The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Congress Extended Unemployment Benefits ... Not Yet!

Dec 7, 2009

Congress passed a law in early November, providing up to 14 weeks of federal aid for people who had exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Such aid is needed, for sure. Officials say – and the reality is probably worse – that there is only one job opening available for every six unemployed. With nine million Americans on unemployment aid, and four million of them already on federal extensions, millions of families are facing the immediate threat of ending up in the street, with absolutely no means to live.

There is one “glitch,” though, as one official put it. The politicians who wrote and passed the law “forgot” one detail: the new federal benefits were added on previous extensions, which will expire on December 31. So, for anyone to receive the additional extension, Congress has to pass another bill to renew the old extensions – before the Christmas break.

The politicians sure could do that, and in hours, if they wanted to – just like when they released hundreds of billions of dollars to big banks last year. But will they do it for workers? Probably only if there is enough of an uproar about this “little oversight.”