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January 8th, 2014
08:38 AM ET

Pressure grows for Congress to pass unemployment benefits

After Pres. Obama spoke out on the issue, the Senate moved ahead on extending unemployment insurance, but the legislation may get stuck in the House - just as Americans like Katherine Hackett desperately need their checks. CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.


Filed under: Brianna Keilar • President Obama • Unemployment
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Stephanie

    I am 45 and have been desperately searching for work since May 2013. I have had to return my car to the dealership, disconnect my cable/internet, and try to live on half doses of my medication to help save money for food.
    I have a service dog that has to be fed and cared for; my medication runs $600 a month and of course, I have lost my insurance. I don't qualify for disability and have been told that I make too much money to qualify for food stamps, help with my utilities or any other supposed assistance the government has set up. This is based on the unemployment I was receiving of $1424 a month, with $1195 of that ear marked for my rent. I WILL be homeless come February 1, 2014, thanks to our government, who in their infinite wisdom, decided to cut off emergency benefits leaving over 1.5 million Americans facing homelessness and destitution.
    It is demoralizing enough being unemployed, searching for work, getting close to obtaining a job, only to have the job put on hold, or cancelled. I spend 8-10 hours a day searching for work, going to interviews, doing online free tutorials for software I do not have experience with. I have glowing references. It disgusts me to hear that unemployment dropped 7%, the most in the past 3 years of the recession...how is a 7% unemployment rate acceptable. I want to work....offer me a job...I'll gladly take it....Find me a company that won’t discriminate because of my service dog (I have been told point blank 5 times that they would hire me if I didn't have my service dog).
    MS. NORMA GONZALEZ, BEFORE YOU GET ON YOUR PEDESTAL AND JUDGE ALL OF US WHO ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED, PERHAPS YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE SO PERFECT AND FOUND WORK, AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT MANY OF US HAVE LEGITMATE ISSUES THAT MAKE IT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO FIND A JOB. (On a side note, Ms. Norma Gonzalez, it sure sounds like you are overly knowledgeable about not looking for work and falsifying your job search log...I’m just sayin...)
    On a final note, let's not forget that our Congressmen are getting their paychecks, sleeping in their warm beds with plenty to eat...that brings me great comfort...this is supposed to be the greatest nation in the world....sure doesn't seem like it to me.

    January 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
  2. jasmine

    I'm 29 years old & I was on my last job for 5 years & i've been unemployed now for 16 months and it's extremely hard when you have to pay rent, car insurance, light bill, gas, buy hygeine products oh and I have to feed myself, student loan payments and the list goes on and on!! My grandparents are doing everything they can to help me but it's time they retire. I put in application after application and no one is hiring at the moment But they will keep my application on file. I'm pretty sure the people with the power to change the current situation of the unemployed Americans wouldn't last a day in our shoes! And to think that were lazy and don't want jobs is an insult. We need our funds to make it from day to day. It's not fair!

    January 9, 2014 at 1:57 am |
    • dan korner

      What is wrong with the news media and the House Republicans !!!!!!!! Who gives a flying Fck about the fat ass governor from NJ. 1.3 million Americans are going to lose there homes, cars, NO food, NO Utilities, and No education. Why are we waiting, lets have the vote!!!!! Do you government pigs need another recess. If they don't extend benefits 1.3 million people are urged to vote against every public official that votes against... There are plenty of cuts that have been made and can be made on both sides......,

      January 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
  3. mycroft lake travis texas

    I've solved yet another problem for the GOP who says they want the unemployed benefits paid for... and that is pass legislation for taxation on the offshore holdings of the richest 1%. End corporate welfare starting with the Oil Companies. Raise Taxes on the wealthy to Nixon levels. Not only will you pay for the unemployment extended benefit but we might be able to get food stamp levels back to humane levels again. Funny how Republicans didn't have any trouble running up the deficient while Bush and Cheney borrowed money from China to fight two needless Wars and give tax breaks to the richest 1%. The GOP and Wealthy 1% better look back on the French Revolution, because it was only last yeqr when the 99% ers we protesting peacefully all across the USA. I'm so fed up with the GOP there isn't one , I wouldn't like see go to the guillotine !

