Reid Remarks on the Need to Restore Emergency Unemployment Insurance
|Targeted News Service|
As we continue to work toward final passage of the farm bill conference report, a bipartisan group of Senators has been working behind the scenes to reach an agreement to restore emergency unemployment benefits to 1.6 million Americans. In the three weeks since Republicans filibustered a bill to extend this important program, 220,000 more Americans have lost their benefits. And state economies across the country have suffered, as unemployed people who were already getting by on so little find ways to survive on even less.
When unemployment benefits dry up, customers disappear from local stores and business suffers. More than
It's no wonder two-thirds of Americans - including 65 percent of Independents - believe we should extend unemployment assistance. Helping neighbors who have hit hard times is not only the compassionate thing to do. It's also the smart thing to do for our economy.
Since Republicans filibustered a bill to restore benefits without adding a penny to the deficit, the toll on local and national economies has been devastating. But the toll on unemployed Americans has been immeasurable.
For people who have worked all their lives and who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, being unemployed is difficult enough. But worrying about how to pay the rent, put gas in the car and buy groceries while they look for a new job can be demoralizing. And for the long-term unemployed - some of whom have been struggling to find work for more than a year -
This is what she wrote to me: "Can you imagine sleeping on friends' couches at my age? Can you imagine having to sell everything you worked hard for just to keep gas in the car in the event that someone calls for an interview?" She went on to say this: "I have worked my whole life, since I was 16 years old, and contributed to a system that is now failing me on a major scale."
Millions of people just like this unfortunate
I remain cautiously optimistic that Republicans will heed their constituents at home and help Democrats restore emergency benefits to Americans in need.
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