their cuts someplace else," said Mary Lowe, who is among the 1.3 million  unemployed, "This is not the program that they need to cut."

Majority Leader Harry Reid plans the first vote on the unemployment benefits bill when the senate returns in January. 

The senate returns from its holiday break on January 6th. The White House says it supports the Reed-Heller proposal.



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