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I was right -- the Bush Administration isn't going to extend unemployment benefits because we're in an alleged recovery. Which means about 90,000 of us folks who've been unemployed for nearly 6 months will run out of benefits next week.
Fortunately, someone's looking out for us:
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean criticized the Bush administration Monday for what he called a "callous" refusal to press Congress for another extension of unemployment benefits.
"I think it's a pretty big issue," Dean said. "It underlines the mean-spiritedness of this administration."
Bush should call Congress into special session, Dean said, and keep lawmakers at work until the extension of benefits is approved. The looming holiday season and the potential that thousands could lose benefits at precisely the time they are most needed underscores the urgency, he said.
"It is incredible callousness" to refuse to consider the issue, Dean said. He described the cost of extending the benefits as relatively low at nearly $20 billion.
Under the unemployment insurance system, workers who lose their job through no fault of their own are generally eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment insurance provided by state benefit systems.
Since March 2002, workers have been eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits provided by Congress after they exhaust state jobless benefits. Congress adjourned this year without again approving those extended benefits.
Republicans argue that the economy is beginning to improve and unemployment is on the decline, rendering it unnecessary to provide extended benefits. Dean rejected that argument, saying up to 90,000 workers will lose benefits because of the inaction in Congress.
Replies: 3 Confessions
when do you hear back about your 2nd interview?
shechemist @ 12/22/2003 01:59 PM CST
Possibly not until after Jan. 1. Apparenlty the people who make the decisions are out for the holidays.
amyc @ 12/22/2003 03:02 PM CST
you should come to australia!
you can get all sorts of benefits, and they NEVER run out. ever.
it's not good when there are people who are on the dole for 20 years, but it means that people don't get stranded either.
lou @ 01/02/2004 04:07 PM CST