Washington, DC – In a 60-37 vote, the Senate passed a procedural measure Jan. 7 that allows a bill to restore Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits to move forward.
The cut to extended unemployment benefits impacted about 1.3 million people. Congress failed to renew the EUC benefits as its session was winding up in December of last year. Republicans largely opposed the benefits and Democrats were unwilling to go to bat for the unemployed, insisting an extension to benefits be a condition of the budget agreement.
The fight to restore the Extended Unemployment Compensation benefits is facing an uphill battle in Congress.
The benefits began during the Bush administration, as the economic crisis was unfolding. One result of that economic crisis is the persistent high rate of unemployment, which has become a long-term part of the U.S. economic landscape. Illinois, for example, has an unemployment rate of 8.9%.