Sander Levin Talks Unemployment With Unemployed

U.S. Congressman Sander Levin stopped in Madison Heights Monday to hear the continuing plight of some of his unemployed constituents.

About a dozen unemployed area residents got to speak direct with Levin during a roundtable, before he ended his trip at a fundraiser that included former President Bill Clinton.

The Michigan Democrat and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said with an extension of benefits for the unemployed in place, Congress now needs to focus on a more permanent job fix.

“We have to very much continue to tell this story,” Levin said.  “Because it both will make sure there’s unemployment insurance, and also, it will increase the impetus to provide the necessary resources to stimulate job creation.”

Keith Spresser, a construction electrician out of work for about a year and eight months, said it’s good to hear Levin talk about creating jobs.

“Jobs are coming, that’s a wonderful thing,” Spresser said.  “When are they coming?  I don’t know when they’re coming… If they’re coming in the next three months, I’ll be out on unemployment and I’ll be broke,” Spresser said.

“So really, they talk all they want about all the jobs we’re going to have, but right now is when people need it… people need something now,” he said.

“If I was at the other end of the situation where I was working, I’m sure I would look at people and say, ‘Hey this guy’s been off almost two years and he can’t find a job?'”

Spresser said it’s not like any other time that he’s ever lived through.

Camille Graham-Whitfield said she’s become a “recession widow” because her husband’s new job keeps him on the road.

“He had to take an underpaid job, nothing near what he used to make, and he ended up becoming an over-the-road truck driver about four years ago,” Whitfield said.  “And so, of course, that starts to change the dynamics financially of the family,” she said.

Whitfield herself will be unemployed two years this Friday.

Levin said with unemployment benefits extended, he’ll focus Washington on creating new jobs in Michigan.

  • skeo

    The Levins are the biggest spenders in Washington and they should both be voted out of office. The voters better wake up to this fact and vote a new Congress in! Enough of the Levins, Cheeks-Kilpatrick, John Conyers, and John Dingell – They must be voted OUT!

  • Jennifer Tipton

    I was in this round table discussion and I was grateful our senators are listening. I’m looking forward to the creation of new jobs. In Michigan and the united states. New jobs drops unemployment less money spent more taxes collected.

  • Robyn L

    I was at this roundtable meeting and Sander Levin listed to each one of us and our situation. I feel bad for other that are on the verge of losing their home. I will be there soon if I do not find employment. He truly cares about us and fights for us. As he said, there are many people qualified in the infrastructure business that can brainstorm in creating new jobs. I truly appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to listen to us and try to “Solve” the issues at hand…..Like sending jobs overseas….That has to stop ASAP!!!!!

  • Mad American

    I’m still waiting for all the promised prosperity that all of the free trade pacts were suppose to bring to the American worker. Still waiting, and waiting, and waiting. The Levin boys signed off on them all.
    Free trade isn’t free if the ones sending their crap here and destroying American jobs, won’t open their markets to us. Its time to wake up and start protecting our jobs, Put tariffs on foreign goods and use the tariff money to invest in American job development. You want to buy a Toyota, fine, pay for the job loss and unfair trade imbalance that buying one causes and drive your jap crap! (And don’t tell me there made in America. The profits go to Japan, not here. All of the foreign assembly workers don’t equal the work force at Chrysler)!

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