Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take Action
by Jessica Schieder, 3/6/2014
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 Forgotten, The Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take Action, The Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the Government, The Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the Senate, The Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the House, The Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the Senate, The Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014
Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits and Rush through Corporate Tax Cuts, The Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the House, The Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014
Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Government Matters, April 22, 2014
Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax Extenders, The Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014back to Blog