Hoyer, House Democrats Send Letter to Boehner Urging Congress Not to Adjourn for Year Without Extending Federal Unemployment Insurance

For Immediate Release:

December 11, 2013

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined 165 House Democrats today in a letter urging Speaker John Boehner not to adjourn the House for the year without bringing up an extension of federal unemployment insurance, which is scheduled to expire December 28.  If federal unemployment insurance expires, it will immediately cut off all jobless aid to 1.3 million Americans, with an additional 1.9 million Americans who would lose eligibility for coverage in the first half of 2014. For a state-by-state breakdown of the effects, click here. Whip Hoyer and 165 House Democrats today are sending the following letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to immediately bring up an extension of federal unemployment insurance and to not adjourn the House for the year until he does:

December 11, 2013

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
H232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

We write to urge you to address the looming expiration of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans before adjourning Congress for the remainder of the year.  Without swift Congressional action, 1.3 million jobless workers will have their benefits cut off on December 28th, and nearly another 1.9 million will lose their unemployment benefits over the first half of next year.   This would not only be a devastating blow for millions of Americans who are already struggling, but it would also hurt our economy.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is scheduled to immediately and completely stop at the end of 2013, during the holiday season, with the last payable week ending on December 28th.  All current EUC beneficiaries will lose their benefits, and individuals exhausting their limited state unemployment benefits will no longer be eligible for EUC benefits in 2014.  This cutoff will affect over 3 million Americans over the next six months, and thereby also negatively impact our economic growth. In fact, recent estimates indicate that the expiration of the EUC program would cost our economy 310,000 jobs and drain roughly four-tenths of a percentage point from first-quarter economic growth.

While unemployment benefits remain a critical lifeline for dislocated workers and their families, these benefits have recently been significantly scaled back.  According to the Congressional Research Service, the total amount of weeks of unemployment benefits has dropped by more than a third across the states, and by more than 50 percent in some states, compared to two years ago.   Furthermore, the recipients have seen their weekly benefit payment provided by the EUC program cut under sequestration.

Even with the progress our economy has seen since the depths of the recession, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than when the recession started six years ago. Additionally, approximately 4 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, and have been looking for work for more than six months. Now is certainly not the time to further decimate vital federal assistance to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own and who must actively seek work in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.   We therefore strongly urge you to immediately bring up a one-year extension of the current EUC program.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Sander Levin
Barbara Lee
Lloyd Doggett
Steny H. Hoyer
James Clyburn
Xavier Becerra
Joe Crowley
Steve Israel
Robert Andrews
Karen Bass
Joyce Beatty
Ami Bera
Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Tim Bishop
Earl Blumenauer
Suzanne Bonamici
Robert A. Brady
Bruce Braley
Corrine Brown
Julia Brownley
Cheri Bustos
G.K. Butterfield
Lois Capps
Michael Capuano
Tony Cardenas
Matt Cartwright
Joaquin Castro
Kathy Castor
Donna M. Christensen
Judy Chu
David Cicilline
Yvette Clarke
Wm. Lacy Clay
Emanuel Cleaver
Steve Cohen
John Conyers, Jr.
Gerald E. Connolly
Jim Cooper
Jim Costa
Joe Courtney
Elijah E. Cummings
Danny K. Davis
Peter DeFazio
Diana DeGette
John Delaney
Rosa L. DeLauro
Suzan DelBene
Ted Deutch
John D. Dingell
Donna F. Edwards
Keith Ellison
Eliot L. Engel
William Enyart
Anna Eshoo
Elizabeth H. Esty
Sam Farr
Chaka Fattah
Bill Foster
Lois Frankel
Marcia L. Fudge
John Garamendi
Alan Grayson
Al Green
Gene Green
Raul Grijalva
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Luis V. Gutierrez
Janice Hahn
Colleen Hanabusa
Alcee L. Hastings
Denny Heck
Brian Higgins
James A. Himes
Ruben Hinojosa
Rush Holt
Michael Honda
Steven Horsford
Jared Huffman
Hakeem S. Jeffries
Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr.
Marcy Kaptur
William Keating
Joseph P. Kennedy, III
Daniel Kildee
Derek Kilmer
Ron Kind
Ann Kirkpatrick
Ann McLane Kuster
James R. Langevin
John B. Larson
Sheila Jackson Lee
John Lewis
Daniel Lipinski
Dave Loebsack
Alan S. Lowenthal
Nita Lowey
Ben Ray Lujan
Stephen F. Lynch
Carolyn Maloney
Carolyn McCarthy
Betty McCollum
Jim McDermott
James P. McGovern
Patrick E. Murphy
Grace F. Napolitano
Gloria Negrete McLeod
Rick Nolan
Gregory Meeks
Michael H. Michaud
George Miller
Gwen Moore
James P. Moran
Jerrold Nadler
Richard E. Neal
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Beto O’Rourke
Frank Pallone, Jr.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Ed Pastor
Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Ed Perlmutter
Gary C. Peters
Chellie Pingree
Pedro R. Pierluisi
Mark Pocan
David Price
Mike Quigley
Nick J. Rahall
Charles Rangel
Cedric Richmond
Lucille Roybal-Allard
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Bobby L. Rush
Tim Ryan
Linda T. Sanchez
Loretta Sanchez
John P. Sarbanes
Janice D. Schakowsky
Adam B. Schiff
Allyson Y. Schwartz
Brad Sherman
Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Jose E. Serrano
Terri A. Sewell
Carol Shea-Porter
Kyrsten Sinema
Albio Sires
Louise M. Slaughter
Jackie Speier
Mark Takano
Bennie Thompson
Mike Thompson
John F. Tierney
Dina Titus
Paul  Tonko
Marc Veasey
Nydia Velázquez
Chris Van Hollen
Juan Vargas
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Maxine Waters
Melvin L. Watt
Henry A. Waxman
Peter Welch
Frederica Wilson
John A. Yarmuth

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