Congress has approved extending federal unemployment benefits to Americans struggling to find work. All of Idaho’s congressional delegation voted against the plan, largely due to concerns that it will increase the national debt.
The $34 billion plan would keep extended federal unemployment benefits through the end of November. In Idaho, approximately 10,000 people could start receiving unemployment payments again. Eligible individuals could receive payments for the six weeks in which extended federal benefits had lapsed.
Rep. Walt Minnick was one of 10 Democrats to oppose the plan. “I am absolutely opposed to digging the deficit hole deeper,” Minnick told IdahoReporter.com earlier this month when speaking about the legislation. He called the deficit the biggest single threat to the country, and that Congress could have found ways to cover the cost of assisting people who are out of work. “I want to help them, but I want that help to be paid for,” Minnick said.