Fiscal cliff looms for Capital Region residents - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Fiscal cliff looms for Capital Region residents


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. - Many Americans are already struggling with trying to find jobs right now. The decisions having to do with the fiscal cliff could mean even more struggling for those who are surviving on unemployment benefits they could now lose.

"Yes, we're being failed. We're being forgotten. We're the upper middle class that has all of the sudden become impoverished at poverty level," said Anne Ryan of Watervliet.

Moving in with her parents at age 44 with her two daughters was not the future Anne Ryan planned for, but it is the future she's now facing, if her unemployment benefits end like thousands of others as lawmakers attempt to solve the nations financial crisis.

"I have been in the workforce full time since I was 17 years old. I am now 44. I had hoped to be retiring in the next twenty years. That's not going to happen," said Ryan.

Unemployed since October after being laid off, Ryan has been struggling to make ends meet, even with the benefits.

"I'm getting about $350 a week, where before, I was bringing home a wage of over $550 a week. If you add that up over a month, thats a huge deficit of what we were living on," said Ryan.

As the single mom of two continues to hunt for a job daily, the overwhelming fear of what's to come has left her angry, frustrated, and longing to be heard.

"There's a lot of back and forth, whether you're Republican or Democrat. At this point it doesnt matter. There are people like me who have worked their whole life to make a decent life for themselves and have always done the right thing, never been a part of the system. I need the system right now to help sustain this meager home that I purchased with the help of family," said Ryan.

For her family, surviving has meant sometimes relying on a food pantry, leaving behind things they used to enjoy doing. Ryan is ready for the tortorous unknown to come to an end.

"Make a decision. Make a decision so at least we know what to expect. Then we can start making decisions. Because living on this cliff that we're about to fall off is no way to live," said Ryan.

Unemployment benefits for around 2 million Americans out of work for more than six months ended Saturday, and now hundreds of thousands more like Anne Ryan will lose theirs if Congress doesn't extend them.

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