While Florida drastically changed the terms and length of unemployment benefits, non-working Floridians will need to depend on the kindness of Congress to grant federal extension as it has done in the past. It appears that this series of debates are not over if they want to but over how much and how and when to pay for the benefits being dispersed. The representatives seem to agree to cover the $44 billion cost of a one-year extension of unemployment benefits. This issue stems from when to address and handle the financial offsets of paying for the benefits. The current program awarding the extensions ends this year. The budget arguments between the parties are that Republicans and Democrats will have to compromise to create on concrete terms — what offsets and when they go into effect.
Previously, Democrats have argued that cost should not be covered because
it negates the economic effects — in this case about $88 billion in
spending, double the amount put into the program. Republicans have been insistent, especially as budgetary issues rose to the forefront, on paying for any extensions.
With two more months left in the year and for the current extension program, approximately 2 million unemployment recipients are depending on the parties to stop playing politics and think about reality.
If you are unemployed or know someone getting unemployment benefits, contact your congressional representative and explain that it is not time to play politics or jockey for campaign slogans. There are people who need to pay bills and have gas money to search for their next job.