While lawmakers are adjourned this week for the July 4th recess, many of the country's millions of unemployed workers await their return for an expected vote on an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.
More than one million people have started losing these benefits this month and, though the House passed the bill to extend the benefits for six months, the Senate's vote will be delayed until at least July 12, when Congress returns from the break. (The Senate shut down early last week, so the late Sen. Robert Byrd's body could lie in repose in the chamber.)
Donovan Marsden, in White Plains, New York, received his last unemployment check three weeks ago and is having trouble just making ends meet without the income. Donovan says about waiting for the bill to pass, "I'm biting my fingernails and toenails." Michelle Ives, in Cedar Hill, Texas, also received her last unemployment check last month. Ives says she's counting her bills and is concerned about how she will manage to pay them without the extension.