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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Pocan Invites Mount Horeb Resident Impacted by Congressional Inaction on Unemployment Benefits to State of the Union

Jan 27, 2014
Press Release

U.S.  Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) announced today that he will take Mount Horeb resident Brian Krueger as his guest to tomorrow’s State of the Union Address. Mr. Krueger, a steamfitter who was laid off from his job this past June, lost his unemployment insurance on December 28th because Congress failed to take action to extend this vital lifeline. Earlier this month, Pocan joined with Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) to encourage their colleagues to invite a constituent who has lost unemployment benefits to the President’s speech.

Brian is one of more than 30,000 Wisconsinites, and 1.6 million Americans, who have lost their unemployment benefits since December 28th.

“I am honored to bring Brian Krueger as my guest to the State of the Union,” Pocan said. “Even though more than 1.6 million Americans, including over 30,000 Wisconsinites, have already lost their unemployment benefits while Congress stands on the sidelines, numbers alone do not tell the full story of the devastating consequences of our inaction.  Brian and his family know firsthand the challenges millions of out-of-work Americans face to support their families while tirelessly looking for a job. I am hopeful that Brian’s story, and the stories of millions of jobless Americans from across the country, will finally spur Congress to move past politics and instead represent our constituents who are struggling just to get by.”

“I thank Congressman Pocan for inviting me to the State of the Union, and for his continued fight to help families like my own who have lost unemployment insurance,” Krueger said. “I’m working to get a job each and every day, and I know that my family is just one of thousands in Wisconsin dealing with these same issues. We need Congress to take action.”

Brian is a steamfitter who lives in Mount Horeb with his wife Bridget and two children in high school. After working for General Heating and Cooling for 10 years, he was first laid off for a year starting in November of 2010.  Beginning in August of 2011, he started a two-year job building the new campus power plant.  After that job was completed in June of 2013, he was laid off again. 

Since that time, Brian has been applying for two to three positions a day.  He’s also applied for temporary and part-time positions.  He is also taking OSHA safety classes to make himself more marketable. 

Brian would have been eligible for federal benefits at the end of December had they not expired.  The Kruegers have applied for food stamps and the reduced lunch program for their two children, and are working with their mortgage company to keep up with their  mortgage payments.

Brian’s wife initially contacted Pocan’s office in mid-January to explain their story and urge Congress to take action to extend emergency unemployment benefits.