Unemployment Insurance: A 79-Year Old Promise to American Workers That Needs Renewing

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935, in the midst of the economy’s most severe contraction. At its lowest point, a quarter of the workforce was jobless, and in some areas, two-thirds of the unemployed had not worked for a year or more.  

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S&P: Reduce Inequality for a Better Economy

Standard and Poor’s (S&P), a company recognized around the world as an international financial research and credit ratings company, said last week that the American economy would benefit from reduced inequality.

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Unemployment Benefits Keep Families in their Homes

For breadwinners struggling to find work, unemployment insurance acts as a backstop against the worst financial devastation. A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that in states where unemployment compensation was more generous and extended benefits were available for a longer period of time, homeowners were less likely to be behind on their mortgages and lose their homes.

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Bill Would Eliminate Child Tax Credit for Many Low-Income Families in 2018

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) provides families as much as $1,000 per child in tax relief. This partially refundable credit, when combined with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), lifted 5.3 million children out of poverty in 2012, helping to improve the lives of low-income working families.

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Highway Trust Fund Temporarily Saved, Unemployed Still Waiting on EUC

The House of Representatives has voted to approve a temporary extension of the National Highway Trust fund until May 2015 – the legislation will save hundreds of thousands of construction jobs, which would have been lost without the patch.

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Ethics Training for All Members of Congress

Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Scott Rigell (R-VA) introduced legislation on July 14 to require all members of the House of Representatives to participate in annual ethics training.

The legislation would essentially extend the requirement – which already applies to all senators, Senate staff, and House staff – to all members of Congress.

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Bipartisan Unemployment Benefits Bills in Both Houses

Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) have introduced a bill (S. 2532) in the Senate to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed for five months. Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) have introduced companion legislation (H.R. 4970) in the House of Representatives.

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International Monetary Fund Supports Minimum Wage Increase

This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) joined the chorus of voices supporting a U.S. minimum wage increase. The IMF noted that raising the wage should be a part of a policy agenda to “fortify the country’s economic future.”

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Witness Wednesdays: Stories of the Long-Term Unemployed to Be Read on Capitol Hill

Starting tomorrow and continuing through the end of July, political, faith, labor and nonprofit leaders will gather outside the Capitol each Wednesday to read and listen to the stories that more than 2,000 Americans have shared.

These stories will make vivid and visible the senseless hardship and unnecessary struggle that hard-working Americans have been exposed to as a result of political obstruction.

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Stories of Families Hurt by Unemployment Benefits Expiration to be Shared at “Voices” Events

As the number of people cut off from emergency unemployment benefits approaches 3 million Americans, the Center for Effective Government and our partners the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN), the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) are launching a new push for extending unemployment benefits to hard-working Americans who are facing a still-rough jobs market. In the past, both Republicans and Democrats have helped the unemployed get back on their feet. It's time for us to come together again and support our friends and neighbors.

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