Thursday, December 26, 2013

Poll: Strong Public Support For Extending Unemployment Benefits

Whike the Republican Party continues its war on the poorest Americans, a new poll finds that contrary to the GOP sound bites, a new National Employment Law Project (NELP) poll finds that 55 percent of Americans believe the emergency unemployment Compensation program should be extended.  In fact, only 34% of Americans - a percentage that roughly corresponds with the percentage of Americans who identify as "born again" Christians - oppose extending the program.  Think Progress looks at the findings and the fact that, unlike today's GOP, most Americans are not ready to throw their fellow citizens on the trash heap.  Here are article highlights:

A majority of Americans believe Congress should restore the federal unemployment insurance program that it allowed to expire in the recent budget deal, according to a new poll. The details of the survey further suggest that voters stand ready to punish lawmakers who block an extension — something several Republicans have indicated they are prepared to do.

Overall, 55 percent of Americans believe the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program should be extended compared to 34 percent who say it should end, the Hart Research Associates poll found. Among women, 61 percent approve of the program and just 28 percent believe it should cease.
The findings reinforce a Public Policy Polling release from earlier this week which looked at specific House districts held by Republican members. That poll found over 60 percent support for extending EUC in five Republican districts including Speaker John Boehner’s southwestern Ohio seat.

EUC expires on Saturday. For 1.3 million current recipients who have been looking for work for longer than the 26 weeks for which most states will provide unemployment benefits, that will mean their lifeline evaporates immediately. Another 800,000 job-seekers are projected to exhaust their state benefits and turn to the federal EUC program over the next three months. Thanks to multiplier effects, the cancelled benefits will also lead indirectly to almost a quarter-million layoffs for people who are currently working. That’s nearly 2.4 million people harmed in the coming months by the expiration of EUC.

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