Published: Dec 01, 2010 12:53 PM EST
Updated: Dec 01, 2010 9:53 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Extended unemployment benefits start running out today for an estimated 2 million Americans.

Unless Congress changes its mind, benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks will end this month, just as the holidays arrive.

Congressional opponents of extending the benefits any further say fiscal responsibility should come first. Republicans in the House and Senate, along with a handful of conservative Democrats, say they're open to extending benefits, but not if it means adding to the $13.8 trillion national debt.

The Federal Reserve expects the unemployment rate will hover around 9 percent for all of next year.