Loss Of Jobless Benefits Looms As Holidays Approach04:34
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Jimmetta Smith, of Lithonia, Ga., right, the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, holds her resume while talking with Rhonda Knight, a senior recruiter for Delta airlines, at a job fair for veterans and family members at the VFW Post 2681, in Marietta, Ga, Nov. 14, 2013. (David Goldman/AP)
Jimmetta Smith, of Lithonia, Ga., right, the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, holds her resume while talking with Rhonda Knight, a senior recruiter for Delta airlines, at a job fair for veterans and family members at the VFW Post 2681, in Marietta, Ga, Nov. 14, 2013. (David Goldman/AP)

For about 1.3 million American workers, the countdown has begun. On Dec. 28, federal extended unemployment benefits will expire for people who have been jobless for six months or more. That means in the new year, lots of households will be losing the government checks that helped pay the bills this year.

The chances that members of Congress will suddenly change their minds about the program are evaporating. Yesterday, Congressional leaders unveiled a two-year bipartisan budget deal that did not include any last-minute reprieves for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

NPR's Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the impact of this looming loss of jobless benefits.

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This segment aired on December 11, 2013.

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