The White House will release a report from President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers this morning that will assess how the expiration of unemployment benefits will affect families and the broader economy, according to an administration official.
In a replay of a dispute earlier this year, lawmakers are deadlocked over how to finance an extension of aid to the long- term jobless. Today’s report will include state-by-state numbers on the number of families affected across the country if Congress doesn’t again extend benefits, according to the official, who requested anonymity.
This month, more than 2 million Americans will lose the temporary support, according to the official.
On Nov. 30, Democrats offered to extend benefits for a year, with the $56 billion cost financed with borrowed money. Republicans balked, demanding the extension be offset with savings elsewhere in the government’s budget.
Some Democrats, including Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, said an extension of unemployment aid should be included as part of any deal to extend tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Since December 2007 -- the start of the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression -- Congress has extended the total amount of aid three times so that the unemployed could receive up to 99 weeks of aid averaging $300 per week. The government spent about $160 billion on unemployment benefits in the fiscal year that ended Sept 30, or about what it cost to run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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