On the hundredth day of extreme economic risk experienced by over 2 million Americans and their families, the Senate finally passed an extension of unemployment benefits.
This is only the first step in their being able to again have some income while continuing to search for work. Their futures are now in the hands of the House of Representatives. Speaker Boehner has promised to never bring the bill to the floor! He opposes these families having support during this difficult time in their lives. Many representatives of both parties have written to and spoken with the Speaker, urging him to bring it to a vote – however, he fears that sufficient hearts will be touched among House members so it will actually pass!
NETWORK continues to work on passage of this legislation. It is critical that it not take another 100 days for these families to receive assistance. Some face losing homes, others face eviction, many struggle to feed families and provide healthcare. Members of the House of Representatives need to bring this to a vote. Before they can do that, they need to pressure Speaker Boehner to bring the legislation to the floor. Denying this assistance is an injustice.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR ALL (USCCB, 1986) states:
First among these are the rights to life, food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care,
and basic education. These are indispensable to the protection of human dignity.
In order to ensure these necessities, all persons have a right to earn a living, which
for most people in our economy is through remunerative employment. All persons
also have a right to security in the event of sickness, UNEMPLOYMENT, and old age.
No person is eligible for unemployment benefits unless he or she is actively seeking work – and reporting it regularly. The House needs to be called to account and bring this legislation to the floor as soon as possible.