Originally posted at Main St/workingamerica.org/blog
No help coming for the long term unemployed. If you've maxed out your 99 weeks, and are still unemployed - tough luck.
This week Congress will consider legislation to reauthorize extended unemployment benefits for the rest of the year. It's going to be an epic fight: Republicans in the Senate will likely do everything they can to stand in the way of a bill projected to add $123 billion to the deficit, forcing Dem leadership to round up a supermajority for a last-minute Friday vote before Congress adjourns for its Memorial Day recess.
Too bad the jobs crisis, in a big way, has already left this bill in the dust. Hundreds of thousands of people have exhausted their extended unemployment benefits. In some states, laid-off workers can receive checks for 99 weeks -- and that's all they're going to get. This bill isn't for the "99ers" and there's no proposal on deck to give them additional weeks of benefits.
"What's frustrating is that our government doesn't seem to think this is an important issue," said Christy Blake, a 35-year-old mother of two in Fruitland, Md. "We didn't put ourselves here. It wasn't our choice. I have been diligently looking for work."
Finding work is even tougher if you're over 50.
But - not everyone agrees. US Senator Judd Gregg thinks we should cut off unemployment benefits right now:
Senator Gregg (R-NH) is a multimillionaire, and has spent most of his life holding public office, which means he has taxpayer funded health insurance. Senator Gregg won over $850,000 in Powerball lottery in 2005.
What Senator Gregg knows about the realities facing working families could be neatly engraved upon the head of a common pin.
Take action to keep what help we can flowing to jobless workers and stimulating our economy.