Long-term unemployment benefits run out today after Congress did not extend the federal program. Extended unemployment benefits, beyond the usual 26 weeks, were started during the Bush Administration to help Americans hit by the recession.
Since 2008, they've been renewed 11 times. But not this time and some republicans say it's time to end the program all together. They argue it's too expensive.
Democrats say benefit checks get spent right away, spending that's necessary to boost the economic recovery.