(KMOV) – President Barack Obama is for extending unemployment, but it may run out if Congress does not act soon to continue long-term unemployment assistance.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told News 4 that she supports unemployment benefits but opposes some proposals that would expand benefits beyond the current 99 week package.
Senator McCaskill was touring Trinity Products in St. Charles to discuss creating jobs and the deficit with the company employees.
Senator McCaskill also told News 4 that she supports payroll tax cuts because “that helps our consuming economy.”
Congressman Lacy Clay issued this statement: "I fully support extending emergency unemployment benefits and the payroll tax reduction... Both proposals are cost-effective and smart moves to help grow the economy. Congress should act quickly to get this done."
Congressman Russ Carnahan issued this statement: "Families and businesses are depending on these simple, common-sense measures to keep their homes and feed their children, and I look forward to working with responsible leaders in both parties."
News 4 has received multiple calls from Senator McCaskill's spokespeople regarding more clarification on the senator's position for extending unemployment benefits. Click here for raw video of the senator's statement where she clearly states her position on the unemployment benefits issue.
The following is a clarification released by Senator McCaskill's office:
As Congress continues to wrestle with the ongoing fiscal crisis and the economy, lawmakers are going on record with their positions. Here is what News 4 is hearing from Senator Claire McCaskill, who yesterday was quoted as saying she opposed extending unemployment benefits when she was asked if she supported President Obama's plan to extend unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts. This is a clarification of that interview.
Currently, the federal government is operating an emergency program which provides unemployment benefits beyond the basic benefit of 26 weeks (Missouri recently reduced its basic benefit to 20 weeks). The current emergency program allows the unemployed in most states to collect up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Senator McCaskill supports this package. The emergency benefit program that provides up to 99 weeks is set to expire at the end of the year and will have to be extended for the 99 weeks of benefits to continue to be available.
There are some proposals in Congress that would extend the emergency benefit program to 113 total weeks, amounting to 14 more weeks than the current 99 week extended benefit. Senator McCaskill is opposed to extending benefits this extra 14 weeks to 113 weeks.