PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) wants to put a face to unemployment.
In a statement released by the Congressman’s office, Cicilline will use the stories, photos, and names of unemployed Rhode Islanders to keep the pressure on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to allow an up or down vote on legislation that would extend unemployment benefits.
As of this week, 2.3 million Americans have been affected by the expiration of unemployment insurance.
“This issue is not about facts and figures, but the people and their families who are losing [unemployment insurance] every day that passes,” Cicilline said. “Speaker Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of renewing this critical lifeline and it is past time he held a vote to help struggling American families.”
Cicilline sent a letter to his colleagues in the House explaining his initiative and telling members that he wants, “Republican colleagues to see the faces of the families they have turned their backs on every time they walk down the halls and to the House floor.”
The Congressman’s office said in a statement that “Faces of the Unemployed” will be posted outside of his office when the House returns on April 28. The stories will also be delivered to the speaker’s office.
The United States Senate, in an effort led by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), passed a bipartisan five month extension to unemployment benefits on Monday, sending the proposal to the House. However, Speaker Boehner adjourned the House for a two-week recess on Thursday, delaying any possible legislative action on the proposal.
According to Cicilline, House Republicans have blocked consideration on eleven bills to extend unemployment benefits. He introduced legislation to renew unemployment insurance following its expiration in December.