NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – As thousands of jobless Americans lose their weekly unemployment checks every day, Congress is still debating who should qualify for a benefits extension.
The House passed a bill last month lengthening benefits by 13 weeks for those in high-unemployment states. While Senate leaders said at the time they would act soon, the proposal has languished as Democrats argue over the terms.
Meanwhile, 400,000 people ran out of benefits in September and another 208,000 are set to lose them this month, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is pushing legislation that would lengthen benefits for the jobless nationwide by four weeks. Those in states with unemployment rates greater than 8.5% would receive a total of 17 additional weeks.