Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told “Fox News Sunday” that long-term jobless benefits only hurt the unemployed by “causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”
The number of long-term unemployed, people who have been without work for 27 weeks or longer, is now at its largest level since World War II, according to the Washington Post.
The issue has become a central part of the 2014 budget negotiations. President Barack Obama has called for an extension of long-term jobless benefits.
"While it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help," Paul said Sunday.
He believes that if benefits ran out sooner, the jobless would be back to work sooner.
“When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy,” he said.
On Dec. 28, 1.3 million people that have been without work longer than six months will lose benefits. In the first half of 2014, another 1.9 million will face the same loss of benefits, Fox News reported.
Lawmakers have until Jan. 15 to pass a new budget bill, but Democrats may be unwilling to budge on the $25 billion plan to extend long-term unemployment benefits.