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Two Million Americans Could Lose Unemployment Insurance In December If Congress Fails To Extend Program

November 15, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Poverty, Workers' Rights

From ThinkProgress:

The expanded federal unemployment insurance program that provides benefits to millions of long-term unemployed Americans is set to expire at the end of December. If Congress fails to extend it, roughly two million Americans could lose their monthly unemployment checks.

States provide unemployment insurance for the first 27 weeks after a worker loses his or her job; after that, the federal government has provided benefits under the Emergency
Unemployment Compensation program passed in 2008. There are currently five million Americans who have been out of work for longer than six months, and of those, virtually everyone who has been out of work since the end of July stands to lose their benefits at the end of the year.

Republicans have previously created fights over unemployment extensions, arguing that the program creates a culture of dependency and causes beneficiaries to stop looking for jobs. Despite those claims, the EUC program requires recipients to search for jobs while they receive benefits, and studies have shown that recipients of unemployment insurance look harder for jobs than those who don’t benefit from the program.

GOP Demonization Camaign Against the Unemployed

February 15, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Legislature, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Poverty, White Privilege, Workers' Rights

From Colorlines:

For the eleventh time since beginning of the economic downturn, Congress is tasked with extending the unemployment insurance program. But the now-familiar fight is set to take on a new flavor this time as a tactic Republicans pushed at the state level elevates into the congressional debate: smearing the unemployed as drug idled and lazy, and inserting provisions designed to harass them.

“There’s been a concerted attempt to turn the unemployed into the welfare queen,” said Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group. “We’ve thoroughly demonized welfare recipients so now it seems like they’re moving on to the unemployed.”

House floor, Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from New York, said that in his district the unemployed could not get jobs because they were all high. “What I’ve heard from small business owners across our district is that one of the main reasons that they cannot hire individuals is because they simply cannot pass a drug test,” he said.

That’s a story line gleaned from the states, where conservatives have put a lot of energy in recent years into lambasting jobless Americans—using demonstrably fallacious accusations. At least 30 state legislatures have considered legislation to require drug testing for unemployment insurance, food stamp and welfare applicants. Where those programs have been used, they’ve repeated proven a waste.

In September, South Carolina Gov. Nikke Haley told a crowd gathered at a country club breakfast, “I so want drug testing. It’s something I’ve been wanting since the first day I walked into office.”

See also: Tea Party, Republican Critics Dependent on Government Benefits; Resurrection of the Welfare Queen; Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers; How much do we spend on the non-working poor