One group to benefit from the New Year’s Day compromise: Florida’s unemployed.
Congress extended the federal emergency unemployment compensation program, which was due to expire Jan. 1, for another year.
That means about $1.4 billion will be injected into the Florida economy, where long-term unemployment has been particularly problematic. Nationwide, the long-term jobless rate is about 40 percent; in Florida, it’s 50.6 percent.
In Florida, nearly 119,000 people are eligible for emergency unemployment assistance, which offers weekly benefits of up to $275 beyond the 19 weeks provided by state unemployment compensation.
Gov. Rick Scott had no response to the tax cut deal, but said Wednesday he would like to see Congress focus its efforts on cutting spending.
“I have never seen a tax increase that creates jobs,’’ the governor said in a statement. “Businesses create jobs and we must start cutting government spending to live within our means.
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who voted for the fiscal cliff deal, warned that while the nation averted one cliff, danger persists ahead as Congress must decide what to do about the postponed automatic spending cuts and the fact that the federal government has reached its debt limit. She said she fears conflict ahead as “Republicans hold out for spending cuts to some of our entitlements that Democrats hold so dearly.”
“This is what you call a temporary fix,’’ Wilson said. “This is just enough to not take us over that cliff.”
Miami Herald staff writer Toluse Olorunnipa and Tampa Bay Times staff writer Alex Leary contributed to this report.