Lawmakers facing new pressure to extend unemployment benefits
Groups backing an extension of unemployment benefits have launched a new round of lobbying to convince Congress to extend federal benefits to the long-term jobless.
A coalition of advocates including the National Employment Law Project (NELP) held more than 40 meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the first week of the lame-duck session to make their pitch for a $30 billion extension of the program.
The assorted labor union, civil rights and anti-poverty groups face a tough path to winning the extension at a time when lawmakers are looking for ways to reduce the budget deficit. Lawmakers started talks at the White House on Friday to prevent the nation from going over a so-called “fiscal cliff.”
But the groups are hopeful they can win another extension, and received a shot of confidence this week when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said stimulus measures should be included in any deficit-reduction package.