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Today our campaign to win extended jobless benefits took a remarkable step forward. After days of negotiations, key leaders of the U.S. introduced a consensus proposal for a 14-20 week extension of jobless benefits for all states, clearing the way for decisive congressional action to restart support for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Click here for NELP's press release.
Under the expanded plan, unemployed workers in every state will be able to collect 14 weeks of extended jobless benefits under significant legislation introduced by key leaders in Senate. The proposal also extends benefits an additional 6 weeks in high-unemployment states-for a total of 20 weeks in those states with 8.5% unemployment or higher. This is a robust package of assistance that is up to the challenge of today's economy. The press release announcing the Senate proposal is available here.
Shortly after the deal was reached, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the proposal to floor of the U.S. Senate seeking unanimous consent. This maneuver would have moved the bill through the Senate and back to the House for final approval. Despite hailing from a state with a sky high unemployment rate of 9.1%, Senator John Kyl of Arizona objected to the bill and further delayed the delivery of relief to jobless workers. To read about Senator Kyl's objection, click here.
To over-ride this objection, the bill will now have to come back before the full Senate as soon as next Tuesday after the Columbus Day break for full debate and a vote. Once it passes through this hurdle, NELP expects strong support in the House of Representatives and approval by the Obama Administration. It's critical for everyone to contact their Senator by clicking here and ask their Senator to swiftly approve the measure without delay. It's a common tactic for Senators to slow down important legislation, just to win time to debate irrelevant issues. Tell them that jobless workers can't afford to wait through such tactics, and that the time for action is now.
All of us at NELP know how much suffering families have endured as the Senate worked out a plan that helps workers struggling to navigate the severe economy facing every state. But, as a result of our hard work, it's now likely that will end up with a robust extension that will see families through a tough holiday season and hopefully to brighter economic times next year.
Sincerely, Andriette, Andy, Christine, Debbie, George, Judy, Maurice, Rick and Tiphany NELP's Unemployedworkers.org Team
Hope the letter above is not illegal to repost.
Here is another link with information on where the bill is now.
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