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Letter to the Senate on S. 1845 the Bill to Extend Unemployment Insurance

January 06, 2014

Dear Senator, 

On behalf of the 3 million members of the National Education Association, and the students they serve, we urge you to support cloture on the motion to proceed to the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (S. 1845) introduced by Senator Reed (D-RI) and Senator Heller (R-NV).  The need to enact emergency legislation for the long-term unemployed in our country is a problem that should never have arisen in the first place. Protecting unemployment insurance is critical to ensuring family stability and, consequently, the well-being of thousands of children in our public schools.  Votes associated with this issue may be included in NEA’s Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress.    

While educators and support professionals would like to see a longer-term solution, we think S. 1845 is a good first step in ensuring the security of the many families who are in their most desperate hour.  Long-term unemployed individuals receive neither a paycheck nor unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, rising gas and food prices are making it even harder for them to meet their families' most basic needs.  S. 1845 is a critical lifeline for the millions of Americans who need to keep a roof over their head and food on the table while they continue their employment search.   

It is past time for Congress to extend unemployment insurance; the timing is vital for the millions who lost their benefits on December 28.  For far too many of those workers and their families, those benefits were their only life-line.  We urge you to act now, support cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1845.   

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations