Jobless benefits run out for 1.3M Americans

Extended unemployment benefits have expired for more than 1 million Americans after Congress failed to extend them following weeks of back-and-forth discussions in Washington. Republicans say a yearlong

News 12 Staff

Dec 29, 2013, 3:47 AM

Updated 3,818 days ago

Share:


Extended unemployment benefits have expired for more than 1 million Americans after Congress failed to extend them following weeks of back-and-forth discussions in Washington.

Republicans say a yearlong extension would be too costly, with an estimated pricetag of $25 billion. But Democrats argue that benefits help families and businesses because it allows people to spend money they normally wouldn't have.

Those who are losing their benefits have been out of work for more than 26 weeks and are finding themselves caught in a the middle of a political battle. Among them is Chris Fidis, of West Hempstead, who says he's been unemployed since May 2012 after losing his job as a telecommunications manager. He's been on multiple interviews, but he believes several factors are keeping him out of work, such as being overqualified and 55 years old.

Fidis and his wife have four children, including two in college, and they've been relying on long-term unemployment benefits to make ends meet. Those benefits vanished today for Fidis and about 1.3 million other Americans.

Congress had voted to renew the benefits 11 times since 2008, but did not in the latest budget deal. Many Republicans said the benefits are too expensive but earlier this month, a handful of Republicans, including Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) sent party leadership a letter calling for a temporary extension.

Last week, Democratic Reps. Steve Israel and Tim Bishop blasted the GOP for allowing the benefits to expire.

House Speaker John Boehner has said he may be willing to negotiate an extension, but only if it comes with cuts elsewhere in the budget.


More from News 12
1:31
Indian-American fans torn between nations as Cricket World Cup wraps up in Nassau

Indian-American fans torn between nations as Cricket World Cup wraps up in Nassau

1:46
Mostly sunny and warm Thursday, chance for Friday evening storms

Mostly sunny and warm Thursday, chance for Friday evening storms

2:15
New York launches Mobile ID to digitize driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs. Here’s how to get it.

New York launches Mobile ID to digitize driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs. Here’s how to get it.

0:41
NY attorney general: Long Island to get over $16 million from settlement reached with e-cig maker Juul

NY attorney general: Long Island to get over $16 million from settlement reached with e-cig maker Juul

0:19
Nassau PD: Woman assaulted police officer outside UBS Arena

Nassau PD: Woman assaulted police officer outside UBS Arena

0:25
Rockville Centre to fly flags at half-staff in honor of officer killed in off-duty crash

Rockville Centre to fly flags at half-staff in honor of officer killed in off-duty crash

0:25
Police: Mom, 2 young children hit by car in Aquebogue

Police: Mom, 2 young children hit by car in Aquebogue

0:46
Students in East Islip display smashed cars on front lawn of high school for drunk driving awareness

Students in East Islip display smashed cars on front lawn of high school for drunk driving awareness

1:28
Garden Guide: This is why your plants are blooming better than usual this year

Garden Guide: This is why your plants are blooming better than usual this year

1:35
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's lemon iced almond biscotti

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's lemon iced almond biscotti

2:12
Exclusive: Never-before-seen photos show Rex Heuermann around the time of the Gilgo Beach killings

Exclusive: Never-before-seen photos show Rex Heuermann around the time of the Gilgo Beach killings

2:05
JetBlue to begin nonstop service from MacArthur Airport to 3 Florida destinations

JetBlue to begin nonstop service from MacArthur Airport to 3 Florida destinations

1:35
Future of Brentwood's annual Central American Festival in limbo after Town of Islip denies permit request

Future of Brentwood's annual Central American Festival in limbo after Town of Islip denies permit request

21:13
Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System

Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System

0:24
Police: 3-year-old girl pulled from pool in Central Islip

Police: 3-year-old girl pulled from pool in Central Islip

0:38
Police: Possible human remains discovered at construction site at Eagle Rock Apartments in Woodbury

Police: Possible human remains discovered at construction site at Eagle Rock Apartments in Woodbury

0:24
Splish Splash to host Father's Day weekend belly flop contest

Splish Splash to host Father's Day weekend belly flop contest

0:41
Medford’s first library celebrated at grand opening

Medford’s first library celebrated at grand opening

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

2024 Cricket World Cup on Long Island - Special Coverage

2024 Cricket World Cup on Long Island - Special Coverage