In the past few weeks, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has shown a lot of love and respect for the 11 Illinois residents who recently competed for the United States at the Winter Olympic Games. Check out his Facebook page. But, as many people who have left their comments there say, it’s time for Kirk to show some of the same respect and compassion for the state’s more than 99,000 jobless workers who lost their emergency unemployment benefits in December.
Call Kirk at 845-809-4509 if you live in Illinois and tell him the same thing.
You see, like the more than 1.7 million unemployed workers across the country, many jobless Illinois workers are no long receiving unemployment benefits because Republicans in Congress allowed the federal emergency unemployment benefits program to expire Dec. 31, and Kirk was one of the majority of Republicans who voted against renewing the program in January and again this month.
But, as soon as Thursday, Kirk and other Republicans will have a chance to do the right thing and vote on a bill to restore the emergency unemployment benefits program that provides a lifeline to workers after their state benefits run out—usually 26 weeks, but now less than that in many states, thanks to Republican state lawmakers.
Kirk—who has indicated he might support a restoration—is a key vote, along with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.). If you live in Illinois, Ohio or Indiana, please call Kirk, Portman or Coats today at 845-809-4509 and tell them hundreds of thousands of their constituents and more than 1.7 million Americans need their votes. No matter where you live, please call your senators using the number above and tell them the same thing. Another 1.9 million Americans will out of benefits by June if the program is not restored.
Here are just a few examples of what Illinois voters are telling Kirk on his Facebook page:
Annemarie Purcell Diola: Please push for the extended unemployment benefits as soon as possible. My unemployment ran out the 3rd week of December, where I was approved for 10 weeks of Tier 1 EUC, was only able to collect 1 week of it. I have worked my entire life and followed the rules, but my family is suffering!
Michael Greenberger: And A LOT of veterans were unemployed when you PULLED THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER THEM. Why don’t you support jobless people?
UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.