UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. What next with unemployment benefits? Story after story is coming out on the 99ers and unemployment — particularly the long-term unemployed — and the fiscal cliff. No one seems to know what will happen next with unemployment benefits. What everyone does seem to know is that benefits will expire on December 29. Thats $450 a week in benefits for 2 million Americans set to expire.
The members of Congress to watch on this issue are Reps. Barbara Lee, who has over 400,000 to think about who are long-term unemployed in California, Sandy Levin (who is from Michigan) and Tom Harkin in the Senate. How much noisee will they make on this issue? Will Harkin push Reid? Does the White House care? Nationwide, 2 million people could be cut off if the fiscal cliff deadline is not met. Will the unemployed be used again as a bargaining chip? Is this issue even on the table? Will be asking this week.
Like the 46 million in poverty, one has to ask the question: Who in the fiscal cliff negotiations will stand up and speak out on behalf of this group. Will Bernie Sanders have to bring the Senate to a standstill over a “99%” type issue again? (fyi: This is where the absence of Jesse Jackson, Jr. will be felt more than anyone realizes).