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 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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Extending the Emergency Unemployment Benefits (EUC) is not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent issue! It is EVERYONE's issue!

Most of the "bloggers" on here don't even know one another's political affiliation! Guess what, we don't care either! What difference does it make if you voted for Obama or not? Our president is not the issue here! He has said he will sign the EUC bill once it gets to his desk! I do agree come November, make your vote count in elections! If you didn't like how a politician voted or a certain party has not worked for you, then vote them out!

There is a word in this bill that is important.....EMERGENCY! People are tired of the parties fighting one another! We want them to fight for US! This bill should not have expired on 12/28/13 (the date that will live in infamy)! While unemployed, people have had to use their savings to pay for what unemployment didn't (unemployment only pays about 1/3 of what a person made while working). More savings had to be used the last 3-months Congress has been bickering about the bill!

The average person unemployed in the U.S. is 9-months (much higher in some states)! The average state unemployment benefits span 6-months. The state benefits should be raised to mirror the need of the people it serves! If unemployment is high, then the state benefits should extent to the unemployment average. The regular state unemployment benefits should be atleast 9-months! It should be raised in states that have higher than average unemployment! Until our country has a lower unemployment rate, the EUC should automatically be added to each budget for a minimum of 12 months!

No one will disagree that we need jobs in addition to EUC! The whole unemployment system in each state needs to be overhauled! Let that discussion and following bills come AFTER we get EUC passed! The plans for improving the job situation in our country should not be attached to the EUC bill! Let the politicians debate that at a later date. The most important issue is WE NEED THE EUC BILL PASSED NOW!

I just spoke to a woman from Sen. Harry Reid's office. She said, there will be no vote this week. They are waiting for more support from republicans.

Sen. Harry Reid's office # 1-888-245-0215

11:09--Then don't dare get around any of us. Your an idiot. What happened to his pen and phone BS to go around congress huh? Thought he was going to bypass congress? Well he lied to you again. Did he sign a EUC executive order ? No he didn't. Ignorance is bliss isn't it 10:53. Admit you voted for him in some areas of this country you might not ever get back home.

Oh anonymous 10:38 just call it what it is. President OBAMAs lying has nothing to do with anything. THEY ALL LIE. BUSH DID A GREAT JOB AT F----ING US OVER LEAVING A HUGE MESS FOR OBAMA TO CLEAN UP. JUST ADMIT THAT YOU ARE MAD AS HELL THAT PEOPLE VOTED FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT. HE IS NOT THE FIRST NOR WILL HE BE THE LAST PRESIDENT TO LIE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SO GET A GRIP

10:53--Then don't dare get around any of us. Your an idiot. What happened to his pen and phone BS to go around congress huh? Thought he was going to bypass congress? Well he lied to you again. Did he sign a EUC executive order ? No he didn't. Ignorance is bliss isn't it 10:53. Admit you voted for him in some areas of this country you might not ever get back home.

Oh anonymous 10:38 just call it what it is. President OBAMAs lying has nothing to do with anything. THEY ALL LIE. BUSH DID A GREAT JOB AT F----ING US OVER LEAVING A HUGE MESS FOR OBAMA TO CLEAN UP. JUST ADMIT THAT YOU ARE MAD AS HELL THAT PEOPLE VOTED FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT. HE IS NOT THE FIRST NOR WILL HE BE THE LAST PRESIDENT TO LIE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SO GET A GRIP

I voted for Obama. He will sign the EUC bill. I love it!

Well I just pray that one day grown men and women will be able to tell when someone is lying to them. How many you politically ignorant progressive lib-tards voted for Oshitto? Your so paying the price right now. You had it coming to you. People WARNED you 5 years ago about this man and you fell for his propaganda anyway. It's so pathetic it makes me sick. So any of you on this board who voted him once or (what a real dumbass) twice, get off the board. You have no say. You did this to us and it's going to take years and years to forgive your utter stupidity. Thanks a lot.

In the State of Florida unemployment is only 16 weeks not even the 26 weeks I see mentioned in the article. I will be joining the ranks of the homeless in April if this extension does not pass. I am out of money and options. I was actually luckier than some because my rent was reasonable. But no unemployment means I can't pay my landlord and I am out of luck.

I have diligently been searching and have had numerous interviews. It seems that if you over 50 your out of luck,

Help us and not other countries.

PS. I did contact both senators in Florida . The only one that replied was the democrat !

Also, I have been following cspan for a few days now and even at this very moment im watching and I have not heard or seen any discussions about EUC. Does anyone know if they might schedule general speeches or floor debates before they go on recess???

Thank you you guys you have been great with all the support and positive words. I hope and pray that we continue to fight and strive through this until matters can be resolve. GOD BLESS YOU ALL