TEXT OF STORY
Steve Chiotakis: President Obama will sign one of his legislative priorities, financial regulatory reform, into law later this week. But he’s not letting lawmakers head for summer vacation just yet. Today he called on senators to approve extended unemployment benefits for 2.5 million Americans. From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.
John Dimsdale: Tomorrow, the Senate will try for the fourth time to approve jobless benefits for long-term unemployed. Republicans have blocked the legislation, arguing the payments should be paid for, so as not to pump up record government deficits. Today, President Obama noted Republicans routinely approved jobless benefit extensions when George Bush was president.
President Barack Obama: It’s time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics. It’s time to do what’s right, not for the next election, but for the middle class.
Extended payments for the unemployed began expiring at the end of May. Some critics of government benefits say they are a disincentive to find another job. But the most generous individual payments run around $2,000 per month — not much of a disincentive, according to the White House.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Give today and get our limited edition tote.