Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
WASHINGTON, March 19 -- Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. (9th CD), issued the following news release:
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement on Speaker Boehner's statement on Implementing an Extension of the Federal Emergency Unemployment Insurance Program as contained in the bi-partisan proposal to extend UI for five months.
"Over 2 million unemployed workers have been waiting for Congress to act to restore the federal emergency unemployment insurance program - a critical lifeline while they look for work - since December 28th.
"With the bi-partisan breakthrough in the Senate on a 5 month fully-paid for extension now is not the time to set out hurdles to helping America's jobseekers.
We have in the past restored these benefits after the program was suspended, and can do so again. As in the past, the Department of Labor will work with the States to ensure they can fully implement this voluntary program. And surely Republicans aren't going to suggest that their insistence on prospectively banning millionaires from getting these benefits is now a reason to block a UI extension.
"Speaker Boehner has said he is willing to consider an extension of unemployment benefits that is fully paid for - the Senate bill is fully paid for. I hope he holds true to that standard and I am confident that given a vote a bi-partisan extension of the UI program will pass the House.
"I just met with a group of unemployed workers in Michigan and their personal stories cut through all of the past inaction in Washington - they have worked all of their lives, they are looking for work, and they need this basic assistance to stay afloat and get back on their feet. We cannot let them down."
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