Unemployment Benefits Extension 2014: Harry Reid Claims a New Measure Could be on Spending Bill

July 14, 2014 Last Updated: July 16, 2014

An unemployment extension could be added to an emergency spending bill, it was reported.

Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said, “Well, there’s a chance” when he was asked about putting an extension on the supplemental, according to RollCall.com. He was referring to the odds Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed would put it on the bill.

“I would hope so, he deserves that,” Reid added. “He and Heller deserve that,” referring to Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada.

Both Reed and Heller have been pushing to bring back emergency unemployment compensation benefits since they expired last December.

“We are losing some of our enthusiasm when the Republicans simply, other than Dean Heller, just turn a blind eye to these people who are suffering,” Reid added.

Reed said he’s trying to convince Republicans to get behind the measure, as Nevada has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States.

“They’ve been very positive to me,” said Heller of his efforts, according to CapRadio. “They understand where I’m coming from and the state of Nevada and the situation, the economic situation, in the state of Nevada.”

House Republicans haven’t taken up the bill but Reed said that the White House is to blame for not talking to them about it.

“Just ask them what will it take and I know they want job creation portions added to the legislation, which I agree with, but let’s move forward,” Heller added.

The Associated Press update: How states fared on unemployment benefit claims  

Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, driving down the level of applications to nearly the lowest in seven years.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. That’s not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The data is for the week that ended June 28, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest decreases:

California: Down 7,294, due to layoffs in the service industry

Pennsylvania: Down 4,608, due to layoffs in transportation, restaurants, and administrative services

Illinois: Down 1,243, no reason given

Maryland: Down 1,092, no reason given

Wisconsin: Down 1,063, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

New Jersey: Up 8,579, due to layoffs in education, transportation, hotels and restaurants, and health care

Massachusetts: Up 4,566, due to layoffs in education, transportation, restaurants

Connecticut: Up 1,409, no reason given