National News

Dec 5, 2013 11:26 AM

White House Pushes for Jobless Aid Extension

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is stepping up efforts to extend jobless benefits to long-term unemployed Americans, arguing that more than a million people will lose the assistance if it isn't renewed by the end of the month, slowing economic growth.

In a report released Thursday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Labor Department concluded that if Congress allows benefits, to expire 3.6 million people will lose access to the benefits by the end of 2014.

Democrats are pressing for legislation continuing a program in place since 2008 that gives federally paid benefits to jobless people after their 26 weeks of state benefits run out. Republicans in the GOP-controlled House oppose it.

"Despite ten consecutive quarters of GDP growth and 7.8 million private sector jobs added since early 2010, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high at 7.3 percent, and far too many families are still struggling to regain the foothold they had prior to the crisis," the report states.

The report notes that Congress has renewed the benefits when unemployment has been lower than the current 7.3 percent. New jobless numbers for November will be released Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the Democratic legislation would cost $25 billion but stimulate the economy by 0.2 percent next year and create 200,000 jobs. Other estimates say the benefits would stimulate the economy by 0.4 percent.

The report says that since 2008, nearly 24 million workers have received the unemployment insurance benefits.

More than 11 million Americans remain unemployed; of those, more than 4 million have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

The White House report coincides with a hearing in Congress Thursday organized by Democrats in which unemployed people will testify about the financial consequences they face if benefits are cut off.

The report challenges studies cited by Republicans that the benefits have actually depressed job creation since 2008 because it forces companies to increase wages to keep and attract workers.

The White House report, however, argues that for workers to use jobless benefits as leverage for higher wages, they would have to threaten to resign their jobs. Workers who quit are not eligible for the unemployment insurance.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

»Comments

More News

Sports
Story Photo

13 hours ago

Hooks Fall to Hounds 3-1

CORPUS CHRISTI - Chris Jensen allowed one run and three hits over 7 2/3 innings as Midland bested Corpus Christi 3-1 Wednesday...

Top Videos

1 2 3 4

Submit News

Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.

Most Popular

KRISTV.COM is Social!


Click the icons above to receive News, Weather, and Sports alerts from KRISTV.COM!

Inside KRISTV.COM

Contact Us
Send us your feedback. We want to hear from you!
Photo Central
Look at photos and videos and share them!
KRISTV.COM Mobile Website
Get KRISTV.com on your mobile or PDA!
KRISTV.COM Mobile Apps
Get our mobile apps on your mobile or PDA!
Texas Lottery
See the latest winning numbers!
6 News Team
Read about your favorite KRIS-TV personalities!
FCC Online Public File
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and more