Federal government ends extended jobless benefits - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Federal government ends extended jobless benefits

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WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- The end of unemployment checks for more than a million jobless Americans has driven people to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions.

The nation's long-term unemployed will be abruptly cut off from federal unemployment benefits after lawmakers left Washington without voting on an extension. Recipients will lose an average monthly stipend of $1,166.

The change affected 1.3 million people on Saturday and will affect hundreds of thousands more who remain jobless in the months ahead.
   
The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress want to continue the program but the extensions were dropped from a budget deal earlier this month. Republican lawmakers have balked at the program's $26 billion annual cost.
   
Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid says the chamber will vote early next month on extending the benefits. House Speaker John Boehner has said he's open to extending the benefits, but only if accompanied by spending cuts elsewhere to cover the cost.
   
Greg and Barbara Chastain of Huntington Beach, Calif. say they have exhausted their state unemployment benefits since losing work in June and now may uproot their family and move to save on rent.

Here in Wisconsin, 23,700 people will lose benefits. Wisconsin Budget Project reports the loss in unemployment benefits will be $361 million less in the state economy. The average weekly benefit this year was about $240.
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