About 200 Mainers called on congressional lawmakers to pass legislation extending unemployment benefits during a lunch hour rally today in Portland’s Lobsterman’s Park.

The bill, HR 4213, would also provide states money for affordable housing and health care. Rally speakers were adamant about having the bill, which has stalled in the Senate, passed before the July 4 recess.

We’re here to call on our senators to “stand up and do the right thing,” said Ana Hicks of Maine Equal Justice Partners, who was there on behalf of Maine Can Do Better.

Without the bill, Hicks said that thousands of Maine jobs are at risk, needy families will not continue to get the benefits they need and Maine would be facing up to $100 million in budget cuts.

Hicks was quick to add that Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have already shown great leadership and support on the issue, but “we’re really here to stress urgency.”

Maine’s April unemployment rate of 8.4 percent is higher than neighboring New Hampshire but is still below the national average of about 9 percent.

“When the ship’s passing through a storm this big . . . it’s not time to stow the lifejackets behind closed doors,” said Jill Saxby of the Maine Council of Churches.

Attendees were asked to fill out postcards in support of the bill and write letters to the senators that were delivered after the rally.