    January 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
  4. dan korner

    After losing a job of 24 years where I made over $100,000.00 a year. I'll never vote for another republican as long as I live. I cant sustain a job,cause there isn't any good ones available. I paid into this program all my life. I collect 6 months of EUC benefits, and republicans act like I've been on welfare... I thought that I could achieve some skills while I was looking for employment, now with no income coming in, I will be forced to enter a job that is low paying, with no future... Thanks Republicans......

    January 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
  5. Stephanie L. Campbell

    I have worked for the same corporation for over 15 years and I am very experienced in my profession. I moved from New Jersey to Georgia with a contracted position with the promise (not guarantee) of a re-employment in one year..
    Well my contract ended and I was not re-employed. I began to collect unemployment. I apply to positions every week and I have not been offered a position. I have transitioned to Emergency Unemployment at the end of December and I received my last check last week.
    The checks I received were my only life line and it is not fair to say that the extension takes away the motivation to work. As I listened to the woman say she keeps her heat low and a coat and hat on in the house. I looked at to myself as I sit here in my coat on sitting at my computer trying to see what decisions are being made that effect my life. Wow that's me too and it brought tears to my eyes. I live check to check and I don't know how I am going to pay my bills this month. This is the first time in my life that I can support myself. I have worked since I was 17 years old and I have never ever not had a job. I know I am motivated and I am trying to get a job.
    Believe me I would rather be working and have Health Insurance. Yes, I am uninsured because there is not enough money from the Unemployment checks to pay premiums. I barely have enough money to pay my bills and to buy groceries. I will lose the first home I purchased in my life. I have no money for food and I don't have my gas bill money for this month and I am sure it will be turned off it the payment is not paid even with temperatures in single digits.
    I try and I pray everyday. I hope you all can see how much this effects real people.

    January 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    We all need our checks...it's not like we are living high on the hog here. These politicians are playing dangerous games with all of our livelihoods, in which could possible put me out of the streets. I lost my job just over a year ago, signed up for college, Section 599 approved, playing by all the rules, living on a wage of $5.55, making huge sacrifices so I can better myself, and the "kids" in Washington are holding me hostage with their ridiculous games! Well I hope they remember this come election times because I will vote against every singe one of them! Better yet I think they should all be thrown out of office because they are not looking out for the good of the people that put them there and not doing their jobs!!!! I am so sick of the games, enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 8, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  7. anthony j mariscal

    there's only a million and a half people that are on unemployment. why are you not covering more news on what's going on with the unemployment benefits?

    January 8, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  8. vince

    Take the money out of the biggest cash cow in government. The DOD greedy war mongering PIGS

    January 8, 2014 at 11:48 am |
  9. Jim Thomas

    Wasting more time doing it for just 3 months.Who are they trying to kid?Not the AMERICAN people.obummer wants it that way because of election time.HE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE OR THE USA.Noting but a TRAITOR.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    January 8, 2014 at 10:51 am |
  10. Name*norma gonzalez

    No i dont think the goverment should extend unemployment benefits because then some people will continue to play the game of I CANNT FIND A JOB!I was lay of from my job about 3 years ago and i when to look for a job every where,even walmart.When you have a family you do everything possible to provide,but americans and others are becoming more dependent on goverment aid,think the goverment should pay them to sit around and wait for a check and they go out and spend it on things they dont need.THE GOVERMENT NEEDS TO STOP THE FREE MONEY TO SOME LAZY PEOPLE WHO KEEP MAKING UP EXCUSES WHY THEY DONT TAKE A JOB.SO THEY WILL NOT MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT,BUT AT LEAST YOU CAN PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILIES NEED.ITS TIME WE STOP TAKING CARE OF THE LAZYS AND TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY GO LOOKING FOR WORK.EDD SHOULD ALSO VERIFY IF THE WORKSEARCH IS REAL AND NOT MADE UP LIKE ALOT OF PEOPLE JUST WRITE DOWN IN THE FORM.I BELIVE THAT IS AGAINST POLICIES.

    January 8, 2014 at 10:31 am |
    • Angie Aegerter

      What needs to happen is to get big corporations hiring and back in the USA. I had a job for 27 years with a large company and was laid off because the Company's are shutting plants down because the customers are not buying large amounts of products for their stores. Why....... because people don't have the money to spend. Until these companies bring production back, people won't find jobs. Personally I have spent a year applying for any job, but I am over qualified, so I can't even get a low paying job.

      Don't blame all of us who don't have jobs...... blame the companies who save money to have it made outside of the USA.

      January 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm |

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