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Unemployment Benefits Extended: Obama Signs Bill

By Minara El-Rahman on November 06, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Right on the heels of news that U.S. unemployment has reached 10.2%, Obama has signed off on the bill that would grant an extension of time on unemployment benefits.

CNN  reported that Obama called the unemployment rate "sobering." He released a statement that said that he hoped that the bill he signed "will help grow our economy, help create and save jobs, and help provide necessary relief to small businesses."

The House of Representatives approved the measure shortly after it passed in the Senate.

As we wrote about in our previous post about this legislation, unemployment benefits will be extended in all states by 14 weeks. Benefits will be extended in states with 8.5% percent unemployment or higher by an additional six weeks on top of the 14 weeks.

The legislation also contains an $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Dem-CA) also spoke about the bill's potential to help Americans: "The bill will mark another step toward a boost in our economic growth and it will make critical investments for our families and our workers."

Hopefully Ms. Pelosi is right about the government making critical investments in American families and workers.

While this bill is definitely a step in the right direction, more than 7,000 unemployed Americans are losing their benefits every day.

Even with this bill, they will need to reapply in order to reinstate their benefits and qualify for the time extension.

The government has reported that the current numbers of unemployed workers has jumped from 9.8% in September to 10.2% in October. The unemployment rate has not been above 10% since 1983.

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