The New York Times reports:
There are now more than five million Americans — roughly one-third of the unemployed — who have been out of work for six months or longer, ... a record since data was first recorded in 1948.
Congress has extended benefits several times, most recently in February, but for many workers they are again running out.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid (D Nevada), and other Democrats have introduced a bill that would extend unemployment insurance by up to an additional 14 weeks in all 50 states, with another six weeks for states with a jobless rate above 8.5 percent. It is an improvement on a bill passed by the House, which would extend benefits only in states with unemployment above 8.5 percent.
February’s extension, which included a $25-a-week increase in benefits, kept 800,000 people out of poverty...Putting more money in the pockets of the unemployed provided much-needed stimulus for the entire economy.
Every day that the Republicans continue to block an extension...means thousands more Americans pushed closer to the edge of despair.