J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Published Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 | 11:19 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 | 12:20 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Thousands of Nevada’s long-term jobless should brace for losing their unemployment benefits, after lawmakers failed to fund extended assistance in a newly inked budget deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today.
Without an extension, about 17,000 Nevadans will lose their benefits almost immediately, according to a state-by-state count released by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee. Another 21,900 Nevadans would see their unemployment insurance eligibility expire in the first six months of 2014.
“I’ll push for an extension when [the] Senate convenes after the New Year,” Reid tweeted this morning, complaining that an unemployment insurance extension should have been part of the deal.
Under the budget deal, federally funded emergency unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks are scheduled to expire Dec. 28.
Jobless workers in Nevada, where the unemployment rate is still 9.5 percent, have been eligible for extra benefits up to 73 weeks.
Extending emergency unemployment benefits for a year would cost about $25 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. That is almost the same amount by which the bipartisan agreement is expected to reduce the deficit over 10 years — $23 billion — according to House and Senate Budget Committee chairs Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray.
Delaying a resolution on extending unemployment benefits until early next year all but ensures the issue will come up as Congress tackles passing new federal appropriations by Jan. 15, when the current continuing resolution — the one that ended the government shutdown — expires.
Senators are not scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., until Jan. 6; House members don’t return until Jan. 7.