Michigan Republicans vote to cut off benefits for newly unemployed

Late yesterday, Michigan Republicans took action to limit unemployment benefits to newly unemployed workers by decreasing the amount of time someone, who just lost their job, can receive unemployment benefits.

If the law goes into effect, future unemployed workers will see a reduction in benefits from 26 to 20 weeks. Conservative legislators snuck the provision into a bill whose purpose was to make a technical change in the law to draw down federal extension benefits for unemployed workers.

If Republican Governor Rick Snyder signs the bill into law, Michigan will be the only state to have taken action to reduce unemployment benefits for workers. U.S. Rep. Sander Levin of Royal Oak urged Snyder not to sign off on the measure.

Levin said:

"All they have to do is make a technical change (to qualify for the federal extension) and instead they're using that to hijack a Michigan law that's been in operation for many decades We'd be the only state to change it from 26 to 20 weeks."

Republicans are leading efforts raise taxes on the working poor by eliminating the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, raising taxes on seniors by taxing pensions, and an assault on collective bargaining rights for workers.

This is just the next chapter in Republican Party's roll-back of support for middle class working families, and what is allowed to happen when Republicans rule. To cut support for workers who lost their job, and are in transition looking for new work, is shameful. To do it at the same time that the Michigan GOP is pushing for a more than $1 billion tax cut for corporations is insulting.