Senate does not extend unemployment benefits

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Millions of Americans who are out of work will have to wait a little longer to see if they will get extra unemployment benefits.

The senate voted down a $141 billion spending plan on Wednesday that could stop emergency unemployment benefits.

Mary Nell Smith works at the Coastal Workforce Center in Conway and says the lines are still long at the office.

"If you come into our office today, you can see it hasn't slowed down a lot," Smith said.  "There are still some people who have continued on tier after tier while they were looking for work."

She says there are four tiers for emergency unemployment benefits.

People can still get money from the tier they are in.  But since the senate shutdown the spending plan, they won't be able to go to the next tier.

"And when it stops they are in serious trouble because there's nowhere for them to go because they have used up everything they have," Smith said.

The proposed legislation also included enhancing Medicaid payments to states and a fix to keep Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being trimmed.

Without federal reimbursements, doctors who normally treat Medicare patients could start turning them away.

To advance the bill, it will take at least two republicans to clear a hurdle requiring 60 votes in the 100 member senate.

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