Because the House and Senate have failed to win enough support for the unemployment extension, two million Americans could be cut off from unemployment benefits by July 10th. The passing of the unemployment extension bill failed by two votes with the dissenting voices saying they oppose the measure because there is no funding for it.
Democrats have scaled back their plans several times in recent weeks, scrapping plans to provide states with more Medicaid funds to offset budget cut. The measure last night would have cost $34 billion, and Republicans opposed it because it would add to the federal debt since there was no funding source to pay for it.
However, many Americans remain unemployed for an extended period of time, leaving them vulnerable to foreclosure and bankruptcy. The infamous 99ers are already falling off the unemployment rolls because they have been without work for 99 weeks and have exhausted their unemployment benefits. If we don’t take action to prevent these people from falling through the cracks after they exhaust their unemployment benefits, we could be facing a serious disaster. Banks are not sympathetic. They do not care if a debtor lost their job and can’t find another one; all they care about is getting paid. This is why we need to adjust our unemployment system so that it catches those who have remained unemployed for long stretches of time. We also need to consider how we will help those who don’t even have access to unemployment insurance because they are even more vulnerable to foreclosure and other creditor actions.