Tell Congress to extend unemployment benefits now!

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When Congress passed a compromise budget this week, the long-term unemployed were left out in the cold. The devastating Republican holiday gift for 1.3 million families is an end to emergency unemployment compensation on December 28.

However, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were spared. The voices of millions of people warning Congress to make cuts at their own peril won the day.

The best gift that we in the 99 percent can give to unemployed family, friends and neighbors is a resounding message demanding that Congress take immediate action to extend emergency unemployment benefits.

In addition to the 1.3 million who will be immediately cut off, an additional 3.6 million people will lose benefits in the coming year unless Congress acts.

While the budget compromise averted a government shutdown and restored some of the human needs cuts made under the sequester, the positive impact on the economy will be canceled out if unemployment is not extended.

Progressive States Network has published an interactive state-by-state map of the impact of ending unemployment compensation. "Over the next 12 months, nearly five million Americans will be cut off if Congress fails to extend the emergency program. Every single state will see thousands of its residents suffer and sustain massive layoffs as a result."

PSN also provides information about the growing economic crisis in North Carolina, the only state that cut emergency benefits earlier this year.

"We started cutting too deeply years ago, and we've just been cutting more ever since," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, calling for an end to "austerity economics," which has sacrificed the needs of people for massive tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthy along with bloated military spending.

The compromise budget left all the tax breaks and loopholes for Wall St. and the super rich intact. This fight to end inequality is shaping the battles ahead for 2014.

Already, tea party Republicans are threatening to demand new cuts when the debt ceiling is reached in February. There is danger of a new attack on Social Security and Medicare. The cuts to SNAP (food stamps) made on November 1 have not been restored and could become bigger leaving children and families without basic nutrition. Millions of families are stranded as housing and heating assistance runs out.

Members of Congress need a storm of calls and messages while they are home for the holidays demanding an immediate restoration of unemployment insurance and restoration of cuts to food stamps.

As well, Congress should completely repeal the sequester, and fully fund the country's real needs like decaying infrastructure, renewable energy, housing, and essential services like education, scientific research, and public safety and expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Your holiday message to Congress may be the best gift you give!

Join with the AFL-CIO campaign to call Congress at 1-877-318-0483 with the message "extend unemployment insurance now."

Sign Rep. Keith Ellison's petition to Congress to extend unemployment insurance

To find your members of Congress click here for your Representative and here for your Senators.

Photo: AP

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  • Please extend the unemployment benefits. I have worked the last 35 years at the same place. I am a medical professional who is about to lose everything I HA e worked a d. E proud of the last 40 years. The e te des unemployment helps just keep me above water, while looking for jobs. I live within my means, with a 7 year old car, no cc debt. I do have a mortgage and 2 school-age children. I can't afford my car I insurance, so I won't be driving much longer. My I remember is going to be turned off, which my kids use for homework and I to put in applications. I Have had several interviews, however I am in my mid-fifties. Soon my phone will be shut off. Now employers can't contact me and I live in a rural area where I can't take public transportation. I feel bad for my children, because I have to itemized everything! The small amount I received and many others is sometimes just enough to juggle and get us through. How can Americans be treated this way. I also have a profession also license and CEUs I must maintain to be employed. I have no idea where that no eyes is coming from.Please help.

    Posted by dee, 03/03/2014 8:53pm (9 months ago)

  • Please extend these benefits for Americans seeking work in this terrible economy

    Posted by Erica Littrell, 02/09/2014 12:40am (10 months ago)

  • I was conting with the EUC Money to cover basic household bills while continuing searching for work. Now, without any income, we may go cold on winter because can pay electric bill; no phone because of the same reason so how potential employers are going to contact me.

    Please help families like mine going through hardship putting food on the table and paying basic necessities to survive.

    Please extend the EUC. Thank you.

    Posted by Beatriz Rengifo, 01/09/2014 7:38pm (11 months ago)

  • EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT!!! I am 60 years old and lost my job this past October. REPUBLICANS are unfeeling and mean-spiritedness toward President Obama, the middle class and low income people. If it were not for my husband I would be homeless.

    Posted by Pam, 01/09/2014 10:06am (11 months ago)

  • Not Fair they cut my Unemployment off .just got a letter saying imma get it four 13 more weeks.and everbody i no still Getting it until Next month.please let me start back Getting it

    Posted by amy richardson, 01/06/2014 11:31pm (11 months ago)

  • USA, stop bullying citizens, terrorizing working people, deporting decent people who happen to have no papers. DO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT. WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT!

    Posted by Eric Vogt, 12/23/2013 1:42pm (11 months ago)

  • USA, stop bullying citizens, terrorizing working people, deporting decent people who happen to have no papers. DO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT. WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT!

    Posted by Eric Vogt, 12/23/2013 1:41pm (11 months ago)

  • Extend federal unemployment benefits now retro to 12/29/13 into 2014. FUTA HAS PAID FOR THESE EMERGENCIES ALL FUNDED BECAUSE OF ME WORKING ALL MY LIFE OVER 35 years. Now do what you are being paid for and extend unemployment now

    Posted by Franceen Marinaro , 12/22/2013 8:52pm (11 months ago)

  • For those members of Congress who do nothing for the 99%, let them also lose their unemployment compensation - their salaries.

    Posted by Henry Lowendorf, 12/21/2013 10:22pm (11 months ago)

  • I AM 64 YEARS OLD AND LOST MY JOB LAST JANUARY. OUR GOVERNMENT BLEW 30 BILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR AND NOW WON'T HELP OUT THOSE WHO NEED THIS EXTENSION TO HELP MAKE THEIR BILLS GET PAID. THE AREA I LIVE IN DOES NOT HAVE A LOT OF JOBS AVAILABLE YET IN THIS ECONOMY.

    PLEASE EXTEND OUR BENEFITS SO WE CAN MAKE IT ANOTHER YEAR UNTIL WE CAN GET A JOB TO SURVIVE. IT WOULD GO BACK INTO OUR ECONOMY AND HELP BUSINESSES SURVIVE IN THIS AREA.

    Posted by VIKKI YESSER, 12/20/2013 10:03am (11 months ago)

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