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Jason DeParle tells the story of Melody Bedico, a single mother in Seattle who worked as a clerk at an airport hotel until the hotel closed:

Though she immediately applied for unemployment insurance, Ms. Bedico got no help for two months. Multiple calls a day to the Washington state unemployment office went unanswered. Someone once put her on hold for two hours, then cut her off. (She cried.) When food ran short, Ms. Bedico limited herself to two meals a day to feed her 12-year-old daughter. She fell three months behind on her mortgage.

“My whole body really ached with stress, from my head to my toes,” she said.

Then $7,600 suddenly arrived for eight weeks of back benefits, including a $600 weekly bonus. Counting a stimulus payment, Ms. Bedico’s income, $15,500 for three months, is nearly 60 percent more than she would have earned at the hotel.

“I was so happy — I really needed that money,” she said.

Unless Congress extends it, this assistance will end in five weeks even though no one thinks employment will be anywhere close to normal by then. So how about if we just extend it and stop all the inane arguing about whether it keeps people from going back to work. The unemployment rate is 13 percent. 13 percent! That’s what’s keeping people from going back to work. Just extend the damn benefits because it’s the only thing that a decent society would do.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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