Congress’ Attack on Unemployed Workers

by Nanine Meiklejohn  |  May 26, 2011

Just when you thought the attack on working families had reached its peak, congressional leaders upped the ante by fast-tracking bills through committee that would end the federal extended benefits program for unemployment insurance.

The 112th Congress has now been in session for five months without passing a single piece of jobs legislation. Instead of helping millions of Americans get back to work, this Congress is cutting their legs out from under them — by voting as soon as next week on a bill that restricts unemployment benefits.

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the so-called “Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits and Services Act of 2011 (H.R. 1745/S. 904)” introduced by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the House and Senate, respectively. Despite its fuzzy title, this legislation actually makes it even harder for out-of-work Americans to get back on their feet:

  • More than four million unemployed workers would lose the federal guarantee to their extended benefits.
  • New rigid educational requirements would deny benefits to anyone without a high school diploma or not enrolled in a GED program, even if they’ve held a job making them eligible to receive unemployment insurance.

But this isn’t just a radical attack on the unemployed — it’s outright deceit. In December, Congress agreed to continue unemployment insurance for one year ONLY if it came with two years’ worth of new tax cuts for millionaires. Now that millionaires got their tax cut, some in Congress are trying to pull the rug out from under the unemployed. It’s infuriating.

Call (888) 907-1485 now and urge your U.S. Representative to oppose H.R. 1745, the “Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits and Services Act of 2011.”

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