Season’s Greetings: Unemployed Americans Left in the Lurch

At a time when more Americans remain unemployed, through no fault of their own, than in any era since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the U.S. Congress has made matters worse by allowing long-term unemployment benefits to run out. As of tomorrow, more than 800,000 unemployed workers will have their benefits cut off. Within months, the toll will rise into the millions. Why? It’s because a minority of members in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have insisted on blocking the extension of benefits to help the long-term unemployed.

Their stated reason is that the benefit extension first must be “paid for” with budget cuts elsewhere. Yet the very same members who have set this precondition for the extension of jobless aid have demanded nothing of the sort when it comes to other, more costly federal policies, such as continuing tax breaks for multimillionaire hedge-fund managers.

It’s a mean season in Washington, D.C., but this fight isn’t over. Keep an eye on upcoming Hotline messages for new opportunities to pressure members of the Texas delegation in Congress to set partisan gamesmanship aside and do the right thing.