That's how many people are on track to lose their unemployment benefits by the end of next week, according to the Huffington Post's Arthur Delaney. And the number is only going to keep growing from there. Of course, this outcome could be avoided if Congress passed an extension of the filing deadline. But a Senate bill to do just that stalled today on a procedural vote. Delaney's full article gives good background on the infuriating reluctance on the part of lawmakers to continue the federal program. Meanwhile, Ezra Klein rebuts the argument from moderate Democrats like Ben Nelson (who voted against the measure) that this type of emergency spending needs to be offset in the budget:
It's hard to say this loudly enough, but it really doesn't make sense to offset stimulus spending, at least in the short term. The point of the money is to get the economy moving faster, to give people cash to spend. This isn't like health-care reform, where you're purchasing something and you should pay for it. When you're trying to expand the economy, you need to use debt to put more money into it than would otherwise be there.
Keep an eye out in the coming days as Democratic senators attempt to pass a scaled-back version of the bill.
UPDATE (6/17): Politico published a new story this morning on what's being trimmed from the jobs bill. According to their report, the $24 billion heading to states to extend the enhanced Medicaid matching rate is safe. The Senate is prepared to cut the $25-per-week jobless benefit that was passed in last year's stimulus package. David Dayen has more on the folly of that decision.