WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama would sign a three-month temporary extension of long-term unemployment insurance, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said Wednesday, with long-term benefits for some 1.3 million across the nation expiring Dec. 28 – 81,867 of them in Illinois.
Sen. Jack Reed D-R.I. and Sen. Dean Heller R-Nev. authored the 3-month extension, with Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. a co-sponsor. Many House Democrats are pushing for a one-year extension.
The House is out for the rest of the year and the Senate is due to wrap up 2013 in a few days. If Congress does not act, jobless benefits will revert to 26 weeks.
Asked about the Reed/Heller legislation, Jarrett said, “We strongly support it and we think it will be bipartisan. And just think of all of the families … who could lose that very important benefit right around the holiday time. So, but the real news is that it looks like it might have some bi-partisan support.” Jarrett made her comments at POLITICO’s “Morning Money” event.
Jarrett predicted the compromise can pass Congress early next year. “We’re hopeful that over the course of the next few weeks we’ll galvanize support for it,” she said.