Nearly 2 million people will lose unemployment benefits next month should President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill legislators not reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. Those jobless benefits, estimated at $30 billion in the coming year, are expected to expire on Dec. 29.
Also, an additional 1 million unemployed workers are expected to lose their benefits by March.
“There’s going to be millions of us who, basically, will be out in the streets,” said Lis De Bats, 54, resident of Agoura Hills, Calif., told the Times. She was laid off in January from a job as a new-home sales manager.
But California has a program that provides emergency federal jobless assistance of as much as $450 a week. The program, which began a little more than four years ago, is also scheduled to expire on Dec. 29.
“I’d lose my home and everything that goes along with it,” De Bats told the Times. “I’ve used up all my resources.”
Yet so far, lawmakers and the White House have not reached an agreement on whether to extend unemployment benefits, keep the Bush-era payroll tax cuts – or allow automatic federal spending reductions to kick in under sequestration – before Congress adjourns at the end of the year.