Today, “thousands of Americans are set to begin losing unemployment benefits” after conservatives in Congress successfully prevented an extension from being passed. 8,400 Americans will lose their benefits by the end of this week, and the Labor Department estimates that “by the end of the third week of December, aid to 1.36 million Americans will be interrupted.”
Those Americans are not just statistics. They are very real single mothers, struggling families, hardworking young adults, and non-retired seniors. In every corner of America, everyday people who can’t find work thanks to a disastrous economy created by the misdeeds of Wall Street and other elites will suffer because of Congress’s failure to extend unemployment benefits.
83,000 Pennsylvanians will soon lose their jobless benefits. 10,600 Nevadans will stop receiving aid by mid-December, such as 46 year-old Doyle Carr, who worked in a warehouse until he was laid off in 2008. “I just want to go to work,” Carr told the local media. “I’ve got skills. That’s all I really want to do.” But because of the poor economy, he can’t find work, and he is scared of what will happen to him. “‘They want to squabble about this in Congress? Why?” Carr asks. “Survival. Health issues. That’s what’s important. That’s why people need this money.”
ThinkProgress has compiled video reports from around the country showcasing the suffering Americans are about to experience due to the expiration of jobless benefits. Like Carr, these Americans are hard working and strive to find employment, but the economy, shattered by the misbehavior of Wall Street and not Main Street, is unable to provide them with those opportunities. These are the faces of the Americans who will suffer as a direct result of conservative obstruction. Watch it:
Following the Senate’s failure to extend unemployment benefits, it is possible that Congress will reach some sort of agreement on an extension within the month. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) “told reporters Monday it could take several weeks for a compromise.” Some political observers believe that Republicans may only agree to extending benefits if Democrats agree to extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.