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Washington, D.C. - This morning the Senate took a major step in reinstating emergency unemployment benefits for 1.3 million unemployed workers. The Senate voted to consider S. 1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, by a vote of 60-37. Bread for the World urges the Senate and House to immediately pass this bill. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, federal unemployment insurance kept 1.7 million people out of poverty in 2012, including 446,000 children.
“Last month, 1.3 million Americans found themselves cut off from their unemployment benefits, right in the middle of the holidays. The unemployment rate remains 44 percent higher than it was at the start of the recession, and Congress refused to take action on the matter before leaving for their break,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “An additional 72,000 people are at risk of losing their benefits every additional week that Congress fails to act. The vote today shows that as a country, we cannot, in good faith, let these people suffer.”
The vote came almost a month after Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Deal Act of 2013, which provides some relief from sequestration but did not address emergency unemployment benefits.
“Programs like Unemployment Insurance help people make ends meet until they are able to get back on their feet again,” said Beckmann. “Without unemployment insurance, the number of individuals living in poverty would have doubled between 2010 and 2011.”
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that if Congress fails to extend emergency unemployment benefits, it will cost the economy 238,000 jobs.
“In order to stabilize the economy, Congress has to focus on investing in human capital, job growth, and fair wages and not on slashing programs and leaving families out in the cold,” concluded Beckmann."
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
Even before Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico, hunger and food insecurity were much more common among Puerto Ricans than among their fellow U.S. citizens in the 50 states.
Before the hurricanes, 1.5 million Puerto Ricans were food insecure. The child food insecurity rate was...
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Margot Nitschke
Ending hunger in the United States is within reach, explain Marlysa Gamblin and Margot Nitschke, in Getting to Zero Hunger by 2030...
A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.
Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.
Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.
Bruce Puckett urged...
In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.
For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.
Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.
Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.
Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...
Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.