February 08, 2012
This message is from Chuck Loveless, AFSCME Director of Legislation.
Out-of-work Americans narrowly averted losing their unemployment insurance when Congress passed a stopgap two-month extension at the end of 2011.
But that extension is set to expire at the end of February, and nearly 6 million unemployed workers will lose their insurance benefits if Congress does not fully renew this program through the end of 2012.
House Republicans are expected to push for drastic cuts in benefits and create new barriers for millions of unemployed workers’ and their families. This includes thousands of AFSCME members across the country who feel the painful realities of state and local service cuts.
Congressional leaders are trying to significantly change unemployment insurance through a bill, H.R. 3630, which would:
- Cut the length of benefits in half in the states with the highest unemployment rates;
- Impose drug testing of recipients;
- Make jobless workers pay for re-employment services;
- Deny benefits to workers who did not receive a high school diploma or GED; and
- Allow states to use unemployment funds for other purposes.
Contact your member of Congress today, and urge them to oppose changes to unemployment insurance and fully renew the program through the end of 2012.