“Today the House Commerce Committee reported out bills that will make it harder for unemployed workers to collect unemployment benefits. This comes after Michigan has already cut the number of weeks a person can collect state unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks. In addition to that hardship, these bills could reduce the amount of unemployment benefits, and require unemployed workers to eventually take full-time jobs with wages and skill levels below the jobs they lost. The majority of unemployed workers play by the rules and want to get back to work. But we all know that in this economy finding any job doesn’t happen quickly. These bills won’t help workers find jobs and won’t help create any new jobs. My Democratic colleagues and I offered numerous amendments to improve these bills, but each amendment was unfortunately voted down on a straight party line. The best way to tackle unemployment is not by dismantling our unemployment system in the middle of an economic downturn, but instead to focus on legislation that will actually help employers create jobs for our unemployed workers.”