The Senate, beating backÂ partisan objections from Republicans,Â has approved legislation thatÂ restores emergency jobless benefits to millions of peopleÂ who have ben unemployed for moreÂ than six months.Â The Republican senators who contniue to push for tax cuits for the wealthiest AmericansÂ delayed action to help the unemployed for weeks.
The measure moves intoÂ the House of Representatives for approval and hopefully to the White House so the President could sign into law as soon as this week.Â Once approved, unemployment benefits for moreÂ than 2.5 million people who have seen their checks cut off since the emergency program expired June 2 would be restored and the lawÂ wouldÂ provide up to 99 weeks of income support to a broader universe of jobless workers through the end of November.
The Washington Post reports that jobless rates in 39 states have declined, but there is continued pessimism in job creation for the immediate future.Â According to the Post, ”
The unemployment rate across 39 states and the District fell in June, but this is far from good news. Instead, it reflects renewed pessimism about the economy as employers put the brakes on hiring and people stopped looking for work.
While 41 states saw net job gains in May, only 21 saw an increase in June, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Businesses are holding off on hiring new workers, with private employers adding a mere 83,000 jobs last month.
The numbers reflected a temporary phenomenon: the layoff of thousands of temporary workers for the U.S. Census Bureau. But in a month when home construction and retail sales numbers missed expectations and corporate earnings reports were lackluster, they sent stocks tumbling early Tuesday before they erased most of their losses in the afternoon.
Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June from 9.7 percent in May.”
To break the impasse, two Republicans voted with a Democratic caucus newly fortified by the appointment of Sen. Carte Goodwin, who replaced the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), voted no.
The measure now goes to the House, where leaders hope to approve it and send it on to the White House on Wednesday. If approved, the measure would restore benefits to more than 2.5 million people who have seen their checks cut off since the emergency program expired June 2. It would also provide up to 99 weeks of income support to a broader universe of jobless workers through the end of November.