Bishops' Conference calls on Congress to extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling on Congress to extend emergency unemployment benefits for more than one million job seekers who lost this critical lifeline as 2013 drew to a close, and asking American Catholics to exercise faithful citizenship by urging their elected representatives to act quickly. The USCCB message reminds readers that "Blessed John Paul II, in Laborem Exercens, called unemployment an evil and said during times of economic pain and high unemployment, there is a moral obligation to ensure unemployed workers and their families have a basic level of security." Indeed, the Holy Father was remarkably explicit about that duty:

The obligation to provide unemployment benefits, that is to say, the duty to make suitable grants indispensable for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families, is a duty springing from the fundamental principle of the moral order in this sphere, namely the principle of the common use of goods or, to put it in another and still simpler way, the right to life and subsistence.(Laborem Exercens, 18)


A USCCB action alert provides details describing how to contact your representative and bear witness.

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J Cabaniss
4 years 2 months ago
Once again the USCCB has, inappropriately in my view, interjected itself into a political issue, and, once again, has relied on a rather weak interpretation of papal teaching. Laborem Exercens calls for states to make subsistence benefits available to the unemployed and as a general statement I don't think anyone would oppose that. The question now, however, is a particular one: how much and for how long? Surely no one could seriously believe that the government should forever subsidize those who do not work, but if the USCCB interpretation is accepted this is exactly what their argument would imply. We should not look to our bishops for solutions to political problems - general guidance, yes; particular solutions no ... and they should generally abstain from offering them.
Stanley Kopacz
4 years 2 months ago
I would say that the government should indefinitely support the unemployed as long as that government promotes neoliberal financial and trade policies that promote unemployment. Our so-called liberal administration is now promoting fast track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). No debate on this commitment to one world government by the multinationals?
Erica Hewlett
3 years 7 months ago
As for me, one of the reason why some people aren't able to find a job is that, they have to tune up or improve the way they make their curriculum vitae, knowing that it will serve as your first impression to your prospect employer. Undoubtedly, the resume is the one weapon you can hold on in order to get a job. It is a bit impractical to be choosy over job openings as everything is just in a blur and financial analysts predict that it might take 18 months for the country to recover from the recession that we are now experiencing.
patrick swan
3 years 2 months ago
Extended Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. The basic Extended Benefits program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when a State is experiencing high unemployment. Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (20 weeks maximum) of Extended Benefits during periods of extremely high unemployment. Pay for your extended benefits this month with a payday loan.


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