Washington, DC – According to widespread reports here, Feb. 2, the Senate is close to an agreement that would allow a vote on Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) the week starting Feb. 3.
Bloomberg news quotes Senate Majority leader Harry Reid as saying, “I hope we have something on the floor next week.” Insiders report that a vote is close, with Democrats and some Republicans nearing agreement on a funding source for the jobless benefit extension.
To date, about 1.6 million job seekers have lost or been denied extended benefits. The number grows every day that congress fails to act.
The seeds for this disastrous cut to the unemployed were planted in December of last year, when Democrats failed to insist that the funds for Extended Unemployment Compensation were included in the budget deal. Congressional Republicans are generally hostile to any assistance for the unemployed.
A bipartisan consensus exists in Washington D.C. that federal spending must be cut and that social programs that serve working and low-income people need to be put on the chopping block. Recently unemployment insurance, food stamps and rental assistance have been targeted by politicians who favor austerity.