Congress back in session, tug of war over unemployment continues

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Help for the unemployed is under fire in congress. Federally extended benefits expired December 28th.

Emergency unemployment benefits went into effect in 2008.

Communications Director at the Georgia Department of Labor Sam Hall said, "At the time, there were 39,559 Georgians receiving long term extended benefits."

Former Republican President George W. Bush signed the emergency funds into law. The program gave jobless Americans around 300 dollars week, for 28 weeks after state benefits ended.

Now, President Barrack Obama and the Democrats who control the Senate want the benefits continued for 1.3 Americans who rely on them. Republicans who control the House do not.

But experts said, if you're unemployed, don't let the tug of war in Congress stop the search for work.

Hall said, "I would encourage them to step up their search for employment and continue to use the career service in Augusta to help them find another job."

Hall also said if you were getting the benefits, you were required by law to be looking for work.

Hall said, "All of the people who were receiving benefits would have been searching for work in Georgia. They would have had to under the guidelines of the law been actively seeking employment."

The Georgia Department of Labor said if the congress does reenact legislation, eligibility information will be on their website. That is‎.