3 Million And Counting: Unemployment Insurance Cut-off Hits New Milestone
WASHINGTON – Today, the Ways and Means Committee counter that tracks the estimated number of individuals cut off of federal unemployment insurance as a result of the program’s expiration surpassed three million. While the economy continues to recover, long-term unemployment has not improved, with more than a third of all unemployed Americans out of work for longer than six months.
To keep the spotlight on the issue, House Democrats on Wednesday will join faith, labor, civil rights and non-profit leaders for the first in a series of “Witness Wednesdays” to share stories of unemployed Americans who have been cut off of unemployment insurance. The event, to be held at 12:30 p.m. at the House Triangle, will be the first in a summer-long storytelling series at the Capitol.
Separately, Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) wrote an op-ed in Roll Call on Sunday urging Speaker Boehner to agree to put an extension on the House floor, possibly alongside a transportation or tax extender bill.
“Hardworking Americans desperately seeking new jobs have exhausted their savings, seen their homes foreclosed on, let bills go unpaid, and run out of money needed to just put gas in their cars to go on an interview,” Levin wrote in the op-ed. “The speaker wanted unemployment benefits tied to job creation. Two pieces of jobs legislation are pending action by Congress. ... We should include a six-month extension of unemployment insurance alongside either of these legislative packages.”