The debate on long-term unemployment insurance has revealed just how out-of-touch some Republicans are with the lives of everyday Americans. Long-term unemployment continues to persist because of the cruel reality of this economic crisis, not because jobless benefits have made the unemployed less motivated to look for work.
According to the Center for American Progress, nearly 50% of the unemployed have been out-of-work and actively seeking a job for at least six months. For those on the hunt for a new position, the competition is steeper than ever — there are five workers looking for work for every job available.
For months Senate and House Democrats have attempted to pass a long-term extension of unemployment insurance but each time their efforts have been blocked by Republicans. To middle class families who are in great need of this assistance, Republicans seem to have only one thing to say: ‘tough luck.’
TIMELINE OF GOP OPPOSITION TO EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE THIS YEAR ALONE
|Unemployment Insurance Extension||GOP Vote|
|3/9/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote||80% NO|
|3/10/2010 Temporary Extension of UI||85% NO|
|4/12/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote||93% NO|
|4/15/2010 Temporary Extension of UI||93% NO|
|6/17/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote||93% NO|
|6/24/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote||98% NO|
|6/30/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote||88% NO|
|7/20/ 2010 Temporary Extension of UI||
Today at 2:30pm ET, the Senate will again vote to pass a long-term extension of these benefits that will last through November 2010. This time, we hope that at least a handful of our Republican colleagues will join us in providing financial assistance to jobless Americans and help our economy recover.