Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take Action

After posting “Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten” on our blog on Feb. 26, the Center for Effective Government received close to 100,000 page views and over 1,500 comments. Many of those who posted comments were people who had seen their emergency unemployment benefits cut and who are struggling to keep their lives together.

There is still a jobs crisis in this country, and the individuals who wrote to us are on its front lines.

We read through all your comments.  We are appalled and angry and disappointed, too.  And we are trying to figure out how to amplify your voices.

But first, here’s an update of what is NOT happening in Congress:

  • Although emergency unemployment benefits have never been paid for with offsetting cuts to other programs in the past, many Republicans are now insisting on cuts to other programs in exchange for extending unemployment insurance.
  • S. 2077, “A bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes,” has been introduced in the Senate, but the legislation has not yet been brought to a vote. A procedural vote expected in the coming weeks could allow a vote.
  • The House of Representatives is not currently scheduled to address this issue but may take action if the Senate successfully passes the bill.

We encourage you to continue to push your elected representatives to take action. Ask your friends and neighbors and relatives to do so, too. The map below shows which senators voted against taking action on unemployment benefits in early February. To see how your senator voted, click here.

The map also shows the number of other people in your state who have or will exhaust their unemployment benefits by April 5 and the amount of federal assistance that your state will lose by that date if benefits are not extended.

(Click the image above to enlarge.)

Use this information to demand action from your senators and representatives. Ask your governor to demand your senators vote to help you. (Find addresses, phone numbers, and contact information for other federal and elected officials here.)

Additionally, reach out to your elected officials on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promoted the use of the hashtag #renewUI.

Share your stories on talk radio and in letters to the editor to your local papers. Members of Congress are particularly sensitive to letters to the editor of newspapers in their districts, and many of the stories shared in response to our blog post would be excellent for talk radio or letters to the editor. People are moved by your stories. We were. If you haven’t already shared your story on our site and want to, you can submit your story here.

Some of you mentioned MoveOn.org’s petition to renew Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). You can find it here.

In response to a request by one of the commenters, we have created a Google Group that will allow you to continue to communicate with each other – and to share information, advice, counsel, empathy, and the knowledge that you’re not alone. Join the Center for Effective Government’s “Long-Term Unemployed Action Forum” by clicking here.

To stay in touch with the Center for Effective Government and to receive updates on blog posts on this and other topics, sign up for our e-news alerts here.


For Further Reading:

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not ForgottenThe Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take ActionThe Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the GovernmentThe Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the SenateThe Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the HouseThe Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the SenateThe Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014

Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits   and Rush through Corporate Tax CutsThe Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the HouseThe Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014

Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment CompensationGovernment Matters, April 22, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax ExtendersThe Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014

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Go to petitions.whitehouse.gov there is a petition on there to reinstate EUC benefits. With 100,000 signatures it forces the government to act!!!
Thank you Jessica for keeping this issue in the news and providing useful information!
Because of the lack of compassion of our Congress on April 1, I will be 3 months behind on rent and will be evicted. I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT VOTING AFTER ANOTHER RECESS - it will be the end of the month then. I am disgusted and will never vote Republican again. During this time, I've ran out of food, gas, phone service and TOILET PAPER. This has been a complete nightmare. Republican Senators that voted NO! You are not true Christians! Actions speak louder than words and your actions have shown who you are!
I believe that Senator Mitch McConnell told the unemployed something like “I have no control over their lives”. Why doesn’t he vote for extending EUC for the unemployed? When it comes to voting for tax cuts for the rich he uses his control (his vote). If you can’t vote for ECU, why should we vote for you? I don’t live in Kentucky so I can’t vote against the senator. If I did I would vote for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. I believe we should vote against any senator and congressional candidates who voted against emergency unemployment compensation. No EUC vote for us, no vote for YOU!
Thank you Jessica & Center for Effective Government for your support of this issue that is devastating 2 million Americans & counting! Because of your article and ability for us to comment & share this life threatening event it's getting the media & attention it deserves! How dare our government treat Americans like this while giving $1 billion to help another country!
Everyone on here realizes that the vote on S.2077 is just a procedural vote...not a vote to send it next to house.
Another week gone bye...If they dont get this passed by next week. We're looking at April. Really Capitol Hill...that's 4 fucking months. I'll be evicted by then. Guess I'll have to go get a bunk at life foundation. Don't know what I'll do with all my belongings. I can't afford storage so I guess they'll put it all out on street for people to go through. I can't believe this shit...all that money to UKRAINE at the drop of a dime and it takes 4 months for me to get $300 a week.
Both parties are to blame. Certain republicans, such as Portman, have proposed extending benefits with some reforms and budget cuts. There is a deal to be had, but the Democrats are taking an "all or nothing" approach, with the thought that they will benefit in elections if their "all or nothing" bill fails (they know it will fail in the house, even if it passes the senate). If the Democrats really wanted a bill, they would find a compromise that would also pass the house. Neither party seems to be really working for a compromise and the senate has had multiple "vacations" and "snow days" with little progress. The bottom line is that neither party really cares about getting it done.
Yeah I feel ya. If I had a job and had a task at hand then say "Oh I'll finished it when I come off vacation." I'd be straight fired no if, and or buts about it. Now I see how animals the lowest on the food chain feel.
I will never vote republican or democrat ever again they are a bunch of shmucks I will never vote again period, what for? I think the country would get by just fine with no government.