Quick Hit Thursday February 27th, 2014, 2:08pm

Guest Post: Tell Kirk, Other Senators: Support Unemployed Workers, Restore Jobless Benefits

This post is written by Mike Hall, senior writer with the AFL-CIO.

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:

Annie Kiser: You have MANY Republican constituents out of work 26+ weeks. THEY VOTE and your "no" on #EUC will cost you, Mr. Kirk #RENEWUI

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?

Image: AFL-CIO


No one wants to hire this 54 year old with a permanent work injury. I pretty much lost every thing I own when NY suspended my benefits for 5 months because they wrongfully claimed that I filed my weekly benefits from outside of the U.S. because of their poor use of i.p. address location technology (spying) and not informing claiments against using a v.p.n. Their mistake was only corrected after contacting the attorney general and senator Libous (THANKS TOM!). I lost my car during the five month suspenion and because I live in a rural area I have a very hard time meeting NY'S job search requirments. I'm loosing weight again and my last b.p. reading was 220 > 112 from not taking meds. .

 I don't see where that is anyone elses problem but yours.

Many in America are suffering and enduring huge sacrifices because of unemployment. Many of our families, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens are falling into the abyss because they can't get work. The numbers of comments and stories are staggering, the majority of which are blending into the background and not being realized. The purpose of this group is to share their stories in an attempt to get them heard by our cities, states and government. 

The hope is you will feel as much compassion and share this group with your family, friends and influential leaders that in turn will have it seen by our elected officials.



A letter I wrote to Harry Reid:

Senator Reid,

I am writing you because you are the Senate Majority Leader so even though I do not live in the state of Nevada, I wanted to feel as if I may be heard because your actions as the Head of the Senate impact all Americans and not just Nevadans.

I am one of the long-term unemployed you are currently trying to pass an extension of EUC to help. I have not received an unemployment payment in five weeks. While I am supposed to start work next week finally, I still have to wait an additional three weeks to get my first paycheck. I also do not know how I will transport myself to and from work on a daily basis because I have no money. Also I don't know how I will eat, as I have no money. I have to move this weekend too but don't yet know where I am going because I have no money.

Please understand that when people are pushed into a corner financially like myself, you all are opening up a whole new can of problems like robberies, prostitution, petty theft from grocery stores, etc. I am not a person who feels driven to this point but only because I remain religious to keep from going crazy.  I am fortunate in that I don't have kids, don't have anyone to fend for but myself and I can take a good deal of suffering. Not everyone is so strong and not everyone has the luxury of trying to remain a decent human being.

While I appreciate your efforts thus far, having gone through two failed votes I think it's time you consider a compromise. I am a huge fan of you sir so to speak. I am a Democrat and agree with the way you think and how you vote by and large. I know you want to expose Republicans for the obstructionists they are but please do so with a different issue. While I appreciate your efforts in compromising for the vote earlier this month, two out of three requests satisfied are apparently not enough of a compromise. I know you truly care about this issue and the Americans it's impacting but I need you to try harder. I have read that you hope to vote again next week. I am asking that you do whatever it takes to get this to pass. Let them have their amendments and please let's move on from this. Allow people like myself to actually be able to return to work. We need money to be able to go back to work.

Thank You,

Milton W. Browning II


Where are your friends and family dude?  Don't tell me you're another one of those people that have burned your bridges.  Bad decisions usually land you into poverty.

Kissing dirty harry ()ss is going to work either.

I hope people use this as a format because this applies to so many right now. Many Americans are shocked that this actually needs to be explained to congress. I'm sure it worries Americans about their futures and things to come.

*In reply to hedonistic's comment* " I don't see where that is anyone elses problem but yours."
Almost every day someone unknowingly claims weekly benefits using a v.p.n because states like NY violate privacy protection laws by not informing claimants about their i.p. pinging policies which pretty much means that your probably messing up taco bell orders for a living.

State ue offices don't check ip addresses....so quit making excuses.  you were out of the area vacaying and didn't follow procedures.  vpn?  hah.

BTW at our family owed food franchises we are experimenting with outsourcing the drive thru function with off shore and VRU applications.  We did get types like you messing up routine orders.

Simply google; *does new york unemployment spy on my computer*. Not only do they ping i.p. addresses when you claim online they view your browsing history, past and present. I went through HELL because they did not accept local cash machine receipts from the dates in question from my U.I. debit card!
Let me guess, your in prison and you have access to a computer_idiot

Thats a myth and an excuse.  Prison could be where you're going to end up.  They know people like you are scamming the sytem.  You wouldn't be the first.

Put on your heels honey, this way over your head.

I already tower over people like you.  Act like a real man and quit whining.

Put on your heels honey, this way over your head.


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