The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a bill restoring long-term unemployment benefits, and a lawmaker from Wisconsin hopes it will eventually make it to the president.
The long-term benefits were allowed to expire in December. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) says there’s still a dire need to restore them. Baldwin says that “right now, in America, there’s basically three jobs seekers for every open job. So even if everybody was successful, there’d still be people who are unemployed in the longer term.”
The Senate is expected to debate a deal today that would extend benefits beyond the current 26 weeks most states provide. Baldwin says she supports the extension, largely because of the positive impact it would have on local economies.
Even if the Senate passes the bill, it faces an uncertain future in the U.S. House. Republican leaders there argue a requirement that retroactive payments be made to the millions who have lost benefits since December would cause massive delays and increase administrative costs.
KFIZ’s Bob Nelson contributed to this report.