News / USA

Unemployment, Health Care Top US Congress Agenda

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left,  joined by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes reporters' questions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 11, 2013.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, joined by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes reporters' questions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 11, 2013.
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VOA News
The U.S. Congress returns to work this week after a holiday break.  Lawmakers have a list of potentially contentious issues to consider in an election year that will determine control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

One of the first items is the extension of emergency payments to long-term unemployed workers, which is up for a vote Monday in the Democrat-controlled Senate.  

But the extension must also pass the Republican-controlled House.  There is little interest among Republicans to again pass an emergency extension in financial aid to the 1.3 million Americans whose benefits stopped on December 28, unless there are cuts elsewhere.

Republicans will continue their focus on the president's health care law, beginning with the introduction of data security legislation they say is aimed at protecting the American people.

Congress is also facing a January 15 deadline for a vote to keep the government running or else face a partial government shutdown. 

A bill is likely to pass after lawmakers' ratings plummeted following last year's shutdown.  

Elections for all House of Representative members and one third of the Senate seats will be held in November.

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Comments
     
by: anonymous
January 19, 2014 11:24 AM
Why wont congress pass at least a 3 month extension of unemployent. Millions of american people are in need of financial help while they are looking for work. Please congress do something for our american citizens.


by: Anonymous
January 06, 2014 6:37 PM
I can't believe congress allowed the Unemployment benefits have run out for people that can't find work.

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