Federal unemployment insurance (UI) expired today for 1.3 million Americans, including 20,000 recent veterans, because Republicans blocked an extension of critical jobless aid for the long-term unemployed.
Democrats fought to include UI in the year-end budget plan. But the GOP war on workers knows no shame — three days after Christmas, in the middle of winter, 1.3 million families just lost a critical lifeline.
The Senate will vote to renew UI in less than two weeks, but it won’t pass unless we make our voices heard.
Never in our history have we failed to renew UI when so many Americans are out of work.
And conservatives just don’t seem to care that for every one job available, there are three jobless workers and that UI benefits lifted an estimated 2.5 million people out of poverty in 2012 alone.
We must end the cuts to our communities and invest in jobs and prosperity for all. We have 2 million fewer jobs today than before the financial crisis. These people are unemployed because there aren’t enough jobs and Congress hasn’t made the investments needed to create jobs.