Union Marches for Unemployment Benefits Past 99 Weeks
Matt | On 15, Nov 2010
Interest groups representing unemployed Americans are determined to get (and keep) the ear of the newly-elected Congress.
The American 99ers Union represents 19 advocacy groups, unions, and networks that vow to press Congress for more extensions of federal unemployment benefits. The “99ers” have been given the nickname because many of the members’ benefits have expired beyond the federal 99-week limit.
The 99ers marched in lower Manhattan last Friday to bring attention to their cause. They also plan to kick off a major letter writing campaign to their Congressional representatives to push for an extension of benefits. November 30 is the next expiration of all federal unemployment benefits.
It’s not clear exactly whether the benefits will be extended on November 30. Congress will be in “lame duck” session for the next month and a half. So, those on their way out the door have even less power. Republicans who are currently there, and will have a stronger majority in January, are going to stick to their guns about cutting deficit spending.
Simply put, I don’t believe the new House leadership (GOP) is thinking about extending benefits for out-of-work Americans no matter how much they are begged. This is one of the earliest consequences of a lack of voter participation and the quick change from Democrats to Republicans in the House of Representatives. The GOP ran on a platform of smaller government. They just don’t see Americans bills and financial issues as a serious problem. They want to save the bailouts for the banks and the rich people.
This fight may NOT be a pretty one…