Klobuchar touts unemployment insurance as Senate returns to work

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Sen. Amy Klobuchar: "Rather than removing the safety net Americans rely on, we should be focused on policies that help people get back to work."
  • The Congressional Budget Office says extending the program would boost the GDP by .2 percent and reduce unemployment by 200,000 in 2013;
  • The current 2.6 percent long-term unemployment rate (for those unemployed for 26 weeks or more) is double what it’s been each of the last two times lawmakers let unemployment insurance end, in March 2004 and April 1994;
  • More than 23.9 million people have used the program since it was instituted in 2008, though it’s impacted 45 million people living with those beneficiaries in that time;
  • When the program expired, 1.3 million workers lost benefits, and that number could rise to 4.9 million this year as unemployed workers become ineligible for their state coverage.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/06/2014 - 11:45 am.

    Pay Go?

    I thought Amy K embraced the “Pay-Go” proposal during her campaigns. Is she proposing a way to pay for this spending?

  2. Submitted by Ray Marshall on 01/06/2014 - 12:05 pm.

    How long should unemployment insurance last

    One year? Five years? Ten years? Could four people in a home all be on unemployment for a long time, earning $1,000 a week?

    Who is going to pay for it? Insurance requires that somebody must pay for it. The previous employer? All employers? Taxpayers?

    It sounds to me that extending unemployment insurance indefinitely is just like adding 4 year olds [free daycare] to the schools. Just another “free” benefit for people who will want to be voting DFL to keep those checks coming.

  3. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 01/06/2014 - 12:44 pm.

    Unemployment Insurance

    Extending unemployment insurance to 99 weeks is not helping the unemployed. Anyone who collects unemployment that long is significantly reducing their odds of ever getting a decent job. In many cases, people need to accept the reality that their old jobs are gone forever, and they need to switch to a new line of work, which probably means taking a significant pay cut.

    For those people who really can’t find a job, we need a WPA type program to put people to work doing meaningful jobs as a safety net, not more government handouts that just create long term welfare dependency.

  4. Submitted by Pat Igo on 01/06/2014 - 02:33 pm.

    Cost of $6.5 billion through March?

    Wow, that is a tough sell. Klobuchar (and Franken) should be waging a campaign in DC to repeal the medical device tax that they both voted for. Instead of “touting” for an extension of unemployment benefits. Cart before the horse?

  5. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/06/2014 - 08:05 pm.

    Whoa! Libs took the day off?

    Where’s the support for Senator Amy?

  6. Submitted by jason myron on 01/06/2014 - 10:50 pm.

    This myth

    that laid off, fifty year old, middle managers with a mortgage, car payments and kids in college are kicking back on $300 a week after years of gainful employment is willfully ignorant.

  7. Submitted by John Bracken on 01/07/2014 - 08:09 am.

    The answer is so obvious

    The best way to raise wages while lowering unemployment is to legalize 12 million people who are here but forgot to get permission to be here. Everyone knows that more cheap labor is always a win win for America’s less skilled, less educated job seekers. Nothing helps America’s down and out more than some other country’s down and out taking their job. Actually, outsourcing does it well, also.

  8. Submitted by Jon Lord on 01/08/2014 - 08:52 am.

    Cold hearted

    I am amazed by the cold hearted folks submitting on the subject of kicking people out in the cold. I suspect they call themselves Christians, and who’ve never had a hard day in their lives. Why don’t you push for increasing job creation among the Corporations? Yes, I know…we know that’s not going to happen. Until then putting people out in the cold is, at best, scrooge all over again. A lot of these folks are skilled and getting work outside their fields is next to impossible for at least one specific reason. An employer won’t hire someone they feel will quit once the prospective employee finds work in their skill set. They, and those without a skill set, have fewer opportunities available to them than ever. If ‘we’, as a people, don’t understand that, it simply means ‘we’ as a people are losing IQ points yearly.

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