Jobless benefit backers hold protests in Michigan

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2011 1:03 PM
Jobless benefit backers hold protests in Michigan

Supporters of a federal extension of unemployment benefits have held demonstrations at the offices of two western Michigan congressmen.

In Grand Rapids, members of We Are The People and Occupy Grand Rapids protested Thursday outside the office of U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, urging him to support an extension.

Demonstrator Michael Tuffelmire tells the Grand Rapids Press that jobless benefits are a life line for many families in these hard times.

The Muskegon Chronicle says about 50 people protested at the Muskegon office of Rep. Bill Huizenga.

Congress is debating whether to continue the extended benefit program, which expires Dec. 31. It provides up to 99 weeks of benefits.

If the program isn't continued, the Labor Department estimates that about 1.8 million people could lose benefits by early February.