The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 22, 2014

GOP votes against the jobless

The Commercial-News

---- — GOP votes against the jobless


Last month, Congress failed to extend unemployment insurance for those still trying to find work. Nearly 1.3 million nationwide abruptly lost benefits between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s unconscionable for Congress to let these benefits lapse. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, renewing these benefits would add 240,000 jobs to the economy.

Some seem to think unemployment insurance only benefits shiftless, lazy people who ought to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. This simply isn’t so. Federal unemployment insurance helps people who have been out of work for months looking for jobs. It helps feed children, keep heat and lights on at home, and put gas in their cars so they can go seek jobs.

Forty-four senators voted against restoring emergency unemployment insurance for millions of job-seeking Americans. Every Republican Senator, except Dean Heller of Nevada, voted against the unemployed.

They’ll have to own that decision. When Congress let unemployment insurance run out last month, 1.3 million people lost that critical lifeline. And every week, another 70,000 Americans join them.

What this group of Republicans is doing isn’t just heartless, it flies in the face of proven ways to grow the economy. Our senator — Mark Kirk — voted to leave nearly 82,000 people in Illinois out in the cold while they’re looking for work.

Kevin Jessup Sr.