"It's just inconceivable that in the last gasp of this Congress you would turn all your attention to the top 2 percent of wage earners in the country at the same time that middle class families are struggling to hold their families together because of prolonged unemployment," said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif.
The additional jobless benefits programs began in 2008 under President George W. Bush but were made more generous under last year's economic recovery act. Jobless people are now eligible for up to 99 weeks of benefits in most states. The first 26 weeks of benefits are paid for by states. About 3.8 million are now drawing those state-paid benefits.
Democrats argue that the extended benefits should be paid for with deficit spending because it injects money into the economy. Jobless people immediately spend the cash, they explain.
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