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Who's left in the cold? 1.3 million abruptly cut off from unemployment compensation

Cross posting a piece by my colleague, Elyssa. She's the National Budget Campaign Director at ***

Outrage and frustration.

That’s what we feel today knowing that Congress left Washington, D.C. for their holiday break without extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits program and now those benefits have been cut off completely for 1.3 million people.

*Write your members of Congress and tell them to extend unemployment insurance immediately when they come back to Washington, D.C. this week:

EUC expired on December 28th since Congress failed to extend the program before leaving for their holiday vacations. The 1.3 million people who lost benefits didn’t see a slow tapering off of the program—it was shut down abruptly. Instead, just as the new year begins, and their rent and bills come due, the vital unemployment benefits they were depending on just ended. These families need unemployment benefits to pay the rent, purchase food and medicine, and pay heating bills.

EUC is an important program that struggling families rely on to get through tough times—and it also provides an important economic stimulus to our economy.

In fact, unemployment insurance is such a powerful stimulant for the economy that the Congressional Budget Office consistently ranks unemployment insurance as one of the top most effective policies for generating economic growth in a downturned economy.

*Don’t forget to write your members of Congress and tell them to extend unemployment insurance ASAP:

This is important because while the economy is improving, we are still a long ways away from being fully recovered. There are still 10.9 million people who are unemployed, including 4.1 million who are long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more). The jobless rate for women is 6.2%.

Here is what we know:

* Unemployment insurance helps struggling families stay out of poverty. In 2012 alone, unemployment insurance kept more than 1.7 million people, including 655,000 women and 446,000 children, from falling into poverty.

* If Congress doesn’t extend unemployment insurance soon, we’ll see even greater job loss, which in turn threatens our economic recovery. Failing to extend unemployment benefits would cost 240,000 jobs in 2014.

* 55% of voters say Congress should act to maintain Emergency Compensation Unemployment (EUC) benefits.

Extending unemployment insurance benefits makes sense economically and is the right thing to do for our nation’s families who are struggling to find jobs.

*We need your help in telling Congress to extend unemployment insurance as soon as they return from their vacations this week:

Families dealing with unemployment are struggling enough without Congress pulling the rug out from under them. We need to work together to make sure that extending unemployment insurance is the #1 priority when Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week.

Thank you for standing with us on this important issue and standing up for struggling families!

Read the original: *** Tweet your thoughts to @Anita_Sarah. Thank you!


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