Locals impacted by unemployment benefits cuts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On Saturday 1.3 million Americans lost their long-term unemployment insurance benefits. For the average family that's a $1,166 a month loss.

Republicans say that costs the government $26 billion a year, but analysts say the economy could suffer more.

Shawn Humphrey is a customer service manager at a major retailer in Kansas City, but that wasn't always the case.

"It was a long search and I moved from here, had a job, lost a job, and came back here and was searching for a while," Humphrey explained.

He relied on unemployment benefits to help him, his wife and kids.

"It's definitely a must that there's income coming in, just so that we could have the basic things like food and water, and things like that," Humphrey said.

Now for millions of Americans that will run out.

However, this will impact more than just those receiving unemployment.

Chris Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence says, "The big issue from an economy perspective is that's a lot of money to suddenly come out of the economy.  You can assume every dollar given to someone on unemployment will be spent."

Kuehl said we'll see the impact almost immediately, "We'll see a lot of money come out of the economy. It's going to happen more intensely in some parts of the country than others."

Not good news for many still celebrating the holidays.

"I don't think this is the time of the year or the time. Everybody obviously has done all they can to have a happy holiday for all around them, and they have lost part of their happy holiday," Humphrey said.

Now Congress has to decide whether to extend the unemployment benefits again. That's expected to cause a tense political battle in the upcoming year.

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