On a cold and blustery December afternoon recently, about two dozen Iowans gathered outside the Federal Building in downtown Des Moines as part of a National Day of Mobilization for the Unemployed. According to organizer Mark Cooper, President of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, "Jobless union members, veterans, students and millions of others are struggling to make ends meet while many politicians merely support the wealthiest one percent."

According to Amy Logsdon of Iowa Citizens Action Network, "Millions of hardworking Americans—nearly 2 million in January alone, and over 6 million in 2012—will be cut off from the emergency lifeline of federal unemployment insurance, unless Congress acts to renew the program before it expires December 31st. In the past three years, federal unemployment insurance has helped more than 17 million Americans while they’ve looked for work in the toughest job market since the Great Depression. Recent Census figures show that federal unemployment insurance helped keep more than 3 million from falling into poverty last year alone. Congress has never allowed these programs to expire when unemployment was anywhere near this high for this long. Congress must act, and act now."