Enews Signup Push

Speeches Popular Categories

Print

Urging the Republican Leadership to Pass Unemployment Assistance for the Long-term Unemployed

Statement of Congressman Danny K. Davis
Urging the Republican Leadership to Pass Unemployment Assistance for the Long-term Unemployed
January 9, 2014

As our nation marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty this week, I rise to urge the Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives to immediately extend unemployment assistance to the long-term unemployed workers who continue to struggle to find jobs as our economy recovers from one of the worst economic crises in its history.  

The declaration of the War on Poverty was a historic moment in our nation's history when we affirmed our national priority to support those in need.  The War on Poverty helped reify that our government has a responsibility to protect our citizens, especially during times of economic hardship.  Providing support and economic opportunity creates a stronger citizenry and a stronger country.

In contrast, the expiration of the emergency unemployment program last month undermines the economic security of our citizens and nation.

The expiration of the emergency unemployment program cut off more than 1.3 million Americans from unemployment insurance, with approximately 72,000 additional Americans losing benefits each week during the first half of 2014.  In my home state of Illinois where the unemployment rate remains high at 9.2%, an estimated 82,000 Illinoisans lost benefits on December 28th, with 38,000 of these citizens living in Cook County alone.  An additional 89,100 - or roughly 3,000 Illinoisans a week - will exhaust regular benefits without access to emergency benefits in just the first half of 2014.  Failing to help these citizens is an unacceptable failure of leadership.  

Failure to continue emergency unemployment benefits is not a theoretical issue for millions of Americans; it is a daily nightmare.  These Americans lost their jobs through no fault of their own, they tirelessly try to find work when the jobs are few and far between, and they struggle to cover basic food, housing, and transportation costs for their families on an average of $290 a week, a pittance which typically replaces only half of the average family's expenses.  Failing to help these citizens is an unacceptable failure of leadership.  

Failure to continue emergency unemployment benefits poses a realistic threat to our fragile economic recovery, costing over 200,000 much-needed jobs and restricting our economic growth.  The expiration drained over $400 million from state economies.  In Illinois alone, the loss of an average $313 in the weekly benefit means a negative economic impact of $25 million for our citizens to spend on basic goods and services.  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."  Congress must quickly act to support our citizens and our economic recovery by continuing emergency unemployment benefits.  Extending unemployment assistance is a true demonstration of leadership and our national commitment to all Americans, not just the most secure.

  • HIDDEN_WEBSITE_VARIABLES

    How to use: Insert <span class="EXACT_VALUE_LABEL_AS_ENTERED_BELOW">&nbsp;</span> where you'd like the value to be populated.

    Non-breaking space within span tags - &nbsp; - is required for WYSIWYG.

    Label
    (no spaces or special characters)

    Value

    Comments (optional)
    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
     
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 7th  
    repPhoto  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
         
         
         
         
         
  • Office Locations

    Office Name Location Image Map URL
    Washington DC 2159 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    p. (202) 225-5006
    f. (202) 225-5641
    https://goo.gl/maps/69TjH
    Chicago Office 2815 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
    p. (773) 533-7520
    f. (844) 274-0426
    https://goo.gl/maps/24smXeMjD2D2