My husband and I were panicking, because our extended unemployment benefits were about to expire, and the new emergency bill was stalled in the Senate, because of Senator Jim Bunning (R., Kentucky) who filibustered against it. He ended his filibuster yesterday, and the Senate voted to pass the bill (I received this information first--believe it or not--just a short while ago from my cousin N. in Israel!)
I understand there is a huge government deficit, but cutting unemployment benefits is not the way to reduce it. A better idea would be for the government to call in some of the stimulus money sent to bail out the big corporations, and to stipulate that these stimulus packages may not be used for huge bonuses and company perks such as spas and massages.
And this is what could happen to us (G-d forbid) or to anyone without a job , if unemployment benefits are curtailed:
Justin Julian is one the 1 million people who are desperate for Congress to take action next week. If they don't, he and his wife won't have a place to live.D. H. is furiously searching for jobs. I am doing it a little less furiously, but searching nonetheless. There is just nothing out there, and quadruple the competition--because 1 in 10 people are looking for work.
The Lewisville, Texas, resident lost his software position in August and will miss the deadline to apply for additional federal benefits by only a few days. He currently receives $1,600 a month in unemployment benefits, which he uses to cover rent, car payments and the electricity bill. He must borrow money from friends and family to pay for food.
"Without the unemployment insurance, we can't pay any of our bills," said Julian, 39, whose wife is disabled. "It's kind of doomsday for us. We'll wind up sleeping on friends' couches."