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With a June unemployment rate of 15.4%, African Americans stand to pay the biggest price for the Senate’s stalled efforts to pass legislation that would extend those benefits and also provide $1 billion for youth jobs and emergency assistance for needy families.
Rep. Elijah Cummings called the Republicans stonewalling “irresponsible and immoral.” House Democrats have installed on their Website a counter that tallies the number of Americans losing unemployment benefits, which Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) says is piling up too quickly.
Congressional Black Caucus who represent districts in states that have Republican senators, who have repeatedly filibustered the measure, have launched a media campaign in their home districts urging Republicans to do the right thing. The week before the July 4 recess, the CBC requested meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and other Senate Republicans, but according to CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (California), no dates have been set.
“Senate Republicans are committed to saying ‘No’ to everything in hopes of derailing the Democratic effort to bring our economy out of a recession. But who they are really saying ‘No’ to are the millions of unemployed Americans who cannot find a job and struggle to care of their families,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida). “While Republicans are spending their time trying to throw Democrats out of office, they are really throwing away the futures of millions of Americans who need Congress to pass legislation that will create jobs.”