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Local unemployed fight for federal benefits

Friday, December 9, 2011 - 12:38pm

BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — A small group of community members are pushing to renew federal funding that will help the unemployed. They visited Congressman Bill Cassidy's office on Thursday, Dec. 9 to make sure their voices are heard.

Dudley Davis has been looking for work for a year, but lately, it's been tough to come by.

“There just aren't enough jobs out there,” Dudley Davis, a local resident looking for work, explained. “For every one job, there are four people who want it.”

He says it’s been difficult to make ends meet.

“I'm like everyone else,” he says. “I have a family. I have overhead. I have obligations. Just having an automobile is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity now.

Davis and his family have relied on extended unemployment insurance to get by for the last year. That's after his regular unemployment money ran out.

“Had it not been for that, I don't know how I would have made it.”

But now, his lifeline is set to expire.

“It could go away very soon and then where would we be?”

According to a new report released by the American Federation of Labor, about 88-hundred Louisianans will lose their benefits if congress doesn't vote to keep extended unemployment insurance around for another year.

“Christmas is coming up,” Ernest Stephens, American Federation of Labor, explained. “It would be a bad time for folks not to have anything.”

That federal program brings in about $195 a week for unemployed families.

“They're not looking for unemployment benefits to purchase real estate and buy stocks and buy bonds. They got to buy milk and bread for their families. They've got to put gas in the car.”

And now they're asking for Congressman Cassidy's help.

“If Congressman Cassidy is looking at what's going on around him in the state of Louisiana and in the United States, he should be jumping to fund unemployment employment extended benefits.

Hoping they can buy a little more time, until the economy starts to look up.


Congressman Cassidy says he shares a common goal with folks, like Davis.

He says the house republicans have pushed 25 job bills that will create more jobs and employment opportunities.

He didn't comment on this particular program.

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