There is no stopping it this time.
Last month Senator Jim Bunning created a stir with his stand against extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed through borrowing. After a lot of political grandstanding, it ended after a couple days when both sides agreed to a temporary 30-day extension.
The 30-days are almost over and nothing has been accomplished. D-Day is approaching for the unlucky millions of long-term unemployed.
As many as 130,000 Californians are expected to exhaust their unemployment benefits within the next three weeks, based on estimates from the state Employment Development Department. About 3,300 already have fallen off the unemployment rolls.
That's 130,000 in just one state. The effects over the entire country will be catastrophic.
Of course this didn't happen without yet another confrontation in Congress.
"We're going to be like the Athenian Empire," warned the Oklahoma Republican, standing alone on the Republican side of the room.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) slumped in his chair, rubbing his temples in apparent agony.
After about 20 minutes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) interrupted Coburn to ask: "How long are you going to talk?"
Coburn said he planned to talk for another 45 minutes. Reid turned around and left the room. He eventually returned with a motion to table Coburn's bill, which succeeded easily.
A reporter asked Bunning how he felt that Coburn had taken up his cause. "I think it's wonderful," he said.
Congress will adjourn for a two-week break starting tomorrow. On April 5 a huge wave of long-term unemployed will lose their benefits. Congress will not be back in session until April 12.
Newly unemployed will also lose eligibility for subsidized COBRA benefits.
"This will be our first item of business when we come back."
- Reid spokesman Jim Manley
Here's the breakdown on the weeks of basic unemployment and the extensions available:
* Basic unemployment: 26 weeks
* First tier extension: 20 weeks
* Second tier extension: 14 weeks
* Third tier extension: 13 weeks
* Fourth tier extension: 6 weeks
* FedEd: 20 weeks
For every cloud there is a silver-lining, and it took JP Morgan Chase to find it.
A recent report by JPMorgan Chase claims that the enhanced unemployment benefits which were enacted to fight the recession have actually increased the unemployment rate by 1.5 percent.
So you see, giving unemployed people a small amount of money so they can pay their rent is actually a bad thing. Therefore lots of poor people getting evicted should shrink the unemployment rate.
You can trust JP Morgan Chase on this. They know more than a few things about getting money from the government.