Two national polls released July 13 revealed that registered voters think it’s more important to help the unemployed than to reduce the deficit.
Fifty-two percent of voters told CBS that Congress should extend unemployment benefits “even if it means increasing the budget deficit,” including 35 percent of Republicans. Sixty-two percent of registered voters told ABC Congress should extend benefits despite concerns that doing so “adds too much to the federal budget deficit.”
In a Bloomberg survey, 70 percent of voters said reducing unemployment is more important than reducing the deficit. But only 47 percent said Congress should reauthorize extended benefits, which in some states provided the unemployed with up to 99 weeks of checks.
A poll commissioned by the National Employment Law Project in June found that 74 percent of voters think helping the unemployed is more important than reducing the deficit.
Extended benefits for the long-term unemployed lapsed at the end of May because Republicans and some Democrats in Congress insisted that the cost of the jobless aid not be added to the deficit.