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Chorus of Voices Urges 'Economic Lifeline' Over Austerity

Common Dreams

A potential showdown could begin on Monday as Congress reconvenes and is expected to take up the issue of extending long-term unemployment benefits.

Roughly 1.3 million Americans were left in economic uncertainty on December 28 when Congress failed to extend long-term jobless benefits for those out of work for more than 26 weeks, an act John Nicholsdescribed as "cruelty for the sake of cruelty" and what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said was also "bad economics."

In his weekly address on Saturday, President Obama urged Republicans in Congress to extend unemployment insurance. [...]

"Nobody wins when we leave people looking for work out in the cold," Amy Traub, a senior policy analyst at advocacy group Demos, also told In Plain Sight. "It hurts the economy when local businesses can’t rely on basic spending… It strains the private safety net when food banks and charities have to serve more people.”