For the millions with no jobs in our country, news that Congress denied the extension of unemployment benefits struck hard.
One local woman called to tell us that our Congressman, Buck McKeon had voted no on extended benefits.
We placed a call to the Congressman’s office to hear his thoughts and to find out if there would be another vote. McKeon’s representtive, Bob Hauterer, called Washington and said someone would respond to Sierra Wave Monday.
According to the LA Times, House Republicans voted last Thursday to deny an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans. Unemployment insurance runs out November 30 for two million jobless Americans. The Times reported that Democrats sought to extend coverage during the holiday season through February when another two million lose benefits.
Republican leaders argued that there must be spending cuts before use of $12.5 billion for jobless aid. The vote was 258 to 154 to extend benefits. That vote fell short of the required two-thirds majority.
The fearful unemployed point to tax cuts for the wealthy now under debate and say that this would cost a lot more than extension of unemployment benefits. Columbia Journalism Review reported that the Bush tax cuts would cost twenty times as much as the unemployment benefits extension in 2011.
One local person who wished to remain anonymous said of the failure to extend jobless benefits, “It’s heartless. People who voted it down have ice water in their veins. For millions of Americans,” said the local, “this is the only source of money coming into homes. What will they do?”
This individual and others who have talked with Sierra Wave expressed disappointment with Congressman McKeon, who has organized job fairs in other parts of his district but not in Inyo-Mono.
This holiday may prove a grim time for those in desperate search of work. Locals discouraged by McKeon’s vote suggest calls to his office. 202-225-1956.