Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Statement by Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt on the Need to Pass the Unemployment Extension

“Don’t Leave the Jobless Out in the Cold”

At midnight last night, 800,000 unemployed workers lost their unemployment insurance benefits.  By the end of December, 2 million are projected to lose their unemployment insurance.  Shame on those in Congress who aren't supporting this emergency lifeline.

The domino effect of the unemployment insurance expiration will affect more than just the families of the unemployed.  When jobless families are unable to pay their mortgage, buy groceries or generate tax revenue, local communities, businesses and governments all suffer.  The expiration of unemployment insurance benefits slows our economy down when we need to speed it up.

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO and working families are calling on Congress to approve a one year emergency extension of unemployment insurance.  Never before has Congress allowed unemployment insurance to expire when so many people are looking for work but unable to find jobs.  But instead of focusing on working families, the newly-elected GOP Congress is pushing to pass tax cuts for millionaires by extending the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000.

Thank you to Wisconsin Representatives Baldwin, Obey, Kagen, Kind and Moore for supporting the extension of benefits.  Representatives Petri, Ryan and Sensenbrenner voted against even a short-term extension.

Don’t leave Wisconsin’s economy in the cold this December.  Keep our communities and jobless families afloat; support a one year emergency extension of unemployment insurance.

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