U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who has taken a leadership role in the democratic drive to renew long-term unemployment insurance benefits, has made a national call for Republicans to join the effort.
Reed was one of four Senate democrats who held a nationwide media conference call Sunday in an effort to break a congressional logjam over long-term unemployment insurance. The insurance expired last week when lawmakers failed to extend a recession-era law providing nearly a year of benefits after state jobless benefits run out.
One-point-three million Americans have already lost unemployment insurance since December 28th. An additional two million are expected to fall off the rolls during the first half of 2014. Reed said these are some of the most desperate people in the country and they badly need government assistance.
"These are people who want to work. Many of them have worked their whole lives and they find themselves in a tough job market in which there’s typically two or three people looking for one job. And this translates into an economic impact for the whole country," said Reed.
Reed said if Congress fails to extend the unemployment program, the ripple effect will cost the nation’s economy 200-thousand jobs.
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