Archived: Time to Stop Grandstanding and Approve Unemployment Extension


When Congress adjourned for the Christmas holiday they left the nations long-time unemployed facing an uncertain future, as their unemployment benefits expired.

Now congressional Republicans are refusing to allow new bills that would extend emergency unemployment compensation to aid 4.9 million long-time jobless, their families and local communities.

It’s a move we find completely without merit, and it comes at a time when there are still at least three applicants for every job opening.

One has to wonder what the Republicans expect the unemployed to do> Move on to welfare?

We know many will say, especially those who have income on which to live, that most of the long-time unemployed are just lazy and prefer to live on their $300 dollar unemployment checks, oh, and let’s not forget, their probable benefit of about $75 per week for food stamps.

There are plenty jobs available, we are hearing more often. And it’s true, more businesses are hiring. But we should not mistake more jobs being available for enough jobs to meet the needs of the unemployed, even at the minimum wage level. We should also not make the mistake of equating a job with a road out of poverty.

So, how do you feed, cloth, and house a family of four, for instance, on a federal minimum wage income of $280 a week (after taxes), and if you are “lucky” enough to receive some food stamps?

When you factor in transportation, work apparel, lunch and in some cases childcare, it’s just not enough to support one person, let alone a family. So yes, many have to depend on unemployment compensation until there are jobs they can afford to take.

The myth that unemployed workers would rather stay home and live on $320 per week or less instead of working for $450-$500 per week just does not make sense.

It is a disingenuous position, which is being pushed to get economic concessions in other areas.

And lest we forget, the 1.3 million people who lost their benefits in December is just the tip of the iceberg, some estimates say there is close to 4 million more people on unemployment who are nearing the end of their 26 weeks of benefits. What will they do if there are no jobs?

Let’s hope public pressure can put a stop to the political grandstanding going on in the Capitol, and the Congress will quickly do what’s right and quickly approve an extension of unemployment benefits.

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  1. Janet Albright on

    I am 58 years old and my accounts receivable job that I had worked at for 26 was eliminated on 1-11-13 and I was let go. I have been trying to get a job but at my age it is very hard, now my unemployment has been stopped. I have worked my entire life and now when I need assistance it has been totally taken away from me. Please help to get the unemployment extension passed as soon as possible. Thank you!

  2. What`s so funny is that congress all are banking high salaries close to 200,000 a year and many have millions in personal bank accounts. They pledge our money to Syria for relief efforts totalling 1.4 billion and can`t help 1.3 million of it`s own people here in the united states. country is backwards…

  3. What so funny is most of those folks in the white house have miilions in their personal bank account. The speaker gets $200,000 a year and most congress make nearly the same. Also, just report that the united states pledges 1.4 Billion dollars to Syria relief efforts but the 1.3 million americans here in our country can`t keep the extended benefits. This country is just backwards…

  4. This needs to stop. I called every republican senator
    or today. I literally cried on their voice mail. I cried to their secretary. They want ppl to work. … Why don’t they hire me?
    People forget these politicians work for US. Must be nice to have vacation & Pension 4 life

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