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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 112th Congress

Julie M. Whittaker
Specialist in Income Security

Katelin P. Isaacs
Analyst in Income Security

The 112th Congress may consider a number of issues related to currently available unemployment insurance programs: Unemployment Compensation (UC), temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08), and Extended Benefits (EB). With the national unemployment rate predicted to remain high into next year, the increased demand for regular and extended unemployment benefits will continue. At the same time, the authorization for several key unemployment insurance provisions is temporary and will expire. For instance, the EUC08 program, which currently provides the bulk of extended unemployment benefits, is scheduled to expire the week ending on or before January 2, 2013. The 100% federal financing of the EB program will expire December 31, 2012. The option for states to use three-year EB trigger lookbacks expires the week ending on or before December 31, 2012. In addition, a temporary 0.2% federal unemployment tax (FUTA) surtax expired at the end of June 2011.

The 112th Congress faces these expirations as well as other likely unemployment insurance policy issues, including unemployment insurance financing. In addition, recent policy discussions have focused on the appropriate length and availability conditions of unemployment benefits.

This report provides a brief overview of the three unemployment insurance programs—UC, EUC08, and EB—that may currently pay benefits to eligible unemployed workers. This report also discusses relevant legislation introduced in the 112th Congress: specifically, H.R. 1745, S. 386, H.R. 650, H.R. 589, H.R. 1663, H.R. 235, S. 310, H.R. 569, H.R. 2001, H.R. 2120, H.R. 2137, H.R. 2731, H.R. 2806, H.R. 2868, S. 1743, H.R. 3346, S. 1804, S. 1826, H.R. 3427, S. 1885, S. 1931, S. 1944, H.R. 3598, H.R. 3601, H.R. 3630, H.R. 3615, H.R. 3638, H.R. 3743, H.R. 494, S. 2095, S. 2081, a proposal outlined in the President’s Budget Proposal for FY2013, as well as the President’s American Jobs Act of 2011 proposal (introduced in Congress as S. 1549, H.R. 12, and S. 1660). This report also discusses the implications for the UI programs with respect to provisions in H.R. 2693, S.Amdt. 581 to S. 1323, P.L. 112-25, P.L. 112-40, P.L. 112-78, and P.L. 112-96.

Date of Report: September 12, 2012
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41662
Price: $29.95

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