|March 24, 2014|
Previously published on March 21, 2014
Proponents of extending unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, benefits that expired at the end of last year, thought they were finally seeing some movement in their direction after a bipartisan deal was reached in the Senate at the end of last week. Before, however, the Senate even has a chance to vote on the deal, the measure was dealt a blow this week.
This latest set back came in the form of a letter from the administrators of the state unemployment agencies. The letter said that implementing the changes made in the Senate deal could be so difficult that some states might decline to operate the federal program. The letter says that implementation of the Senate bill could take months as a result of antiquated systems and funding shortfalls.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) pounced on the letter as reason not to move the Senate compromise in the House. While Senate leaders urged Boehner to work with them to find solutions to the challenges raised in the letter, the future of an unemployment extension certainly seem in real jeopardy at this point.