Unemployment benefits to be cut – please act now

As a special holiday gift – your unemployment may be cut.

I’m seeing more people losing their jobs, and I’m not seeing too many getting jobs – and if they do, its practically minimum wage. Its still not pretty out there.

Even if you’re not on unemployment – would you sign the petition to help out your neighbors?

Dear MoveOn member,

Unless Congress acts now, 126,400 people in Illinois will lose their unemployment benefits by July 10.1

With Illinois’s unemployment at 10.8% and the economy still struggling towards recovery, now is the absolute worst time to be cutting off unemployment benefits.2

This is incredibly urgent, because Congress has just two more days before they adjourn for the July 4 recess. If they don’t act, more than two million Americans will lose their benefits during the holiday week.

There’s already tremendous outrage over jobs, and we need to make sure every member of Congress knows that if they block this critical assistance for workers, they’ll be held accountable by their constituents. If we can get 150,000 signatures by tomorrow, that will really help increase pressure on Congress to act. Clicking the link below will add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/unemploymentinsurance/?r_by=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&rc=comment_paste

The petition says: “Congress: I urge you to immediately extend emergency unemployment benefits for jobless workers.” Then, after you sign, please forward this email to five friends to make sure we can hit our goal of 150,000 signatures by Thursday.
Republicans and conservative Democrats have been blocking the extension of unemployment insurance because they say it’ll cost too much and add to the federal deficit.3 But economists say that cutting off unemployment insurance in the middle of a recession will make the economic situation even worse and cause even bigger deficits.4

And there are much better ways to balance the budget. For instance, last month, Senator Bernie Sanders offered an amendment to cut over $35 billion in tax subsidies for oil companies like BP—enough to cover every penny of the unemployment extension.5

But after Big Oil lobbyists fought it, that bill was defeated. And guess what—every single Republican and conservative Democrat who now says we have to cut unemployment insurance voted to keep giving those taxpayer dollars to Big Oil.6

This is an outrageous rip-off for all of us, but it’s a day-by-day crisis for the workers and families who are about to get cut off from their only lifeline if Congress doesn’t act in the next two days.

Will you sign the petition urging Congress not to go on recess until they’ve extended emergency unemployment insurance? Clicking here will add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/unemploymentinsurance/?r_by=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&rc=comment_paste

Thanks for all you do.
–Steven, Kat, Daniel, Carrie, and the rest of the team

1. “Don’t Cut Off America,” National Employment Law Project, accessed June 30, 2010
http://www.unemployedworkers.org/

“Today’s Unemployment Crisis by the Numbers,” National Employment Law Project and Center for American Progress, June, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89261&id=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&t=7 [PDF]

2. “Unemployment Rates for States,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed June 30, 2010
http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

3. “Democrats seek to extend emergency jobless benefits,” The Washington Post, June 30, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89259&id=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&t=9

4. “Mark Zandi: ‘It Would Be Counterproductive’ To Offset Unemployment Benefits Now,” The Huffington Post, April 14, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89258&id=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&t=11

5. “Sanders Amendment Would Repeal Big Oil Tax Breaks,” press release, June 9, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89257&id=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&t=12

6. Roll call vote, Sanders Amdt. No. 4318, June 6, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89256&id=21476-6816791-k_yEyQx&t=13

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. This email was sent to Carole Pagan on June 30, 2010.

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