RI Congressmen call for extension of unemployment benefits

PROVIDENCE, RI – Three of the four members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation are co-sponsoring legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits. If an extension is not passed by December 31st, benefits will be reduced from 99 to 26 weeks and more than 10,000 Rhode Islanders will lose their weekly checks.

Congressman David Cicilline says Republican opposition in the House can be overcome if enough jobless people speak out.

"When there's a human face put on this," Cicilline says, "and people understand--members of Congress understand what this will mean to people they represent, that they have a sworn duty to represent. The impact that this will have on their lives and the lives of families across their district .. hopefully they'll realize it's the right thing to do."

In Rhode Island 28,000 people are currently receiving unemployment benefits. Nearly half will lose them by June if an extension is not approved.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.