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Group of U.S. Senators Reach Unemployment Benefit Bill Compromise
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on March 14, 2014 @ 7:50PM
Created on March 14, 2014 @ 6:21PM

U.S. lawmakers have been fighting for months about what action to take regarding unemployment benefits that expired for millions of people at the end of last year.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 10 senators struck a deal which could put benefits back in place. It's a five month compromise which would reimburse people for benefits retroactively.

There are Democrats and Republicans supporting the proposal. It's far from becoming official because the Senate and the House of Representatives have to vote on the bill. The bipartisan group of senators believes it will pass in the Senate even though another recent compromise ended up failing.

Two million people have gone without benefits and 1.6 million others were at risk of not receiving checks if changes weren't made by the end of the year. Many experts are saying if the bill passes it's anything but a permanent solution which means the same issue could come back up in the near future.

There's a lot of uncertainty about what will happen if and when Congress gets ahold of the bill.

Dr. Scott Crichlow is a political science professor at WVU. He said, "It's very hard to read the House Republicans in this Congress. There's a lot of people who will not support spending in any way even if it is offset by new revenue."

Workforce experts claim an extension of benefits will help people struggling with bills, food costs, and much more. Some people also believe it will put pressure on people to try and set themselves up for careers because most jobs available are only paying minimum wage.

Bo Sellers is the Director of Community/Workforce Engagement at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont. He said, "The only way they're going to be able to get a job other than minimum wage is to get new skills, training, education, and that takes time."

The Senate is about to leave for a week long recess which means a vote isn't expected to take place until the last week of March.


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