(WASHINGTON) — Millions of Americans could be headed off their own fiscal cliff at the end of December unless Congress does something to prevent benefits from ceasing.
Currently, there are more than five million people who have been out of work for at least six months, receiving government assistance, and just over two million of them are on the verge of seeing their extended unemployment benefits disappear on Dec. 31.
Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee delivered the dire report on Monday as Sandy Levin of Michigan and Lloyd Doggett of Texas urged quick action on Capitol Hill to assure the checks of jobless Americans keep coming in the New Year.
Levin warned, “Failing to act would push millions of middle-class Americans into poverty and impede our economic recovery.”
Still, lawmakers might be reluctant to vote in favor of an extension, given other pressing needs, including expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts that could plunge the U.S. into another recession.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN