As members of Congress return to Washington for the lame duck session this week, they will be asked to resolve the major issue of unemployment benefits. On November 30, hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, including roughly 127,000 in Illinois, will exhaust their Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) or Extended Benefits (EB) insurance. One immediate action Congress could take would be to extend funding for the two emergency unemployment benefit programs that pay for EUC and EB benefits. A new poll, by the way, shows the extension is a slam dunk (PDF) with respondents.
The folks at the National Employment Law Project are organizing a national call-in tomorrow to urge lawmakers to support the jobless insurance extension. As Progress Illinois has noted, Congress will have just seven days to reauthorize these two crucial emergency unemployment benefits programs. That's a frighteningly small amount of time, given that the last short-term extension took over 50 days to negotiate.