Cedar Rapids Weather
Unemployment Benefits Expire, For Now.
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
Dubuque - Jobless benefits for tens of thousands of unemployed Americans expired Monday.
That's because Congress is deadlocked on an extension for benefits.
The house already passed an extension but the Senate did not act before starting its two week break.
Iowa Workforce Development says those people will still get a check this week.
But whether they get anymore help depends on how quickly congress moves.
Times are tough for 27-year-old Matthew Penning. Last month he was laid off from his job as a commercial roofer. Now he's collecting unemployment.
Penning said, "I make about half as much as I would for a full week of work and it's hard to survive on the limited unemployment that you get.">
He's loaded down with bills,students loans and a mortgage.
Adding insult to injury: Congress's delay means he might not get his unemployment check next week.
Penning said, "I got to believe this is one of the important things on the docket and it should be taken care of before other things or before them leaving."
Penning is frustrated that Congress took a recess before settling this issue. He says he's already doing everything he can.
Penning said, "I mean I have been searching for a job for the past two and a half years. So finding one in a week would be pretty much impossible.">
It's all a matter of what will be the Senate's next move.
Penning is not sure what to he'll do next, so he'll keep searching, waiting and watching.
Penning is one of about a thousand Iowans who may not get unemployment benefits next week.
Congress resumes on Monday.