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I need Congress to act on unemployment insurance—and I’m not the only one

When Congress let unemployment insurance expire in December, it was devastating.

I had been a bartender at a local hotel. I got the chance to meet interesting guests stopping by for a drink and to get to know the locals who dropped in regularly. When I lost my job at the end of June, I didn’t know where to turn.

As a 44-year-old woman, it was hard to get back into the job market—but I was determined. I applied for unemployment insurance to help with some expenses as I searched for work, and after a couple weeks of processing, I began receiving a small check. It wasn’t a huge amount, but it was enough to help me get along while I searched for a job.

In December, Congress failed to extend unemployment benefits for hardworking people like myself who temporarily fell on hard times. They had a chance to fix that earlier this month, but they came up one vote short. And the worst part? My senator, Mark Kirk, cast one of the deciding votes against it—after he'd said he'd support it.

For Senator Kirk, this may just have been one more vote among many. But for me? I feel the impact of that vote every day. I feel it when I have to ask my mom for help to cover basic expenses. I feel it when I don’t have enough money to pay my utility bill, or my trash pick-up bill. I feel it when I can’t pay to heat my home during this freezing winter.

I need Congress to act on unemployment insurance—and I’m not the only one. Since December, more than a million hardworking people like myself have lost unemployment insurance, and the number keeps growing week after week. We need that small monthly check to help cover expenses as we search for a new job.

Tell Congress—it's time to stop withholding this economic lifeline for job-seekers, and start helping the more than a million unemployed Americans looking to get back on their feet.

Tell Congress to act
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