As reported in the Boston Globe today, 30,000 unemployed persons, in the state of Massachusetts have lost their unemployment benefits due to a filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
The filibuster is supported by Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, and is aimed to halt extension of unemployment benefits for an estimated 1.2 million Americans, and has stalled the passage of H.R. 4213.
The reason? The growing budget deficit.
The state of Massachusetts is helping unemployed workers who have been affected by the loss of unemployment benefits by directing them towards social service programs, including food stamps, emergency cash assistance for families with children, and aid for veterans.
People are in danger of losing their homes, apartments, utilities and are in panic mode.
Long-term unemployment is at record level - more that 100,000 in Massachusetts and at least 4 million nationally.
As reported by the Huffington Post, 903.000 unemployed have already lost their benefits nationally, since the last stimulus bill expired on June 1st.
Here's a quote from the Huffington Post article:
"There are currently five jobseekers for every available opening, but a major obstacle to reauthorizing currently-expired extended benefits has been deficit concerns supplemented by the suspicion that the benefits discourage people from looking for work. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) called the benefits, which average $320 per week, "too much of an allure." Democrats in both the House and Senate, too, have said business owners tell them they're having trouble hiring because of extended benefits".
If anyone in their right mind thinks that $320 per week is enough for anyone to sustain even a modest lifestyle, they're nuts. Many unemployed have been penalized for taking a part-time job - an action taken to supplement their paltry unemployment benefits.
Now is the time to call Scott Brown and voice your opinion. The phone number of the Boston office is 617-565-3170. You may also email Senator Brown at his website.
Please keep in mind this bill, H.R. 4213 will only allow the time to apply for extended benefits. It does not included a tier 5 of unemployment.