Unemployment checks will soon begin flowing to millions of jobless people who lost up to seven weeks of unemployment benefits due to a Republic filibuster in the US Senate.
Democrats in the Senate set the stage for the much-needed extension when they finally broke the filibuster led by by Republican Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell on a 60-40 vote. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on July 22, assuring a restoration of benefits for people who have been out of work for six months or more–about 2.5 million people who have been unable to find work in the aftermath of the nation’s long and deep recession.
They are eligible for lump-sum retroactive payments.
“Some Republicans claimed that ending these benefits will force these Americans to start looking for work, ignoring the fact that there are five Americans looking for every existing job opening,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, writing on Huffington Post. “Still others, while blocking the extension of these benefits, are arguing for a return to the policies of George W. Bush, and advocating extending tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.