Lawmakers in the region are calling for an extension of unemployment benefits before the holiday season.
If Congress does nothing, 1.3 million people stand to lose federal unemployment benefits next year. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says that would rock the already shaky economy.
"This is a cliff for these families, and the communities that these families live in," he says.
Congress is out for the next two weeks for its Thanksgiving recess. Van Hollen says lawmakers shouldn't take another break without addressing the issue.
"Congress absolutely should not go home in the middle of December without addressing this very important issue."
Unemployment benefits often become a bargaining chip in other negotiations, and there aren't many "must pass" bills floating around on Capitol Hill, which is putting the bills future in doubt.