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Long-Term Unemployment Benefits End Saturday

Over a million out-of-work Americans will be ringing in the new year with a lot more uncertainty about the future.
NBC News -- Over a million out-of-work Americans will be ringing in the new year with a lot more uncertainty about the future.

Jobless benefits are slated to expire this weekend for 1.3 million people who receive the long-term federal aid payments that kick in after state insurance payments run out.

The emergency benefits, which were instituted during the 2008 recession, allowed many individuals to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks while seeking work.

While the program has been extended 11 times, lawmakers failed to reach a year-end agreement to maintain it.

A bipartisan team of senators is pushing for a short-term fix after Congress returns to Washington in January.
Sens. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, are proposing a three-month extension of the benefits program that would also retroactively pay the missed checks to the long-term unemployed. Reed said Thursday that he expects the first vote on that proposal to be held Jan. 6.

President Barack Obama called the two lawmakers on Friday from Hawaii to thank them for their proposal and to pledge to fight for its passage, the White House said.
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