The U.S. Senate spent the better part of its summer fighting a protracted battle over extending a program that provides up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans. Democrats finally succeeded in passing the $34 billion measure seven weeks after the previous extension had expired.
By all accounts, this has bought only a temporary reprieve. The additional funding for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) runs out at the end of November. But with the economic recovery stalling and unemployment sticking at 9.6 percent, the White House has already signaled that it intends to push for a ninth extension. Taken at face value, this seems like the right response.