Jobless benefits protests at McCain's office

Posted: Updated:

Unemployed workers had a message to deliver to Senator John McCain Wednesday. They rallied outside his downtown office to demand a bill extending jobless benefits.

These protesters have spent months searching the want adds and leaning on unemployment checks. Now the well has run dry-- and they want Senator John McCain to do something.

"I've exhausted quite a bit of my savings in this last year that I've been out because I would make $1400 a week if I were out on the job," says unemployed carpenter, John Rice.

Congress failed to extend unemployment benefits last week. It's money, union leaders say, gives job seekers the help they need.

They can keep the phone turned on.  It's hard to get work if you can't get a call.  They can keep their electricity bill turned on.

"March to the door."

Protesters marched to McCain's downtown office to deliver a letter intended for Arizona's Senior Senator.  A representative met with the protesters, one small group at a time.  No cameras allowed in the meetings, but I caught up with one of the protesters on his way out.

"He says that he definitely wants to get unemployment extended but that's basically all he said. It's hard to know if they're being honest or not."

If lawmakers do not come to the rescue-- tough times will only get tougher for those out of work.

"Try to have some empathy and find your hearts. I mean there's a lot of us out here that have voted for you over the years and now we're counting on you to help us in our time of need."

"The stress levels are just unbelievable. I'm just trying to keep my wife happy and keep food on the table for my children."

Senator McCain's office issued a brief statement in response to Wednesday's rally, "Senator McCain supports the extension of unemployment insurance benefits however he also believes that the extension must be fully paid for and won't raise a dime in taxes."