2 million and counting. That’s the number of people who’ve been kicked off their unemployment benefits after Republicans deliberately let the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program expire, according to a new analysis from Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
“The estimate includes the number of people in each state who have lost coverage since the program’s Dec. 28 expiration. Every week, 72,000 people, on average, are losing their unemployment benefits nationwide without an extension of the program.”
If this isn’t happening to you or someone you know, you might not realize that these are real people. People who want to work and are looking for work, and have been kicked to the gutter by Republican values. Here’s a state by state breakdown of these real people, provided by the Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
State: Estimated Number of People Losing UI Thru March 8
*North Carolina was ineligible for the federal unemployment insurance
But if that’s not enough reason to care, perhaps knowing that Republicans refusing to renew long term emergency unemployment benefits will cost us all 240,000 jobs this year will increase the stakes.
This is the Republican economy — nothing for the people, everything for the corporations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) even tried to use unemployment benefits to kill Obamacare, so if Democrats will stab Americans in the back and kill another program that is helping people and has boosted both personal income and spending, Republicans would consider not filibustering emergency help.
On February 6th of this year, McConnell led his Senate Republicans into no votes on yet another thing that used to have bipartisan support during economic hardship — the extension of long term benefits for the unemployed. This was bipartisan because not only did it help the people directly, but it helps the economy as well. Republican Senators blocked a three month extension on benefits for the long term unemployed. “Democrats were united in support of restoring unemployment benefits, but only one Republican, Dean Heller of Nevada voted to extend the benefits.”
It goes without saying that House Republicans have blocked the effort numerous times. If you see a program that might help the economy and does for sure help people, you can just forget it even being put up for a vote in this House. And the Senate will operate just like the House if Republicans win the majority, as we can see from the Republican Senate Minority Leader’s votes.
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) laid out the cost of one Republican vote, “A financial crisis is confronting more and more families every day that Republicans fail to support an extension of this vital program. One Republican vote in the Senate is all that stands in the way of two million people and their families coming one critical step closer to seeing their financial lifeline restored as they look for work.”
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.