The U.S. Senate this morning passed (70-28) a jobs bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promises “is not the only jobs bill or the last jobs bill we will bring to the floor.”
The next step likely will be a 30-day extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and COBRA health care subsidies for unemployed workers. Both jobless aid programs are set to expire Feb. 28, and in March alone, 1.2 million people will lose their UI lifeline and health care unless Congress acts.
But with long-term unemployment continuing to rise (currently at an all-time high of 40 percent of all unemployed) the program needs to be extended for at least one year, economists say. Reid says the 30-day measure is a stop-gap while congressional negotiators try to develop a longer-term solution. Click here to tell your senators to act now. continue reading