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Michigan to stop taking extended unemployment applications

Unemployment line in California
Michael Raphael
Unemployment benefits will run out for millions of Americans this spring if Congress doesn't extend the unemployment insurance program (an unemployment line in California in 2007).

The Associated Press reports that the state "will stop taking new extended unemployment benefit applications after Saturday because Congress has failed to renew the program."

An effort to extend the benefits did not pass the House of Representatives last week. Republicans blocked the extension because the measure would have added $12 billion to the federal deficit. Representative Charles Boustany, Republican of Louisiana, was quoted in an AP article saying, “the fact is, we can both provide this help and pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending. ’’

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganians will stop receiving unemployment benefits by April if Congress does not extend unemployment benefits when they get back to work next week.

The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, says 4 million people will be left without benefits by this spring if Congress doesn't renew. In a statement, Solis said,

"Instead of celebrating with their loved ones next week, these individuals – who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own – will have to spend Thanksgiving wondering if they will be without the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance."

Solis says the end of extended unemployment benefits will be bad for the economy. She cited a multi-year study from the federal agency that found "for every dollar spent on UI [unemployment insurance], economic activity increases by two dollars."

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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