Groups push jobless benefits extension. Join them.

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Groups push jobless benefits extension. Join them.

Daily Kos – If Congress doesn't act, the handwriting is on the wall for 5 million Americans now receiving unemployment benefits. That's how many now depend on benefits extended beyond the 26 weeks that states provide. The federal extensions of up to 73 weeks expire Nov. 30.

Every time a renewal of the extensions comes up, it gets harder and harder to pass. The last time it took 50 days. With next week's Thanksgiving recess coming up, Congress has six working days to rescue those out-of-work Americans who receive an average of $290 a week in extended benefits. That's not exactly posh. It's half what the Consumer Expenditures Survey says is required for necessities. But those benefits are what keeps a roof over millions of Americans' heads, children out of poverty, and, with other government assistance, as Joan McCarter writes this morning, food on the table.

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