Hillary Clinton urges extending benefits for jobless
December 31st, 2013
04:32 PM ET
7 months ago

Hillary Clinton urges extending benefits for jobless

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton is weighing in on an issue that's a top priority right now for the White House and congressional Democrats: Unemployment insurance.

"10 years ago I was proud to begin working on bipartisan efforts to save unemployment insurance. Let's do it again quickly in this new year," the former Secretary of State and potential Democratic presidential contender tweeted Tuesday.

Long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans expired Saturday, after Congress failed to pass an extension. Most Democrats blame congressional Republicans for letting the benefits expire. Many Republicans argue that the benefits are no longer needed as the economy has improved and the unemployment level has dropped.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and GOP Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada are co-sponsoring a bill that would reinstate the benefits. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll take up that measure once the Senate returns at the beginning of next week.

Extending unemployment insurance and raising the minimum wage are two issues near the top of the Democrats' agenda as part of their emphasis on income equality heading into the 2014 midterm elections. The issues are also very important to those on the left, who are a key electorate in the Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses.

Two weeks ago, after complaints by liberals in Congress that an extension of unemployment benefits was left out of the bipartisan budget agreement, Clinton tweeted "What happens to kids in families cut from unemployment insurance & food stamps? They're #2SmallToFail & deserve an equal chance to succeed."

(The "2SmallToFail" reference is a nod to her program at the Clinton Foundation for boosting education for young children)

After four years of rarely weighing in on domestic issues as she served as America's top diplomat, Clinton is increasingly stating her positions on such issues. If the former First Lady and Senator from New York decides to make a second run for the White House, she would instantly become the overwhelming front runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

- CNN's Elise Labott and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Name

    After 52 weeks i consider you to not be looking. Do not tell me jobs are tough to find. Gas stations and fast food are always hiring.

    December 31, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. Comme

    Of course she is. Nothing new. Right out of the "purchase votes" playbook. It is one of the means Obama used to buy votes. The real news is she is pandering to voters rather than doing something useful or with merit for the benefit of the nation.

    December 31, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Sonny

    How long do we do extend these for ? Right now it is 2 years. The part that Democrats dont want to admit or talk about is that there are A LOT of people collecting unemployment who are not actively searching for work. They milking the system as long as they can. No not all...but many are. So its frustrating as a tax payer to keep extending it for people who are abusing it

    December 31, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. ED

    I personally know people that are affected by this and I am not sure that continuing to mek the rest off us pay for them is the answer. Unfortunately there are many free loaders that will continue to collect benefits rather than get a job. The answer should be job creation not more GOV handouts...

    December 31, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. mecambridge

    Since when do you not get food stamps just because you lose unemployment?
    That's garbage..................

    December 31, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  6. Sonny

    If it were up to the Libs in this country, they would extend the benefits indefinitely and tax the hell out of the wealthy to pay for it.

    December 31, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. josh

    Shut up hillary

    December 31, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. Sonny

    Interesting how liberals are all about compassion and sympathy all of a sudden but a month or two ago, they had no sympathy for the 5 million Americans who lost their insurance, Doctor, and most importantly, affordable premiums. Now they are paying 3 times the amount they were. All i kept hearing from the left was "Get over it" or "Deal with it" or "those were crap plans any way (yeah right). They didn't sound too compassionate to me.

    December 31, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Sorry, folks, but EUC benefits do not need to be extended for all states. This die hard independent voter is leaning NO on extension of EUC. I've seen and know too many people misusing this service. Same goes for TANF and SNAP recipients. Get to work, people. And if anyone getting these benefits responds I hope s/he is at a public library doing so. Happy 2014.

    December 31, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. Bob

    @norma Jean...you can't get a job sitting on your butt...I'm a little person who has been out of work but I planned for the tough times. Also if you're relying on the $200 per week of unemployment you have bigger issues to worry about. You the stupid people are behind Hillary. What a joke!!!! No wonder America is falling apart...

    December 31, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Bad president.... did it ever occur to "smith" that the reason you think so is because of the obstructionism par excellence against any Obama policy. Just look at pending appointments 5 years into Obama's president over 200 still pending and then get to the crux of the really awful obstructionism court appointments these were almost 99.5% a nod and wink guaranteed to go OK as the presidents prerogative. at present there are 390 republican or democratic leaning federal judges 3 Obama appointments get filibustered ( PS there are 93 vacancies) and on R wants to pass a bill reducing the court Judges numbers from its now authorised 11 to actual 8 Guess why? The current 8 the R has a 5-3 majority.
    smith he's not the worst president just up against a totally unprincipled, hypocritical, devious bunch of Not of or, for, or by the people On many things they have done to prevent reasonable policies/ appointments and practices to go unchallenged.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    December 31, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  12. Name Uche Agonsi

    I dont really know how to make effective appeal to these GOPers, but they should show mercy on these suffering Americans by passing this bill. Even if unemployment is zero there must still be helpless people in the society that deserve the benefits, such as the very old that cannot work, the disabled, the sick and hosts of children with all sorts of disabilities. These are leftouts the society must carry their burden. Its not too good that this bill should expire before being subjected to politics for its renewal. HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS.

    December 31, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  13. BeenThereDoneThat

    Why do we keep wasting time arguing about Repulsivecans & Tea Pots? You can't reason w/Neanderthals, so STOP TRYING TO!

    January 1, 2014 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  14. Eric

    Teach a man to fish feed him for a life time!

    January 1, 2014 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  15. TeaParty4Life

    Hillary doesn't care about anyone. All she cares about is getting elected so she can continue this communist anti American agenda so she can make money and protect the criminals. How blind do you have to be to not see that her and this current administration is involved in funding terrorists with guns and money for running their drug cartels. Seriously!!! Wake up demoncats and stop drinking the 'we care for the poor' crap kool aid and see these criminals for who they are!!!! They are selling us out to the Muslim brotherhood and the Mexican cartels for crying out loud.

    January 1, 2014 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  16. @RI_Roger

    As soon as the Dems talk about how to fund this entitlement (more taxes and fees on the already over-burdened working class) they lose support from the majority of Americans.

    January 1, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  17. Minnie Mouse

    The long term unemployment extensions need to end. No one is going to take a job when the unemployment keeps getting extended. I lost my job in 2007 and was given 26 weeks and that was it. You either had to find a job before it ended or otherwise fend for yourself when your checks ended. It is hard to find a decent job but it's even harder when people turn down jobs just because they know they don't have to go to work because they are already getting paid weekly. It also makes no sense to fill out applications and waste peoples time when you know 100% for sure you have no real interests or intentions of taking the job because you are already paid.
    I am glad the extensions ended because if someone can't find a job in 26 weeks they are not seriously looking or trying hard enough. There are jobs but everyone is picky. We are as picky about our jobs as we are our haircuts. When you have no income, it's time to not be picky. Money, that is all a job boils down to in the end and you don't live at your job.

    January 1, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
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