Monday, January 13, 2014
Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) was in town on Monday to discuss the impact of Congress’ decision to let long-term unemployment benefits expire last month. The decision left 1.3 million people without benefits.
Davis spoke with San Diegans who had been affected directly by the decision. Eugene Beronilla, 38, was employed in the health care industry until June 2012. He has been struggling since the federal checks stopped coming shortly after Christmas.
“As confidence falls, financial pressures mount, anxiety increases, and we begin to take desperate measures just to survive on a daily basis,” Beronilla said. “Those federal extensions do make a difference, particularly in the case of having stable housing or having to find another place to live.”
The congresswoman also heard from Joy Dauda. Dauda was laid off from her flight attendant job in April 2013, and has been trying to find work ever since. Davis said stories like Dauda’s and Beronilla’s reinforce her belief that Congress needs to find a way to extend the benefits.
“These are benefits for people who have been working, who have paid into the system. And we want them to be able to put all their energy into getting a job. And it’s pretty hard to do that when you’ve been cut off and you’re no longer able to even pay for transportation to get to that job,” Davis said.
The U.S. Senate is in talks currently to extend the unemployment benefits. After they reach a deal, the House of Representatives will take up the issue.