Tens of thousands of out of work Georgians stand to lose their unemployment insurance at the end of the month. U.S. House Democrats couldn’t get the majority to extend the benefits Thursday. Georgia Republicans opposed the measure.
The $12 billion bill would have extended unemployment benefits for millions of Americans--- among them about 84,000 Georgians.
Right now the maximum amount of time to get the insurance is about two years. US Representative Phil Gingrey of the 11th district in northeast Georgia says the country can’t afford to extend the program another three months.
“I think the longer we allow unemployment insurance compensation... if it’s 99 weeks or 199 weeks unfortunately a lot of people will drag their feet until the very last minute.”
Gingrey says he has supported some past extensions, but the program has reached its “breaking point”.
He was one of the five GOP house members from Georgia who voted against the bill. Two abstained.
People have to show they’re seeking employment to get the benefits. The average recipient gets about $300 a week.