69 percent support extending unemployment insurance

January 23, 2014

(AP)

More than two-thirds of Americans support extending long-term unemployment insurance, according to a new poll.

The Fox News poll shows 69 percent of people think the insurance should last at least a year — longer than the current 26 weeks.

Congress is  deadlocked over whether and how to continue funding unemployment insurance beyond that 26-week period. The previous long-term extension expired on Dec. 28, leaving 1.3 million Americans without benefits.

The poll shows 26 percent of people think less than one year of unemployment insurance is appropriate. Some 36 percent think one year would be better, while 13 percent prefer a year and a half, 11 percent prefer two years and 9 percent prefer longer than two years.

The question does not ask about the cost of such extensions, which is the linchpin of GOP opposition to the current proposal.

The Senate recently voted to move forward with a proposal that would extend the benefits, which previously lengthened the period of eligibility by up to 47 weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates. Republicans have reportedly offered a deal that would extend them by three months, and the Senate is set to revisit the issue next week.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · January 22, 2014