A 4 1/2 -year-old program of emergency federal jobless assistance is scheduled to expire Dec. 29 — unless Congress and President Obama agree to keep it going.
Nationwide, about 2 million people face a cutoff in unemployment benefits, estimated to cost $30 billion in the coming year.
“There’s going to be millions of us who, basically, will be out in the streets,” said Lis De Bats, 54, an Agoura Hills, Calif., resident laid off in January from a job as a new-home sales manager. “I’d lose my home and everything that goes along with it. I’ve used up all my resources.”
Although the federal budget debate has prompted worries in many sectors of the economy, the threat to these emergency benefits is especially nerve-racking to those with no other means of support.
And the benefits are important not just to needy individuals and families but also to economically hard-pressed communities, economists say.
— Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
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