Unemployed wait for Congress to pass benefits extension

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 7, 2014

LOS ANGELES – All eyes are on Washington, D.C. as congress gets back to business, especially for people like Ari Carreon who are waiting to get back into business.

Congress is debating an extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

While some 7 percent of the country are unemployed about a third of the 10 million have been out of work for more than 27 weeks.

Over a million Americans could benefit from the proposed three-month extension of benefits.

“They’re trying to make ends meet from month to month. Today there’s only one job opening for every three people searching. We have never had so many unemployed for such a long period of time,” Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid, said.

“I’m sure they’re going to approve it. Last time they approved it,” Carreon said.

Carreon has worked in the mortgage industry for about 14 years, a job that was once a fulltime position has now become seasonal, as more companies have outsourced labor to places like the Philippines and India.

“It’s very hard, usually my work they put it overseas they outsource all the computer jobs. I’ve been on and off since they invented the outsource you know. Everybody outsources to India, Philippines, Mexico,” Carreon explained.

Republicans worry that the extension estimated at $6.5 billion could push the country into deeper debt.

“I’m not opposed to unemployment insurance, I’m opposed to having it without paying for it. I think it’s wrong to borrow money from China or simply print up money for it,” Republican senator Rand Paul of Kentucky explained .

“We as a country, we’re a country that has each other’s back in hard times. We have never, over the last half century, cut off emergency unemployment benefits when long term unemployment was even barely over half the rate that we have right now. Now is not the time to start,” Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, emphasized.

In an effort to push the issue, President Obama has a meeting this week at the White House with unemployed workers who’s benefits expired while waiting for the extension.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Peter
    7 January 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    $6.5 Billion added to our deficit.This is my money, your money, taxpayers money, hard earned double job money. Why extend for 99 weeks on unemployment benefits, 26 week is just right.., tell them to go to work or apply for a job…You Democrat are inducing laziness and government dependency in order gain votes.

  • JD
    8 January 2014 at 8:05 am - Reply

    The only comment I have is the government should check all the people that is working, see if they are legal in America, if they are illegal arrest them and sent them back where they came from, than put a legal American in that job ? And you will see how many jobs we can back in America ? Our government is sleeping wake-up they is a of illegal taking our jobs in America !

  • Hi
    8 January 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Damn, idiot Obama, Instead of pushing them to look for a job, they are enjoying taxpayers money. Wait for America to file bankruptcy.