Johnson should support extension of benefits

I met a gentleman seeking work the other day. Call him John. The “work experience” section of John’s resume boasted only a single job. He had spent his entire working life at Ormet Primary Aluminum. His father and father-in-law had also spent their entire working lives at this major employer in a small community. Yet, roughly a month from beginning to collect his pension, John was laid off. Ormet has filed for bankruptcy and John’s pension is at risk. Now, John is left to try to find work to support his family after never having been unemployed his entire life. Once John’s unemployment benefits expire, his family could lose their car and even their home.

Unfortunately, John’s story is all too common. Contrary to the all-too-common myth of “moochers” who are trying to live off of the government, many unemployed individuals have worked their entire lives and are struggling to find work in today’s economy. Their families have relied for years on good-paying jobs that rewarded hard work. Yet, today, these same families are struggling to make ends meet.

In an effort to uphold the financial security that unemployment benefits are supposed to provide, the United States Senate just passed a bill with both Democratic and Republican support for these benefits. If Congressman Johnson and the House of Representatives would vote in favor of this bill, approximately 75,200 individuals in Ohio alone would be eligible for this Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

This is commonsense policy, and I call on Congressman Johnson to stand up for the bipartisan legislation to extend unemployment benefits.

Jennifer Garrison

Democratic Candidate for Congress, Ohio 6th