Congress’ inaction to help America's jobless

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Last year, lawmakers appallingly deserted 1.3 million jobless workers and went home for their own holiday without extending unemployment insurance benefits.

Imagine what it must feel like to need help for the first time in your work life after having worked for decades, paid your taxes and played by the rules. Now when you need a helping hand to survive, our members of Congress are too busy bickering over how to pay for the extension. When there is a medical emergency, first responders don’t ask patients how they are going to pay for this.

It is shameful that there was nothing included in the recent budget negotiations to help millions of people who want to work but cannot find employment. This was coupled with a resistance to close tax loopholes for the corporations that caused our economic crisis,

The failure to renew this benefit is now costing a staggering 73,330 Pennsylvanians $1,651,937 a week, robbing families of a support system that remains essential to economic survival. By not extending benefits now Congress is also robbing businesses of customers, costing the country more than 240,000 jobs, including 15,200 jobs in Pennsylvania. Every dollar in unemployment benefits goes right back into the economy in purchases of food and other essentials to survive.

Congress is scheduled for another recess on Jan. 17. Pennsylvania’s working families say to their representatives, don’t come home again without restoring the extension of unemployment benefits and be sure they reach back to those who were left out in the cold over the recent holidays.

RICK BLOOMINGDALE
President
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
Harrisburg

 


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