Yesterday, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a hearing to discuss unemployment insurance entitled “Expiring Unemployment Insurance: A Financial Cliff Facing 1.3 Million Americans,” to explore the importance and dangers of ending unemployment insurance, which is currently set to expire on December 28th. In attendance were Members of the House Democratic Caucus, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Americans who are currently benefitting or see the effects of unemployment insurance benefits. Among those speaking was our own Father Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA, who offered insight from the non-profit’s perspective of these benefits.
“Unemployment insurance benefits are a vital lifeline for unemployed workers and their families. It is the difference between continuing to have housing and also having enough food to eat. This is especially true for children and some veterans,” Father Larry said, “It serves as a bridge when a temporary job loss is experienced. Without it, individuals can easily slip into poverty. Extending this benefit is simply a wiser investment of dollars until our economy is robust enough to create sufficient employment opportunities for those looking for work.”
This hearing came shortly after the White House released a study from the Council of Economic Advisers and the Department of Labor on the economic benefits of extending unemployment insurance. The study looked into the outreach of the current program, which started in 2008 and has extended benefits to nearly 69 million workers and their families already.
We continue to pray for our country, our government and especially the people who rely on these benefits every day. We urge Congress to keep them in mind when considering continuing these unemployment insurance benefits.