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White House: ‘Stark Consequences’ for California if Congress Fails to Pass Unemployment Benefits

White House: ‘Stark Consequences’ for California if Congress Fails to Pass Unemployment Benefits

by Karen Ocamb on December 2, 2010

Bi-partisan meeting at the White House on Nov. 30, 2010 Photo by Peter Souza.

The White House stepped up pressure on Congress Thursday to pass an extension of unemployment benefits that will begin to expire this week for 2 million jobless Americans. “The impact on consumer spending is significant,” Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the New York Times reported. “We’ve never not extended unemployment benefits in anything like the conditions we have today.”

The report also breaks down the urgency by state. In a White House press release, the report warns that in California 1,013,384 residents stand to lose support and 89,399 jobs at stake.  “Failure by Congress to act on extending unemployment benefits will have stark consequences for California residents,” the report says.

Though President Obama said his meeting with Republican leaders on Tuesday was civil, the Republicans said shortly thereafter they would oppose all measures until agreements was agreed on taxes. Some Democrats cry foul, saying the GOP is making take breaks for the wealthiest Americans more important than helping out the unemployed – at Christmas.

(Please click inside to read the White House press release regarding California.)

New Report: California Needs Congress to Act Now on Unemployment Insurance

1,013,384 residents stand to lose support; 89,399 jobs at stake

WASHINGTON—Failure by Congress to act on extending unemployment benefits will have stark consequences for California residents, according to a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Over the course of the next year, nearly seven million workers across the country – including 1,013,384 in California – will lose the temporary support that helps them keep food on the table and make ends meet while they search for a job if Congress fails to act.

“Extending this support to those hardest hit by this crisis is not only the right thing to do, it’s the right economic policy,” said CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee.  “Letting millions more Americans fall into hardship will hurt our economy at this critical point in our recovery and immediately undermine consumer spending.”

Without extended benefits, California would have had 115,948 fewer jobs as of September 2010, and failure to act to extend benefits again could cost the state 89,399 jobs by the end of next year.

Benefits for the jobless are particularly important during the holiday season. In addition to providing support for families when they need it most, the positive effects of the program on the economy are likely to be greater since American families tend to spend more during the holiday season.  In December alone, two million Americans will lose their coverage if Congress fails to act, the report finds.

To view the full report, including more state-by-state numbers, click HERE.

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