Will federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of the mont - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Will federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of the month?

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(KYTX) -- It's an issue moving from the back burner to the front burner. The clock is ticking for lawmakers to extend federal unemployment benefits by another year.

People out of work for longer than 6 months, like Darryl Harrell, have a safety net. It's a federal benefits program that helps them stay afloat.

"It helps keep the bills paid. I need those benefits," Harrell said.

Harrell used to be a warehouse manager and says he's been trying to land a similar job.

"I drove all the way to Palestine yesterday to a job fair trying to find employment before my benefits run out," Harrell said.

President Obama is trying to keep those unemployment benefits from expiring on Dec. 28th.

"The point is these programs are not typically hammocks for people to just lie back and relax. These programs are almost always temporary means for hardworking people to stay afloat while they try to find a new job," Obama said.

House speaker John Boehner says nothing is out of the question.

"If the President has a plan for extending unemployment benefits, I'd surely entertain taking a look at it," Boehner said.

 Plenty of Republicans simply aren't interested, saying there isn't an appetite for renewing the program that started 5 years ago as only a temporary measure. But people like Harrell, are hoping there will be a change of heart.

"Whatever we can do to extend this, would be a great help," Harrell said.

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