Issue Report ● Extending Assistance for Unemployed Americansfacebooktwitterbirdemail
For Immediate Release: 
April 8, 2014

Yesterday the Senate passed a bipartisan agreement of emergency unemployment insurance for five months. Despite this bipartisan action, House Republican leaders continue to refuse to allow the House to vote on similar legislation. Each week Congress fails to act, an additional 72,000 Americans, on average, lose access to this program. 

In response to the House Republican leadership’s refusal to act, a growing number of Republicans have called for immediate action in the House of Representatives to renew the emergency unemployment insurance program:

Letter from: Reps. Peter T. King (R-NY), Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), Joe Heck (R-NV), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY): “We want it extended. We respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans.” [CQ, 4/3/14]

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL): “Sometimes, temporary assistance is needed for those who are looking determinedly for work but cannot find it. I would seriously consider any proposal to extend unemployment that comes to the House floor that is fully paid for.” [Washington Post, 4/3/14]

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): “I hope the House leadership will quickly take up this bill, and I stand ready to work with them to get this done.”[CQ, 4/7/14]

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL): “Extending unemployment insurance for the thousands of Illinoisans seeking relief has been a long-standing priority of mine. I am pleased that this bipartisan, fully paid-for compromise passed the Senate this evening. I urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass this legislation.” [Chicago Sun Times, 4/7/14]

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): “We had a big partisan debate on it for a couple months and some of us were saying, ‘let's stop the politics, lets actually try to get something done here; and not everybody’s going to get what they want.’” [ABC, 4/7/14]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-MI): “This is a fiscally responsible path forward to provide unemployment benefits to those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and continue to search for work but are unable to find it.” [Collins.Senate.Gov, 3/27/14]

Instead of continuing to ignore the millions of American families struggling to make ends meet while they search for a job, Congress should take swift action to renew this program.  The Senate has acted, and now the House must do its part. 

Click here to read in pdf.

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