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Federal Budget Deal Does Not Include Extension Of Jobless Benefits

Congress is close to reaching a budget deal ahead of a January 1st deadline.The deal does not include extending emergency unemployment insurance benefits. That means 40 thousand Ohioans could see their benefits end this month. Lewis Wallace of member station WYSO in Yellow Springs reports.

Congress put together the Emergency Unemployment program early into the Great Recession to help out the long term unemployed.

Basically, when state unemployment expires, this federal program swoops in with up to 14 extra weeks of help.

The program was last renewed in 2012, and Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is one of the people calling for another renewal, ASAP.

SB: We know that unemployment insurance has a real ripple effect in the economy, that people that receive unemployment benefits, which they’ve earned, are spending that money in the hardware store in Springfield and the grocery store in Huber Heights and the auto body shop in Dayton, and that money circulates and creates other economic activity and creates jobs.

But Democratic negotiators in Congress agreed to keep this unemployment extension off the table—in order to get a budget deal on the table.

As it stands, about 1.3 million people across the country could get cut off at the end of the month.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.