LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB-Fox 41)--Unemployment benefits are running out for thousands, and some Kentuckians are lashing out at a senator they are blaming for the problem.
Some held a rally together to get Washington's attention right outside of Senator Mitch McConnell's office Wednesday.
Protesters cheer as cars roll by and honk, and for them, the more honks the better. They want their message heard loud and clear: "Can you hear us Senator McConnell? Can you hear us?" they chant. They want Senator Mitch McConnell and other Republicans to stop blocking an extension of unemployment benefits.
Brenda Johnson was laid off sixteen months ago, and her benefits have just now run out. "It's so hard right now to find a job, you know, I'm not used to this. I don't want to be beggin' people."
A large group of unemployed workers and labor activists rallied outside McConnell's office, and say they are fed up. "I call for solidarity!" one woman shouted through a megaphone.
"He don't have to worry about where his next meal is or how he's going to pay a bill," said Johnson.
"Without that pay right there, people have to be concerned about being able to keep their homes, being able to feed their families, and the continuation of life," said protester Kirk Gillenwaters, "but unfortunately Mitch doesn't see fit to extend these benefits and the toll it's taking on the people across the state of Kentucky and the United States."
A small group actually tried to go and talk to the senator. They were able to speak to a spokesperson who said McConnel is in support of extending benefits, but in a fiscally responsible manner. "What we're not willing to do," said the senator in a previous statement, "is use worthwhile programs as an excuse to burden our children and grandchildren with an even bigger national debt than we've got."
Other Republican senators across the nation also had protesters outside their offices. Protesters here are trying to rally together everyone they can. "We're going to walk down to the unemployment office and we're going to talk to some more unemployed workers and give them Mitch McConnell's phone number and we're going to tell them to call Mitch McConnell's office and we're going to tell him to stop obstructing unemployed insurance!" said a fired-up protester.
It is expected that the Senate will vote again next week on extending the federal unemployment benefits. If this new bill passes, it would give benefits through the end of November for people who have been out of work longer than 26 weeks.