Committee on Ways and Means
Feb 7 2011
RE: Hearing on Improving Efforts to Help Unemployed Americans Find Jobs
My husband has been unemployed for exactly two years now after working for the same company for almost thirty years. Since being laid off, he has submitted 100’s of resumes, granted only 6 interviews and has received 0 offers of employment. Most of the time he never hears back from the jobs he applies to and it is very frustrating. He runs out of unemployment benefits in April and we have little hope that he will have a job by then. He is 50 years old and suspects that he is being discriminated against because of his age. Although illegal, ageism is very hard to prove. This is his story, but there are millions Americans that have this same story. Imagine yourself at 50 – jobless and unwanted.
He has a considerable amount in his 401k that he would like to use to start or buy a business, but the thought of paying taxes and penalty on any withdrawal makes us cringe. I wrote Senator Debbie Stabenow in October about this matter and she replied that a bill was introduced in March of 2009 (HR 1628) to make hardship loans, without penalty, but it was still pending before the House Ways and Means Committee. I then contacted the Ways and Means Committee asking for the status of this bill and never received a reply. This bill was never acted on and is now dead. I am wondering why.
I am urging you to please reintroduce this legislation and act on it. To many Americans, like my husband, it just might let them make the transformation from unemployment to self-employment and it wouldn’t cost the government anything.