This afternoon, at Rep. Todd Akin's office in Ballwin, clergy, community leaders, unemployed constituents and concerned working families held a press conference as well as prayed for the extension of unemployment insurance.
“Without unemployment insurance, I wouldn’t be able to keep food on the table or a roof over my family’s head,” said Dorothy Phillips, a long-term jobless worker trying to find work, “and it worries me to think about what would happen to Missouri if Congress doesn’t act now to help struggling families.”
Akin's insensetive and tone-deaf comments in the past regarding Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have led to a large nuber of citizens and organizations asking for meetings with the congressman over the last year, even holding town halls and inviting Akin to attend as well as visiting Akin's own office. This event was to ask Rep. Akin to support the extension ot unemployment benefits. If the extension isn't approved, 33,400 Missourians will lose their benefits in January and thousands more will lose benefits as their unemployment runs out. The impact on these workers' families, support networks as well as the Missouri economy is one that could be avoided if Rep. Akin would speak up for his constituents instead of consistently voting to protect the wealthiest 1% from paying their fair share.
Across the country, two million working Americans will lose their benefits, including 33,400 Missourians in January, and 6 million in all of 2012 if an extension is not approved.
Unsurprisingly, Akin wasn't able to attend the meeting, but we can only guess that if he'd been there, he would have told his own constituents that he is in favor of privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and is opposed to any extension of Unemployment, saying, "I think there's a certain point where people have to have an incentive to try and find a job, and when those benefits expire, there's a whole lot more pressure to really find something."
Akin should be supporting the programs that his constituents depend on to survive, but unfortanately, his refusal to listen and his contiued radical statements surprise no one.