Chris from South Carolina used to work in an unemployment office. Then he was laid off. Here’s his warning:
You should know that Congress has let the emergency benefits lapse several times in the past few years and always when a break is scheduled for them. It happened last Easter and last Christmas. They don’t care about the unemployed. They take their holiday break and deal with it when they return to Washington.
We can’t assume Congress will renew unemployment in time for the millions who are hanging by a thread before extended benefits expire Dec. 31. That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops. More than 2,000 jobless workers, activists and clergy are on Capitol Hill, right now—demanding a clean and immediate extension of emergency unemployment benefits. Thousands more are in district offices across the country.
As we gather on Capitol Hill and at district offices, activists across the country are flooding Congress with messages.
Diane from Michigan worked in the newspaper industry and is now unemployed. Here’s how she describes her situation:
Every job opening has hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants. It is almost impossible to get a job—especially if you also face age discrimination. Retraining is too costly. Meanwhile, we are hanging on by a thread. No health insurance....My current unemployment benefits are the only thing saving me from the street. I have faced food insecurity for the first time.
Momentum is building—but we can’t take the passage of emergency unemployment aid for granted.
Obstructionists like House Speaker John Boehner—who has nearly absolute control over what comes up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives—continue to block a clean, immediate extension of emergency jobless aid. There’s no excuse for that. Especially when our economy is so bad and budget cuts in our communities are so dire.
Chris, a now unemployed unemployment office worker, asks a powerful question: “Don’t they realize they work for us?”