Unemployed metro Detroiters ask Mich. lawmakers for help - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Unemployed metro Detroiters ask Mich. lawmakers for help

Posted: Updated:
Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin lead the discussion Friday Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin lead the discussion Friday
(WJBK) -

Auto workers, teachers, health care professionals and union members were all represented at the "Lunch and Listen" event Friday, hosted by U.S. Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin. Everyone in attendance is among the 1.6 million Americans who lost unemployment benefits in December.

"Everyone thinks we just want to sit at home and take that money and that's not the case. I want to work. I'm losing my insurance, [I have] two little girls at home and it's just a tough time," says Curtis Rodriguez. He is a master plumber who has been out of work for 10 months. 

One laid off engineer told the lawmakers the benefits did not stop him from trying to fine other job, saying, "My average take home pay when I'm working is at least a thousand dollars a week. Unemployment gives me $300 a week. You think I like living on $300 a week?"

"The stories, it's so compelling. People who want money for gas so they can keep looking for a job. People who need some food," says Rep. Sander Levin. tells FOX 2's Robin Schwartz.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the report from Schwartz


Still, Congress has failed to find a solution, leaving all of these families hanging. The lawmakers listened Friday and promised to continue to fight to get the payments restored.

"I think it's outrageous that the Congress is in a recess now. We're back home, not in Washington, doing the job that we need to be doing," says Rep. Gary Peters.

Congress will be back in session on Monday and the lawmakers say they will push for a vote on the issue as early as Tuesday. They plan to bring many of the stories they heard here back to Washington.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:26:48 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
  • Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:57:45 GMT
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices