For more than a million Americans drawing extended unemployment checks, the benefits have run out. Congress did not include an extension to unemployment insurance in its most recent budget, ending unemployment payments to some 1.3 million people as of this past weekend.
Baltimore resident Kathy Biscotti is one of those long-term unemployed who had been relying on the extension. She lost her job over the summer and told CBS's Jeff Pegues she is now worried about making ends meet.
"I wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic of what is going to become of me," Biscotti said. "Am I going to end up living under a bridge? Am I going to end up being homeless?"Most states offer 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, but when the recession hit, Congress voted to extend those benefits. At one point the program offered up to 99 weeks -- close to two years of coverage. The program was extended 11 times by Congress, until finally coming to an end with this last budget.
Democratic members of Congress say they would like to resume the payments and plan to take up the issue when they return from break. There is even talk of retroactive pay. President Obama has also come out in favor of continuing to fund extended unemployment benefits. But most GOP members are against it, arguing there is no money in the budget to pay for it, unless additional cuts are made elsewhere.
"The president's real focus ought to be creating a better environment for our economy, and creating more jobs for the American people," House Speaker John Boehner said.
Deal or no deal, Kathy Biscotti said she would just like to get back to work. "It's horrible to wake up in the morning and not have somewhere to go," she said. "It's degrading."
Congress is back in session next week.