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(AURN) -- As Congressional lawmakers have left--or prepare to leave--Washington for holiday recess, more than a million Americans are on track to lose unemployment insurance at the end of the month. That after an extension of long term benefits was not included in the budget compromise, much to the dismay of Congressional Democrats.
U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota was among Congressional Black Caucus members who voiced concern that many would go without the lifeline of support from the federal government.
Rep Keith Ellison Expresses Concern About Long-Term Unemployment Benefits
State unemployment benefits usually last about half a year, and once they run out, federal benefits kick in for another 47 weeks.
As the graph from the The National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows, 1.3 million Americans currently receiving the long-term extension will abruptly lose benefits on December 28th; furthermore, in the months ahead, another 850,000 jobless workers will run out of state benefits and not receive an extension.
In a statement NELP Director Christine Owens said, "Congress cannot conscionably ignore or dismiss the economic realities facing far too many unemployed workers and their families.
President Obama urged lawmakers to extend the temporary federal program, but he didn't insist that it be part of budget bargain.
House Speaker John Boehner said, according to NPR.org:
"When the White House finally called me last Friday (December 6th) about extending unemployment benefits, I said we would clearly consider it, as long as it's paid for and as long as there are other efforts that will help get our economy going again."
Boehner continued, "I have not seen a plan from the White House that meets those standards."
House lawmakers have already adjourned for the holiday, so it's unclear what action -- if any will be taken before December 28th.
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