Unemployment Extension 2014: Government Shutdown May Push Extended Benefits Off Until 2015

The 2014 unemployment extension bill is dead in the water, but U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois believes that unemployment insurance for benefits needs to be extended immediately.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the shift in the American work force has led to growing legions of freelancers and independent contractors. Unfortunately, trouble is on the horizon, and the CBO has Social Security Disability running out of money by the year 2016, although it’s possible their estimate may be off by a year in either direction. When Congress avoided another fiscal cliff by saving the Highway Trust Fund they did so by using two methods that critics consider to be political gimmicks since they essentially amounted to borrowing money now with the promise to pay it back years down the road with taxes and offsets.

When the original unemployment extension bill expired in December of 2013, Rep. Schneider introduced a measure to to force a vote on unemployment insurance. Throughout 2014 he has been working to have a similar bill enacted and is a cosponsor of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. Recently, he visited a non-profit Career Resource Center where he renewed his call for action.

“The Career Resource Center is an incredible resource for people in our communities looking for work, offering a breadth of services including crafting resumes and interview coaching,” Schneider said. “These programs help people with their job search, but still many of our families, friends and neighbors continue to depend on unemployment insurance to help bridge the gap in difficult times. That’s why I’ll continue highlighting the need to urgently extend unemployment insurance–it isn’t just smart policy, it’s the right thing to do.”

But when Congress reconvenes on September 8 they are more likely going to be focusing on the fight over illegal immigration and whether another government shutdown will occur. Congress only has 10 working days during that time period and it’s very unlikely it will be possible to get both the House and the Senate to agree on an unemployment extension bill. In addition, Republicans will most likely be focused on spending cuts, not spending increases, so advocates for the 2014 EUC will need to come up with a payment method that greatly appeals to the GOP, never mind John Boehner’s job requirements.

How do you think Congress should pay for the 2014 unemployment extension bill?