The unemployment extension for 2012 - at least two months of it - may be passed after all.
A two-month extension deal was passed last week by the Senate and endorsed by President Obama. The Republican-controlled House, however, initially rejected the two-month deal and called Senate to negotiate a year-long deal.
As a compromise, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell suggested the House pass the Senate's two-month deal while the Senate agrees to immediately begin negotiating a year-long solution.
House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions, while Senate Democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. These goals are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both, stated McConnell.
President Obama endorsed McConnell's proposal.
We should go ahead and get this done, said Obama, reported USA Today.
If the two-month extension is passed, unemployment benefits recipients - including those nearing their maximum 99 weeks - will continue to receive their benefits for January and February 2012.
After that, Congress will likely wrangle over the maximum number of weeks Americans can receive unemployment benefits. While Democrats want the maximum 99 weeks (26 regular weeks plus 73 extended weeks), Republicans will likely push for a lower number.