Why cutting off benefits is a bad idea:

Recipients of unemployment benefits are required to actively search for work. With few job openings around, losing that requirement takes away the only reason many unemployed Americans kept searching. A study by economists Henry Farber and Robert Valletta found that unemployment insurance has little effect on people’s readiness to take a job, but it has a big one on people’s decision to keep searching for work. The view that desperation will force the unemployed to get a job, which seems to drive Republican opposition to extending federal benefits, just isn’t supported by the data. And that’s leaving aside the moral problems with starvation as a policy strategy.