October 25, 2016
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Extension Of Unemployment Benefits And Health Care Subsidies Finds Mass Support


Posted by Parisa Tabassian, civilrights.org

A new Hart Research Associates poll finds that 74 percent of Americans said that it is "too early" for Congress to cut back on unemployment insurance and COBRA subsidies.

The poll comes just one week after Congress failed to pass an extension of the benefits, which started expiring at the end of May. Democrats in the House of Representative concerned about the budget deficit stripped some benefits from the final bill that the House passed on May 28. Advocates had hoped to have the full benefits included in the Senate version of the legislation, but the Senate left for the Memorial Day recess before taking up the bill.

"The public overwhelmingly supports continued aid for the unemployed as joblessness still affects a stunning 15 million Americans," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. "We cannot let a handful of misguided deficit hawks pull the plug on benefits that are precisely the kind of stimulus needed for economic recovery and deficit reduction. Given the choice, the vast majority of the American people would provide unemployed workers and their communities the benefits they continue to need – Congress should be listening to them," she said.

The Leadership Conference and many other advocates have been urging Congress to extend these benefits through the end of the year. Though there have been signs that the economy is recovering, long-term unemployment remains a real problem as nearly seven million workers have reported being out of work for more than six months.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than 8 million Americans will run out of unemployment insurance benefits by the end of this year if Congress does not pass the extension. 

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